They are commonly found is most bathrooms.
We use them a lot.
They are vital for holding a style snugly in place yet we usually don’t even give them a second thought.
We often lose them but don’t care.
Some of us even buy them by the pound.
Maligned or not, they are must have if you find yourself going with second or third day hair and you use some kind of twist or updo to hide that fact from the less discerning.
Besides, they are often maligned due to no fault of their own. Unless, of course you are using the wrong kind.
Yet there is more to them than meets the eye.
What’s worse, for years I was using them wrong. To find that out was like this amazing aha moment for me.
And you know what? I’ll bet you are using them wrong too.
So I did a little research, watched a few videos and sure enough. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
No wonder it took a handful or two of these guys to hold my ‘do.
To make it worse I was using the wrong ones. Yes, as it turns out there are bobby pins and then there are quality bobby pins. The also rans won’t even hold up to being used once before weakening. They aren’t even good for picking locks. Mostly these worthless wonders are found in drugstores. Which is why you want to just drive on by Walgreens and get quality (read strong) pins at your beauty supply store like Sallys. Strong enough to hold your hair in place all day long.
Trust me on this. It will make a HUGE difference in hold-ability, if that’s even a word.
I know. Such enthusiasm to the point of gushing about a bobby pin?
Yes. These guys are like a beauty secret weapon if used correctly.
So, if you are a confirmed bobby pinner, then this video is, as they say, must see TV.
There are three keys to success with bobby pins.
The Right Pins Matter – A Lot
Quality matters. As is pointed out, Marianna pins are a great choice for those looking for the instant sophistication that comes from stylishly braided hair to a totally feminine updo that suggests lots of flirty attitude. Plus the right pins won’t stretch out and become totally useless nearly as soon.
Hold Is All In the Texture
Fact is not all hair textures work with these pins 100% of the time. Yes, bobby pins will slip out of some more slippery hair types because the strands are like holding onto ice. The cure for fine, silky yet slippery hair? Give them something to grip onto.
Dry shampoo is one common solution. Which is just another use for this super versatile styling product by the way.
Hair spray is another grip enhancer.
Teasing ever so slightly would be a third. And don’t worry. No need to go crazy with the teasing comb. Besides you can do it strategically, as explained in the video, for maximum hold.
Then here’s a variation. Spraying these place holders directly with dry shampoo is another nifty trick. You can do the same with hair spray too. This is a great way to keep longer sideswept bangs in place.
Any of these tips will keep them from slipping out and can help the pins work with thicker hair as well by simply adding a bit of texture for the pins to work with.
Right Sized Sections
If you take too little hair there will be nothing to hold the pin in place. Too much hair too much for the pin to hold in place. Whether your hair is thick or thin also factors in. So you’ll need to experiment a little and find out how much of your hair the pins you have can hold.
Beyond that there is a technique you need to understand.
CrissCross Pinning Explained
This interlocking technique gives you the power of two for super hold. The tip about how to hide the pins in a little twist or braid is especially helpful and clearly explained.
Trust me. It’s time well spent to watch this.
Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making
There are points beyond those. Maybe we’ll also repeat one or two points already made for added emphasis.
Getting flimsy pins with wobbly legs is penny wise and pound foolish. Big mistake. Just saying.
Using pins where both legs are not tightly clamped together does not a good hold make. That’s another styling faux pas.
Remember too that bobby pins are designed to hold hair not defy the laws of gravity. And this is another common mistake too many make. This is why you want the ends of them pointing upwards and the little loop down for maximum hold. Think about it. If you have the ends pointing down the hair can’t help but eventually slid down and out. No more hold.
Using damaged pins where the legs are crossed or that have lost their little plastic tips is not smart either.
Finally it’s very, very, very important to have the flat side out when you are done. No this isn’t just me being all anal.
If you’ve ever noticed there is a flat side and a crimped side to all bobby pins. The crimped side should start out away from your scalp. You then want to twist it so the flat side is out. Hold depends on the twist.
Let me say that another way. You want the shorter, crimped side to start facing towards your scalp. Then twist it when pushing it into the hair so that the smooth side is facing out. This twist will give you amazing hold.
If that’s as clear as mud, the first 30 seconds of this video shows you exactly how to do it.
Note how the crimped or wavy side starts away from the scalp – that’s important. The pin is then twisted and grabs more hair while leaving the flat side out. That’s how to do a bobby pin for incredible hold. If you don’t believe me, maybe this article in Allure magazine can convince you.