Hair Rats


What is a hair rat? They are extra padding that were used back in the day to add volume and make those classic hairstyles easier to achieve.

Historically, hair rats were made from the hair of the wearier. Women would simply gather the stray hairs caught in their brushes, when they had a pretty significant amount, they roll them with their hands until a tight sausage shape was achieved and viola- a hair rat! These were then used to roll their natural hair over (like rollers) and secured with hairpins to achieve everything from liberty rolls to Betty Page bangs, and because it was made from their own hair- the color and texture matched perfectly, making the rat extremely hard to spot.

If the idea of gathering your old hair and wearing it without being able to wash it eeks you out, modern luxuries include the store purchased rat, which are made of foam or tightly woven mesh and come in a variety of colors. Simply Google “foam hair rats” and a variety of suppliers will pop up. Once you’ve obtained the synthetic hair rat that is closest to your hair color, just cut it to the length you want and style away.

Easy as 1,2,3- Betty Bangs for gals without any bangs:

  1. With a comb, divide your hair into a front section that will become bangs.
  2. Starting at the tip, roll your hair over the rat, tucking as you go.
  3. Using hair pins, secure the hair and rat in place, making sure to pin hair over the entire rat including the sides.

This will take practice. Remember: the ultimate Bettie Bangs are actually U-shaped, and not straight across.

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