Old School Hair Product = Lifehack

So this is something I learned years ago in a Hints From Heloise binder that my mother had: there is an old school hairstyling product buried on the bottom shelf of your grocery aisle that is super useful around the house: Alberto VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing. It’s in a little rectangular box that looks like this:
alberto VO5 conditioning hairdressing



The dressing is a mineral oil blend that contains no water or alcohol, so it’s great to condition leathers and metals without worrying about added moisture.


  1. Remove tarnish spots from silver by rubbing some Alberto VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing on with a paper towel or rag.
  2. Put a thin layer of VO5 on bronze or silver to prevent oxidation after polishing.
  3. Soften and restore leather, patent leather, or vinyl by applying VO5 with a paper towel or rag; wipe off excess.
  4. Lubricate stuck zippers or hinges with a very little bit of VO5.
  5. Get a stuck ring to slide off your finger by coating with VO5 and pointing hand upward to allow blood to drain, then pulling the ring off.
  6. Clean paint or other stains off your hands by wiping with VO5 then washing with Dawn dish detergent.
  7. Remove adhesive residue from bandages on skin.
  8. Soften calluses and dry skin on hands, feet, elbows, and knees.
  9. Remove waterproof mascara or other stubborn makeup with some VO5.
  10. Protect your pet’s paw pads by putting a little VO5 on them before going out for a walk in the snow and salt.
  11. Clean up your chrome bumpers or kitchen and bath fixtures by buffing on a bit of VO5.
  12. Prevent wax buildups on candle holders by coating them with VO5 first.
  13. Put it in your hair! For those of us with fine hair who want volume, a pea-sized amount (or less) should only go on split ends. But if you are looking for a wet look, a retro Dagwood, or to tame flyaways, try some Alberto VO5.

Action Shots

Want to see how it works on some leather and metal ballet flats that I hadn’t worn in over a year (thanks COVID)? Scroll down!

tarnish on shoe buckle, faded leather
tarnish on shoe buckle, faded leather
shoes looking pretty gray, not black
shoes looking pretty gray, not black
shoes brought back to life
Looking much better after one pass with VO5

Other Lifehacks

Want to see more of my attempts at being a lifehacker? Check out my DIY category for more ideas.

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