All posts by Alex_V

Use a Pifco Vanity Curl incorrectly and you’ll do more than curl your hair!

I love finding vintage things, particularly when they are still in their original packaging.  There’s more than one reason for that – authenticity, value, and perhaps most importantly, instructions for use by the original manufacturer!



vintage hair curling tongs original box 1960s

It can be difficult to know how things were done if they were done before you even arrived on the planet – and there isn’t always a handy old relation who can remember.  So instructions pertaining to hair curling in the 1960s can be pretty useful for getting the right style.  And in the case of these lovely Pifco Vanity Curl heated tongs, there’s more to that, too.  These days, in the age of plastic and RCDs, people are accustomed to styling their hair with the tongs/wand plugged into the mains, and might well assume that it was done the same way back then.  Read these beautifully printed instructions and you’ll see a clear warning that you unplug them before you put them on your hair!  Five minutes heating time, unplug, style, and repeat if necessary.  Now suppose you bought one of these, without it’s box or instructions (and I’ve seen several for sale on ebay alone) and assumed that you curled with it plugged in – it might be perfectly OK, or you might electrocute your hair, and yourself with it!


vintage Pifco curling tongs


Having read these instructions, and passed the tongs to an electrician for a visual check, at least, I heated them up, unplugged ’em and proceeded to curl and straighten my hair.


1960s hair styles perfected


They really are quite nice, with a pleasant weight, and they’re more wieldy than the modern, much longer ones I have.  They do take longer to work, admittedly, but in the ‘sixties there were more hours in the day, hence far more time was available for hairstyling and other essentials.  I really don’t know what has happened to time since then; we are told there are still twenty four hours in a day but I’m not sure I believe that.  And the way people rush about trying to do six things at once would seem to indicate that there is now less time available in which to do anything at all…


original instructions for 1960s hair styling


The instructions are the loveliest thing, though.  There are beautiful photographs of elegant hairstyles (my hair isn’t long enough to try any of them, sadly) and not once a mention of being in a hurry.  They make quite relaxing reading, conjuring up images of endless days spent perfecting one’s hair, and that of any children subject to the public eye – ‘Children’s unruly hair may be straightened as indicated above.  The Vanity Curl is especially suitable for making large gentle curls on the head or the sides so popular and suitable for children.’  Is that children of both sexes, I wonder?  And did they ever object?  As a child of the ‘seventies, I seldom had anything done to my hair, except a disastrous attempt at bunches.  I think I would have preferred the curls…


styling children’s hair 1960s


‘The PIFCO Vanity Curl is invaluable for tidying up loose ends and putting the final touches of perfection to a hair style.’


vintage instructions original 1960s curling tongs and straighteners!

Ah, loose ends.  Perhaps that is what’s happened to time these days.  Too many loose ends, and nothing to tidy them up with…