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Recreation – Hair Tongs

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These early 20th century hair styling tools had to be heated on the fire before use. Not quite as convenient as the 21st century digitally heat-controlled versions we have today!

There are three general kinds of hair tong: curling irons, used to make the hair curly, straightening irons, used to straighten the hair, and crimping irons, used to create crimps (like zig zags) in the hair.

Victorian hair straightening systems in the late 1800s relied on harsh chemicals that caused a great deal of damage to the user’s hair. In the 1960s, women sometimes used their clothes irons to straighten their hair! Luckily for us, ceramic and electrical straighteners were introduced later, and nowadays we can create everything from waves and curls, to flicks and poker-straight hair with ease!