The generations before us had veryfew hair products to choose from, so they made what they had work. But timeshave changed, and you don’t need to rely on hair care tricks of the past.Here’s how to modernize those old-fashioned methods, from  

Old: Products Based on Petrolatumand Mineral Oil Years ago, petrolatum and mineraloil were used to fight flyaways and add shine. These heavy emollients workedbecause they left a smooth, soft coating on the hair cuticle. But they also lefthair feeling greasy and stiff.  

New: Silicone OilsToday, scientific research makes itpossible to get the benefits of petrolatum- and mineral oil-based productswithout the “ick” factor. Now, lighter types of emollients called silicone oilscan lightly coat the hair cuticle to add shine and strength without a greasymess.  

Old: Hot CombsFolks heated these metal combs on ahome stove top or in a professional ceramic heater stove and used them tostraighten hair. But these combs could cause severe heat damage, leaving thehair permanently and unevenly straighter and forever altering your naturaltexture. Sure, they straightened your curls, but they also took away your hair’sversatility. 

New: Ceramic FlatironsThese flatirons press your hairbetween two smooth plates, heat evenly, and allow you to control thetemperature. They enable you to achieve a straight-hair look without breakingand damaging your strands.  

Old: Protective Styling Coils and curls are more likely tobe damaged by combing and styling than any other hair type. Protective styles,such as weaves and wigs, allow you to slow down that damage cycle by leavingyour natural hair relatively untouched for weeks at a time. This methodactually still makes sense—but be cautious if you use it. If a protective styleis too tight or left in for too long it can do more harm than good, resultingin hair that becomes matted, brittle and weak. 

New: Protective ProductsBecause protective styles can leadto permanent hair loss, it might make better sense to use protective products thatcondition and protect your hair from heat and combing. 

These old-fashioned techniques tocare for tresses aren’t the only remnants from the past; many other old-schoolhair care myths have stuck around. Click here to learn which of these old wivestales are true and which are false.