This Throwback Photo Will Make You Thankful For Your Flat Iron

Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Pin-straight hair was practically a middle school staple. Back then, there was this unspoken pressure to figure out how the hell to use a flat iron and find the drugstore products that tamed frizz. Luckily, that phase has passed, and more and more women are embracing their natural textures — saving a lot of time and stress in the process. But that’s not to say we don’t feel inspired by Selena Gomez's smooth blowout or Joan Smalls' sleek, sexy style every once in a while. Just know that copping the look wasn't always so easy.
Turns out, women used to turn to this old-school trick: hair ironing (as in, using a real-life iron on an ironing board to smooth the hair). It makes sense, sort of, considering how the heavy, triangular tool is meant to flatten out wrinkles in your favorite shirts. And while we get the logic, the safety hazard was so real and scary. This throwback photo surfaced last night on Instagram, and we couldn't believe our eyes.
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With slick hair as the goal and little to no hair tool innovations back in the 1960s, a clothing iron was the only option — and that fact makes us all the more thankful for the evolution of the flat iron. These days, we're blessed with pro tools that get the job done without the potential fire hazard. Check out the slides ahead to see the photo in question, then keep clicking for a few of our favorites available today.
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Hair straightening, 1960s style

A post shared by Lost in history (@lostinhistorypics) on

All we'll say: What a damn process this must have been.
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Hot tools can be expensive. And while there are plenty options out there that get the job done, this one from Bio Ionic falls somewhere between prestige and affordable, while being really high-quality. You'll certainly get your money’s worth, thanks to its ceramic plates that guarantee a straighter style in minutes.

Bio Ionic GoldPro Styling Iron, $120, available at Bio Ionic.
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This is the flat iron so many of our editors have sworn by for years — that's how great it is. Sometimes you just need a tool that’s reliable and can smooth out any texture with ease.

FHI Nano Titanium Professional Hair Straightener, $199.98, available at FHI.
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When it comes to a hot tool that travels easily, heats to the perfect temperature (which experts say is 365ºF), and gives you much more than a sleek style, ghd is it. This gift set includes the flat iron and a heat-resistant carrying case.

ghd Gold Copper Luxe Gift Set, $199, available at ghd.
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This tool heats up in seconds, zooms through your hair with lightning speed, and even offers the kind of styling you’d only expect a pro to master.

T3 SinglePass Luxe Professional Straightening and Styling Iron, $180, available at Sephora.
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