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June 6, 2017

Did You Iron Your Hair? Vintage Photos Show How Women Straighten Their Hair With a Clothes Iron From the 1960s

Hair straighteners have become popular in the early 1960s and have been in use ever since. Some women used clothes irons to straighten their hair. This dangerous practice was abandoned after the 1960s although it can still be found in some countries.

The sexual revolution was not the only backlash against the idealistic demands placed upon women: a hair revolt bubbled up when ladies finally got fed up with the tremendous teasing and hours of hairspray that defined the bubble bouffant of the early 1960s. Girls were tired of the combs, cans of hairspray, and long hours in curlers, and they showed their displeasure by taking to the iron.

Ironing hair became a favorite pastime with friends: one girl would trustingly put her head down next to the ironing board so that her friend could iron small sections of hair. The heat of the iron smoothed out the hair follicle into the desired flatness, but a careless friend could burn your hair, or even leave the iron imprinted onto your locks like some horrible sitcom episode.

Girls gave up the tireless manipulation required for the gravity-defying dos, and exchanged the old ways for a new stick-straight style of ironed hair. Anti-style it could be called, but vanity is one of the truths of human nature, and although girls didn’t create masterpieces with their hair, they did tame their locks into sleek submission, risking burns and scorched hair, all in the name of fashion.

Straight hair became easier with the advent of the hair iron, made specifically for hair use. No more bending over the ironing board and getting a crick in your neck, the hair iron was much like a curling iron except for the two flat plates that replaced the traditional barrel. Just simply trap a section of hair between the two plates, and slide down the hair. VoilĂ , instant straight and shiny hair. With all the new modern conveniences, it’s amazing what we do to fit in.

Whether you want to straighten hair for a super-sleek evening look or create more manageable curls, you can choose from a variety of styling products and appliances. Using a regular clothes iron may seem more like an urban legend than a practical solution. However, with the proper technique and care a clothes iron can be the most efficient and long-lasting way to straighten even the thickest and curliest hair.


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