Back To The Future: Old-School Beauty Gadgets Worth Revisiting

Technology has brought us amazing advances in hair, ranging from a rotating curling iron to keratin treatments. And that's all good and well. But, in our quest for next big thing, we can easily overlook some exceedingly useful beauty items from days gone by. And that's a mistake.
These seemingly outdated grooming gems are to beauty what slips are to fashion — and they deserve to be re-embraced. Ahead, a roundup of hair accoutrements that have been around since the Kennedy administration but are surprisingly awesome in modern times, too. Master their usage and then get ready to tell your date to stop getting “handsy” at the drive-in.
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Hot Rollers

Want to incorporate a little ‘60s screen siren style into your 2012 lifestyle? Who doesn’t? Here’s the big reveal: Rollers actually take less time to use than a curling iron. Roll ‘em up, clip ‘em up, let them cool, remove, and spray. It all takes less time than individually sectioning hair, wrapping it around a curling iron, and then finally removing, piece by piece.

T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers, $99, available at
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Plastic Combs

We know, you haven’t seen one since Picture Day! Turns out, these mini rectangular hair tamers are incredibly useful. Want to recreate one of the bouffant looks so popular on runways this past Fashion Week? Those standard-issue combs are excellent for back-combing hair at the crown for a little height. Keep one in your toiletry bag to detangle when traveling or easily stow it away in your back pocket for touch-ups on the go.

Clipper-Mate Unbreakable Pocket Comb, $5.03, available at Amazon.
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Hair Rats

As unappealing as its name may be, rats simplify complicated updos and give you mega volume. Critical to a technique that's been used since the Victorian era, hair rats add padding under your hair to create lift and shape. Best employed for formal updos, rats transition a top knot from puny to robust. Choose a shade that's as close to your hair color as you can get, so it's easier to camouflage in your mane.

RSessions Pinup Girl Kit, $24.99, available at
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Side Combs

There is something so Lorraine Baines (pre-McFly) about a beautifully styled down ‘do artfully punctuated by elegant combs that match your hair. Hair combs experienced a long hiatus, but they’re making a comb-back. Sorry, couldn't resist. Pair them with sultry-smooth Veronica Lake waves for a glam-yet-understated style.

Goody Classics Tortoise and Crystal Side Combs, $6.65 for pack of two, available at Amazon.
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Highlight Caps

The moderately bad news is that you’ll look like an extra on the set of Steel Magnolias when you put one of these on. The good news is that it's the only near-foolproof way to achieve subtle at-home highlights. Keep in mind your hair’s existing color will influence the highlighting process’s final outcome. Darker hues require stronger peroxide and ammonia mixes and take longer to “lift.”

L'Oréal La Petit Frost Pull-Through Cap Highlights, $5.99, available at