Vintage Accessories: Bringing Old School Charm to Everyday Hairstyles

June 29, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Stepping back into the past can be an exciting and rejuvenating way to express personal style, especially when it comes to hairstyles. As we shift away from the relentless heat-styling of the early 2000s, a newfound appreciation for vintage hair accessories is blossoming. These nostalgic pieces are making a comeback, allowing you to incorporate a touch of classic elegance into your modern hairstyles, regardless of your hair type.

From the exquisite celluloid hair combs of the 1920s to the bold zigzag headbands of the 90s, these vintage hair accessories can transport you to different eras, adding a dimension of time travel to your style journey. This article explores how to incorporate these classic accessories into your contemporary look.

1. The Iconic Celluloid Hair Combs

In the 20th century, hair combs were not just tools for detangling hair; they were fashion statements. These practical yet decorative accessories, often made from celluloid or bakelite, added an element of sparkle to simple hairstyles, acting as crowns that adorned the temples or base of the skull.

These combs, particularly the side hair combs, were considered high-end accessories, offering a perfect balance between function and style. They were skillfully crafted, often intricately designed, and sometimes encrusted with gems. While the teeth of the combs were fragile, well-preserved vintage combs today can fetch impressive prices, starting from around $40 each.

Pro Tip: When using a vintage comb, ensure to guide it through your hair towards the back of your scalp, then press it downwards for a secure hold.

2. The Practical Hair Snoods

The 1940s were synonymous with the u-shaped, colorful hair snoods. These knitted accessories were vital for women who sought to protect their meticulously styled hair from external elements, particularly while engaged in active work. Whether adorned with a broach or left plain, these accessories made a statement.

While original vintage hair snoods from the 1940s may be difficult to find and could cost around $50-$70, period-quality reproductions can be obtained at a more affordable price range.

Pro Tip: Before purchasing a snood, be sure to check its size. Vintage snoods may not accommodate very long hair, as most hairstyles of that era were shoulder-length.

3. The Blossoming Silk Hair Flowers

Silk hair flowers offered a colorful, cost-effective alternative to real flowers popularized by celebrities like Billie Holiday during the 1930s and 1950s. These delicate accessories added a pop of color and texture to any outfit, often acting as a focal point of the hairstyle.

Silk flowers were typically attached to pins, combs, or fascinators, making them easy to incorporate into various styles. However, due to their rarity, they can be quite pricey today.

Pro Tip: Position the hair flowers further back on the temple to prevent them from overwhelming your facial features.

4. The Playful Plastic Barrettes

The 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of fun, plastic barrettes. Everything from apples to elephants was transformed into vibrant hair accessories, thanks to the influence of pop art. These inexpensive barrettes can add a touch of whimsy to any outfit, making them a fantastic choice for a budget-friendly vintage look.

Pro Tip: Remember, barrettes are meant to be seen! Don’t use them as bobby pins, and let them take the center stage.

5. The Versatile Hair Scarves

In the 1960s and 1970s, hair scarves were more than just an accessory; they were a functional piece that added an upgrade to any hairstyle. For those with longer hair or less hair-styling prowess, vintage hair scarves can provide an effortless vintage appeal.

Prices for vintage scarves can vary widely, but you can usually find one that fits your budget.

Pro Tip: When tying your hair scarves, make a knot off-center towards one side of your neck for a more elegant look.

6. The Lazy Chic Zigzag Headbands

The 1990s gave birth to the zigzag headbands, a simple yet trendy hair accessory that could instantly jazz up any hairstyle. With the resurgence of 90s fashion, having a zigzag headband in your accessory collection is an absolute must.

These headbands are quite affordable, making them an excellent option for budget-conscious vintage style enthusiasts.

Pro Tip: To make the zigzag pattern stand out, brush your hair back before sliding the headband into your hair.


Incorporating vintage hair accessories into your daily styling routine can breathe new life into your hairstyles. Remember, though, not all vintage styles suit every hair length or texture. So instead of altering your hair, consider investing in vintage accessories that complement your existing hair. These timeless pieces will not only enhance your personal style but also ensure you never have a dull hair day. So, get ready to travel through time with these classic accessories and bring a touch of old-school charm to your everyday hairstyles.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …