One of the biggest misunderstandings about vintage hairstyling tools is that they only suit a particular texture of hair. I have had numerous women approach me complimenting me on my hair style and then quickly following up with, “I could never do that with my hair, my hair is too thin”…or “too curly”… or “too thick” etc.
The truth is, one of the best parts about the vintage lifestyle world is how it caters to anyone.
Whether you have fine hair, afro-textured hair, or something in between, in the vintage world, there is A LOT of overlap with hair styling products and tools for any hair texture.
Below I reveal to you 10 hair tools and products used for vintage hairstyling that suit all hair textures.
If you’re already in the vintage niche or natural hair community, then chances are you probably already have some or most of these products; if that’s the case, then you can just use this post as a “checklist.”
If you’re new to the vintage world, or just curious, then read on to learn more about the products and tools you can start adding to your vintage hair toolkit today!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a tiny commission if you click on a link and purchase an item I have recommended. While clicking the link won’t cost you any extra money, it will help keep this site up and running. Thank you for all your support!
1. Get Long-Lasting Hold
Lotta Body Setting Lotion $7.79
Most vintage hairstyling requires you to prepare your hair with a “setting” product; this product is responsible for offering a long-lasting hold and keeping your hairstyle in place. Lotta Body is a liquid formula that you mix with water and spritz on damp hair before styling, while motions setting lotion is a setting foam also applied to wet or damp hair before styling. Both products will give you the same results; it just depends on your personal preference: liquid, or foam.
Foam Rollers $3.24
Wonder how Marylin Monroe ever scored such perfectly coifed curls? Or are you just looking for something that will give your hair soft waves? Go grab yourself a pack or two (or three depending on your hair length) of foam rollers. I use these Diane Foam rollers in 1″.
If you have long hair there are larger sized options. Not only are they an excellent alternative for heatless styles, but they’re also gentle on your hair, easy to find (e.g., local drugstore, beauty supply store or discount store) And SUPER affordable! Used in combination with Lotta body or motions products, you’re well on your way towards setting a perfect vintage look.
3. Sectioning Hair Just Got a Whole Lot Easier
ScalpMaster Nano Rat Tooth Comb $5.98
This simple comb’s long handle makes it ideal for perfectly sectioning hair into parts necessary for creating any style. The fine teeth of the comb can be a great way to smooth out a hairstyle and put any fly-aways back in their place. And this Nano rat tooth comb is compact enough to fit in any small sized handbag.
4. Get Retro Bangs Instantly
HAIR ART HAIR BUNS RAT $8.85
If you’re a lover of 40s, 50s, or rockabilly hairstyles, then you’re probably familiar with the perfectly rolled trademark bangs. Most women during those days used this mesh object, called a rat (based on its similar appearance to the animal) to roll their hair over and pin in place. The best part? It takes all of one minute to use it!
5. Brush Your Way To Stunning Body Waves
Denman Cushion Brush $10.90
So, your foam roller or pin curled hair is ready to take out, but now what? How do you begin styling those curls? That’s where these brushes come in handy. Either brush is fine, it just depends on how much hair you want to brush out at a time. For longer hair, a larger paddle brush is best, and for shorter to medium length hair, a Denman brush will do. These brushes are ideal for brushing out a curl set because of their soft padding, and soft bristles will begin shaping your hair into a vintage style while eliminating all frizz.
Whether you’re looking for something to hold freshly rolled curls for a pin curl set, or you’re just looking for something to hold your hair together in a particular style, these items are great to use when setting any style. I suggest using the metal clips only for pin curling, and the bobby pins for more everyday hairstyling. Bobby pins can also be a great way to keep a headscarf or headband securely in place.
Retro Side Hair Combs $3.99
French combs are a perfect way to add elegance and practicality to your hairstyle. They can be used to hold French twists, Victory rolls, add a beautiful accent to a low bun Or hold in place a side-sweep. The vintage combs above offer a dynamic look that’s both sophisticated and classy.
8. Portable Salon
Laila Ali Soft Bonnet Dryer $35.89
Tired of putting your hair through the blow-“fryer”? For decades, advertisements have sold the idea that the best way to achieve a perfect style, is through the help of apply heating tool after heating tool to our hair. Over time, we’ve realized that too much heat damages our hair beyond repair, regardless of your hair texture.
Luckily, most vintage hairstyles don’t require much heat. Most of the heating tools we use today didn’t even exist then! A majority of styles were set merely under a bonnet dryer or pin curl set.
If you’re looking for a healthier transition for drying your hair, then I highly suggest the Laila Ali Bonnet Dryer. This dryer has four settings, so if you have thick hair (like) me, you won’t be waiting 50 million years for your hair to dry! An added bonus is that it’s lightweight, portable, and easy to store. This dryer is EXCELLENT for roller sets, as the bonnet’s adjustable cap can fit over most large size rollers. Check it out here!
9. Keep it Retro in a Low Bun
Black Bowknot decor Snood $6.79
Maybe you just uttered to yourself: “Oh, THAT’S what it’s called!!!” No worries because for the longest time, I called it, “that- thing- that -clips- into your hair- and- has -a net -on -the- end- of -it.” A snood is one of those accessories that’s made its way from decade to decade.
Just like jeans, or the word “cool,” the snood may have stood the test of time, but it is vintage AND modern. Perfect for protective styling, or for days when you don’t feel like putting much effort into doing your hair, but you still want a polished look. The black bowknot snood has saved me on many a bad hair days!
10. TEASING BRUSHCricket Amped Up Teasing Brush $2.79
If you just rolled your eyes, you’re not alone. That was my first reaction as well. Never in my ENTIRE life did I ever think that I would EVER use a teasing brush. As someone with naturally curly hair, the idea of teasing my hair was one big NOPE. But I soon learned that the type of brush makes all the difference. No two teasing brushes are created equal and trust me, I know after cutting parts of my hair off because the tangles just. Would. Not. Come. Out.
I was VERY hesitant about re-introducing teasing into my hair styling. But then, I stumbled upon Goody teasing brush, and I’ve never been happier. This boar bristle brush has small plastic teeth intertwined providing you with good grip, and fast teasing so you’re not teasing your hair into an impossible ball of tangles.
The best part about it is it creates AMAZING long-lasting volume, so if you’re looking to get a perfect lift for a victory roll hairstyle, or you want to add some extra body to your pin curls, this brush will give you all of that and more.
All of the hairstyles you see me with on my Instagram, I achieved with these products. If you decide to try em’ out, leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear how they worked out for you. Until then, happy styling!