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Hello hot rollers! Retro hair tools worth pulling out of storage

We love to try out hot, new beauty tools, but there’s something fun about reaching into the past to find some fresh ways to get gorgeous. We’re sourcing some hair tools that may feel like a blast from the past, but they’re actually pretty useful.

Dita Von teese hair rollers

Hot rollers

Even though you can create waves and ringlets with increasingly smaller hair tools, oversize hot rollers of the past are worth revisiting. You might not realize it, but rollers can actually take less time to get the look you want than using a curling iron. All you have to do with rollers is pop them in, clip them on and let them cool, and you do that with larger sections of hair than you’d have to deal with when using a curling iron, which equals less time spent in front of the mirror. Once they’re cool, take them out, tousle and spray. Having to Individually section hair and wrap it around a curling iron can often be a lot more time consuming.

Dianna Kruger with hair comb

Side combs

We remember wearing side combs as kids, but then they seemed to go the way of the scrunchie. While scrunchies didn’t make our list (we never did understand the appeal), hair combs offer an easy and stylish way to tame your tresses with a retro twist. Whether you opt for something neutral (black, tortoiseshell) or something more eye-catching (combs covered in sequins or crystals), holding your hair back or simply accessorizing your updo is a lot easier with a few side combs in your collection of hair tools.

Jennie Garth with crimped hair


Ready for a trip back to the late 1980s? If so, dig out and dust off your crimper. We had a pink one we loved and it’s worth rediscovering this hair tool for more than just a whim. Crimping small sections of hair is an easy way to add texture, especially for anyone with medium to long hair who needs a volume boost. You can also try crimping lightly all over for added texture without worrying that you look a little too retro. Plus, if you’re not doing your whole head or are just crimping lightly, getting the look you want should only take about 10 minutes depending on how long your hair is. Add a barrette with bling and you have a playful yet get-noticed look.

Julianne Hough with teased ponytail

Plastic combs

If you haven’t ever thought about picking up one of those small, plastic combs that seemed to be everywhere in decades past, there are actually a few reasons to get one. They can be used for back-combing or gently teasing your hair if you need to achieve a little height or add some texture when you’re creating an updo or putting your hair in a ponytail. Since they’re so small, they can also be stashed in even the smallest clutch or makeup bag for quick, on-the-go detangling or touch-ups while traveling.

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Photo credits: Mitchell Zachs/, Lia Toby/, Daniel Tanner/, Nikki Nelson/

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