22 Beauty and Health Fads from the ’70s That Are Inconceivable Now

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The ’70s were known for their eclectic mix of fashion, music, and cultural trends. However, when it comes to beauty and health, some practices from that era are best left in the past. From questionable diets to bizarre beauty rituals, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore 22 fads from the ’70s that are inconceivable in today’s wellness-conscious society.

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The Cabbage Soup Diet

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In the ’70s, the Cabbage Soup Diet became a quick fix for shedding pounds. Advocates of this fad praised the consumption of unlimited cabbage soup to achieve significant weight loss in a short period. However, nutrition experts warn against its potential health risks and lack of sustainability today. Relying solely on cabbage soup deprives the body of essential nutrients and may lead to adverse health effects. 

Sun-In Hair Lightener

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Sun-In Hair Lightener gained popularity in the ’70s for its promise of providing sun-kissed highlights without sun exposure. The product typically sprayed onto hair before sun exposure, contained chemicals that purportedly lightened hair when activated by sunlight. However, its harsh chemical composition often resulted in unpredictable and undesirable hair color changes, including turning hair orange. 

The Grapefruit Diet

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The Grapefruit Diet was a popular weight loss regimen in the ’70s that advocated consuming grapefruit with every meal to accelerate weight loss. Proponents claimed that the fruit’s enzyme properties aided in burning fat, rapidly shedding excess pounds. However, relying solely on grapefruit neglects other essential food groups, potentially resulting in nutrient deficiencies and adverse health effects. 

Baby Oil Sunbathing

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In the ’70s, achieving a deep tan was highly coveted, leading many individuals to resort to baby oil sunbathing to accelerate the tanning process. This practice involved slathering the skin with baby oil to intensify the sun’s effects and achieve a darker complexion. However, the detrimental effects of prolonged sun exposure and the absence of sun protection pose significant risks to skin health. 

The Sleeping Beauty Diet

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The Sleeping Beauty Diet was a controversial weight loss method popularized in the ’70s that involved sedating oneself for extended periods to suppress appetite and avoid consuming calories. However, health experts say prolonged sedation disrupts normal bodily functions, poses serious health risks, and perpetuates unhealthy attitudes toward food and body image. 

Candy Necklaces

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Candy necklaces, while not inherently harmful, were popular in the ’70s, especially among children and adolescents. These edible jewelry items consisted of colorful candy beads strung together on an elastic string and worn around the neck. Despite their playful appeal, consuming sugary candies as accessories raises concerns about dental health and excessive sugar intake. 

Rollerskate Workouts

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Rollerskating emerged as a popular form of exercise in the ’70s, with many individuals incorporating it into their fitness routines to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health. Modern fitness enthusiasts typically engage in more diverse activities that target different muscle groups and offer varied fitness benefits.

Tanning Beds

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Tanning beds experienced a surge in popularity during the ’70s as a convenient alternative to sunbathing to achieve a bronzed complexion. These indoor tanning devices emitted artificial UV radiation to stimulate melanin production in the skin, which gave people a tan. However, research has linked tanning bed use to an increased risk of skin cancer, premature aging, and other dermatological issues. 

The ThighMaster

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The ThighMaster was marketed as a tool for toning and slimming the thighs. It claimed to provide a targeted workout with minimal effort. However, fitness experts now recognize that spot reduction, the idea of selectively losing fat from specific body parts, is a myth. While resistance training can build muscle and improve muscle tone, it alone cannot spot-reduce fat. 

Blue Eye Shadow

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Blue eye shadow was a quintessential makeup trend of the ’70s, characterized by bold and vibrant hues applied liberally to the eyelids. This striking look was embraced by fashion icons and everyday individuals alike, becoming synonymous with the era’s glamorous aesthetic. Today, the heavy application of blue eye shadow seen in the ’70s has largely fallen out of favor. Modern makeup trends tend to favor more subtle and natural-looking eye looks.

The Drinking Man’s Diet

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The Drinking Man’s Diet gained popularity in the ’70s as a weight loss regimen tailored to men who wished to shed excess pounds without giving up alcohol. This high-protein, low-carb diet emphasized indulgence in steak, burgers, and other protein-rich foods while limiting carbohydrate intake. Today, we know that excessive intake of red meat and alcohol is associated with various health risks, including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, making the Drinking Man’s Diet an outdated and potentially harmful approach to weight loss.

The Slim Sauna Suit

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The Slim Sauna Suit, a popular fitness garment in the ’70s, was made from non-breathable materials such as plastic or rubber. These sauna suits trap heat and moisture close to the body, mimicking the effects of a traditional sauna. While wearing a sauna suit may result in temporary water weight loss through increased sweating, the loss is quickly regained once rehydration occurs. Moreover, the risk of dehydration, overheating, and heat-related illnesses outweighs any potential benefits.

Smoking for Weight Loss

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In the ’70s, smoking cigarettes was often promoted as an appetite suppressant and weight loss aid, particularly among women. The nicotine in cigarettes was believed to curb hunger and cravings. However, the health risks associated with smoking, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems, far outweigh any perceived benefits for weight management. 

Roller Disco

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Roller discos combine the exhilaration of rollerskating with the infectious beats of disco music. Roller rinks transformed into dance floors where participants could showcase their skating skills while grooving to disco classics. Although roller discos are less prevalent today, they remain a cherished cultural relic, offering nostalgia and entertainment to enthusiasts of all ages. 

The Grapefruit Lip Balm Diet

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The Grapefruit Lip Balm Diet was a peculiar weight loss trend in the ’70s that claimed sniffing grapefruit-scented lip balm could suppress appetite and curb cravings. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of this method, and the notion that inhaling lip balm could influence appetite is unsubstantiated. 

The Drinking Straw Diet

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The Drinking Straw Diet advocated for weight loss by using straws to limit food and liquid intake. Proponents claimed that sipping beverages through a straw slowed down consumption, leading to reduced calorie intake and subsequent weight loss. However, this approach overlooks the importance of mindful eating habits and balanced nutrition in achieving sustainable weight management. 

Excessive Hair Teasing

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Excessive hair teasing was a hallmark of ’70s hairstyling. This technique involved combing hair against its natural direction to create lift and volume, often resulting in extravagant bouffants or towering beehives. While voluminous hair remains a desirable aesthetic, the damaging effects of excessive teasing, including breakage, split ends and hair loss have led to a decline in its popularity. 

The Hot Pants Workout

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Hot pants, or tight shorts, were a fashion staple of the ’70s. The theory behind the Hot Pants Workout was that the added heat generated by tight clothing would increase perspiration and calorie expenditure during exercise. However, research has shown that any weight loss associated with wearing hot pants is due to temporary water loss through sweating rather than fat loss. Furthermore, tight clothing can impede movement and cause discomfort during physical activity, detracting from the overall exercise experience.

The Cookie Diet

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The Cookie Diet, popularized in the ’70s, promoted weight loss by consuming specially formulated cookies as meal replacements. These cookies, touted as low-calorie and nutrient-rich, were intended to satisfy hunger while facilitating calorie restriction and subsequent weight loss. However, relying on cookies alone neglects the importance of balanced nutrition and dietary variety in supporting overall health and well-being.

Plastic Sweat Suits

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Plastic sweat suits, worn during workouts to promote sweating and water weight loss, gained popularity in the ’70s fitness scene. These suits, typically made from non-breathable materials such as plastic or rubber, trapped heat and moisture close to the body, resulting in profuse sweating. While wearing a plastic sweat suit may lead to temporary water weight loss, the loss is quickly regained upon rehydration. 

The Moon Diet

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The Moon Diet, a pseudoscientific weight loss regimen popularized in the ’70s, claimed that lunar cycles could influence metabolism and weight loss. Followers of this diet were instructed to fast during specific phases of the moon, purportedly to harness the moon’s gravitational pull for enhanced fat burning. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of the Moon Diet, and its premise is based on unfounded beliefs about lunar influence on human physiology. 

DIY Hair Perms

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DIY hair perms, prevalent in the ’70s, allowed individuals to achieve curly hairstyles at home without needing professional salon services. These at-home perm kits typically contained harsh chemicals that altered the hair’s structure, resulting in permanent waves or curls. However, the unpredictable results and potential for hair damage associated with DIY perms led to numerous hair disasters and regrets. 

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