Despite my adoration for bobby pins, I sure spend a lot of time trying to hide them inside my hair. One of the first things I learned in beauty school is that when styling hair, bobby pins should be 100 percent function and practicality, never seen and always hidden, like some sort of sacrifice for the greater good. Well, I say free your pins, people! Rules are meant to be broken after all. Here are two unique ways to let your bobby pins shine.
In sixth grade, I started at a new school. The first friend I made was Therese, a spunky no-nonsense girl obsessed with good grunge music and having a bad attitude. During one of our first conversations, she asked me if I liked Nirvana or Green Day better. She was really into Gwen Stephani, so she had her mom bleach her hair white and buy her little bindis to wear on her forehead.
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When Gwen wore buns to an awards show, Therese got a bun form and blew our minds. Even as a sixth-grader, she was always on top of trends and the first to try the newest hairstyle or alternative fashion.
After the buns and the bindis came Hard Candy Nail Polish. These polishes included a line of perfect pastel colors donned with little sparkly plastic rings that made all the sixth-grade girls go crazy. Unfortunately for us, Hard Candy polish was $12, so I stuck with the Wet ‘n Wild. Therese sometimes let me use her Hard Candy colors, bringing our favorite pastels to school so we could paint our nails with our hands under our desks so our teacher wouldn’t see.
And when that got old, we painted our bobby pins.
Hell if we were gonna pay $10 for sparkly pastel bobby pins when we could make our own! In honor of my 12-year-old riot grrrl days, I am pulling this crafty little trick out of the back pocket of my JNCO jeans to share with you and yours.
Here is your chance to make a statement with bobby pins and wear them proudly.
For this little project, you will need some bobby pins (I like to mix and match the big ones and little ones), nail polish in whatever colors you like best, and a piece of cardboard or card stock. Don’t worry about spending $12 on the fancy stuff, any polish from Walgreens works just fine as long as there is a decent selection of pastel and jewel-tone colors.
First, secure your pins to the cardboard or card stock with enough space to use different colors of polish and not accidentally mix or muck up the other pins. Second, apply the polish to the smooth, flat side of the bobby pins and let the polish dry before applying the second coat. If you want to add glitter or gems, glue those on before applying the polish in order to ensure they will stick on. Apply your second coat, let your pins air dry, and voila – beautiful, colorful bobby pins!
Gaze Into My Crystal Ball
Not into pastels? Get witchy with crystal bobby pins! A close friend of mine brought me a tiny bag of perfectly sparkly crystals from the Mount Ida Crystal Mine and I turned them into a great style accessory. You can attach almost anything to a bobby pin and stick it in your hair, so why not crystals?
For this little project, you will need clear drying glue (personally, I love Eco glue), a scrap of leather, two bobby pins, some scissors, and 10-15 very small rough crystals.
First, take two of the leather scraps and cut them rectangularly to match the size of the two bobby pins you have selected for this project. Next, secure the bobby pins to the leather straps with the leather in between the smooth, flat side and the curved side.
With your pins flat side down, squirt a thick line of glue down the leather strips and on top of the flat side of the bobby pins. Make sure that the glue covers the pin entirely and the exposed leather sections entirely. Next, take your largest crystals and lay them neatly in the center of the glue. Add a slightly smaller sized crystal on either side of the first
Make sure the crystals are securely snuggled against each other and are covered by the glue, and then set them aside for a full day and night to dry.
Wear your crystal pins in any boho-inspired hairstyle for an added earthy bling!
Bobby Pin Basics – How to Use Bobby Pins for Basic Styles
Everywhere I go, I leave a trail of bobby pins behind me. If I ever can’t find one, I just check the cracks in the baseboards in any given room in my house. I have quite literally marked my territory with these things. My dear devoted dude, Jonny has tried half-jokingly to put a house-wide ban on bobby pins. He also finds them everywhere but is significantly less amused.
The omnipresence of bobby pins in my life is comforting to me despite the annoyance they may cause others, and my poor jammed up a vacuum. Bobby pins are reliable; I know that if I ever need one, a bobby pin hairstyle is close by. All I have to do is look on the floor or in a corner, under the couch cushions, or even in a purse or coat pocket.
Along with their incredible usefulness for hairstyling, bobby pins make great tools for other general life situations. They are helpful anytime you may need something pokey or a tool to dig something small out of an even smaller space. I am not ashamed to admit that I have a wide array of things hanging around my home that are held together by jerry-rigged bobby pins. One of my all-time favorite listicles includes practical uses for bobby pins that don’t involve hairstyling, and I am also not ashamed to admit that I have tried many of these DIY, in-a-pinch hacks.
My favorite bobby pins for hair styling purposes are the Goody Styling Essentials three-inch bobby pins for longer hair and the Marianna classic brown bobby pins for everyday styles. These pins are nothing fancy, but I don’t go anywhere without some. You never know when yours or somebody else’s ‘do is going to come unhinged!
How to Use a Bobby Pin
Correctly using a bobby pin hairstyle is really quite simple. To secure your hair, insert the curved pin side down, leaving them smooth, the flat side exposed.
Other than that, there really are no rules when pinning. You can use bobby pins to secure one strand, two, or several. You can use them to pin an up-do, a bun (or two or more!), curls, braids, or anything in between. The possibilities are literally endless! Bobby pins can be used on every hair type at almost any length to create creative styles that abound.
The trick to keeping your bobby pins in place is not to overload them with hair. If you open a pin and try to secure too much hair, you’ll find the pins rejecting your hair and falling out. Instead, start pinning by lightly weaving the bobby pins through smaller sections of your hair. This technique may take a little bit longer and require more bobby pins when styling, but by gathering smaller bits of hair at a time, the bobby pins are better able to connect styled pieces of your hair to the rest of your ‘do, thus leaving a lot less room for error.
Criss Cross Pinning
When working with extremes, including super thick hair or very fine hair, crisscross pinning is a great way to use bobby pins for styling effectively. Super thick or super fine hair can be a difficult texture to style because of its rebellious nature. However, crisscrossing bobby pins is a great way to tackle this type of mane.
In order to successfully criss-cross pin, start your bobby pin hairstyles (curved side down) at one end of the hair parting, and literally criss-cross bobby pins along the parting of your hair, creating a grid pattern for a solid structure. See photos for more details.
Curious about more ways to use bobby pins? Check out my creative bobby pin tutorial for more crafty projects.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.