How going to the hairdresser has changed (remember condom caps for 'streaks'?).

Condom caps for ‘streaks’. Portable hairdryers that made you look like a space alien. Rollers. Cedel hairspray that kept its smell for days. Your mother’s weekly appointment for her ‘do.

Chances are you spent days of your lifetime sitting in the local salon waiting for your mum to have her hair done.

Now think of the hairdresser you visit today. Not only has the technology changed, but so has what you can do. Keratin + the flat iron + the curling iron + product have long replaced the weekly ‘do, and no longer will you hear, ‘Whack on the condom cap and we’ll have your streaks sorted in no time, lovey.’

Going to the hairdresser today looks nothing like it did 50 years ago. But are we better off?

1. Hair dryers and heat machines.

Then: We still don’t understand how women held conversations while sitting under these things.

Via Pinterest.

Then they went portable. Sort of:

Via Pinterest.

You'dd plug this contraption in at home. It would fill with hot air and expand into an oval shaped balloon which you would leave on your hair for an hour or so. Of course, you couldn't actually move around because it had to be plugged into the wall. It was still known as a portable machine. Technology at its best.


Via iStock.

The air dryer became the hair dryer.

2. Highlights (aka 'streaks')

Then: To achieve natural-looking, sunkissed hair you's book in for what were then known as 'streaks'. These were achieved via a thick plastic cap that looked a bit like a giant condom and required your hair to be plucked through its many tiny holes with a miniature crochet hook. It was torturous and took hours:



Now: It's much easier and a lot less strain on the head.

Which is heaven.

You just look like a tinfoil martian for 40 minutes.

Here's our Content Director Mia Freedman getting highlights:

She wanted coloured highlights. Her hairdresser wouldn't let her.. Image: Supplied.

3. Hair styles.

Then: Rollers, perms, curls (of any kind, especially in the '80s). Getting your hair 'set'.

How hair styles have changed. In the 60s and 70s, mum would have a standing appointment for a wash and set. Her hair would be left looking perfectly pristine, rolled and lacquered. Of course she couldn't go outside, or sleep or shower until the day of your next weekly appointment for fear of messing with her 'do.

Via Pinterest.

Now: Who actually goes the hairdresser to get their hair done? A few swipes of the GHD and you are ready to go. And, if you want to try a different style, or learn to do beachy waves, there's YouTube:

Video via GHD

4. How often you went.

Then: It wouldn't be strange for your mother to go weekly to the hairdresser. She'd get her hair set, which included being washed, set in curlers and blow-dried. Every week. Rinse and repeat.

As would her friends. They'd make a day of it and then do lunch afterwards.

How perms used to happen. Via Pinterest.

Now: You're lucky to book into any hair salon two months in advance. And if you've gone over six months without going to the hairdressers, we're not sure you are allowed back.

5. Products.

Then: You only needed one kind of hair product in the 60s and 70s - and it came in either a pink or green can.

The smell lasted for days, and it sat in prime position on your mum's dressing table.

Pink was always our favourite.

Now: You can't leave the hairdressers without buying at least three products. You need a treatment. Fancy shampoo. Maybe even hair perfume (it's a thing - trust us).

See that wall? IT'S ALL PRODUCTS.

The hairdressers will put all the products they use on your hair on the counter when you go to pay. They will then stare at you for what seems like forever, willing you to buy it. Sometimes you will be strong and say no.

But most of the time you'll wish for the good old days of Cedel.

Can you add anything else in this list? How do you think going to the hairdresser has changed?

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