Hands-Down Complete Guide to Hair Accessories


If you’ve ever stood, overwhelmed, in the hair accessory aisle at the store, you know there are a lot of options. We’ve created this guide, as well as some tips from this resource section to help you know what works best for your hair so you can make a wise selection.



Perfect for longer hair, there are a couple of varieties that keep your hair out of your face while also providing extra volume when viewed from the front:

  • Jaw clips: These are the popular spring-loaded clips that close like a clamp around hair that’s wrapped ortwisted. Wearers can gather their hair into a twist, then put the open clip around either side of the twist and close. These come in a bunch of sizes, including mini versions.
  • Banana clips: Now retro, these darlings of the 1980s are shaped like a banana and hold the hair with many teeth along the entire back of the head.

    Like with clips, there are endless iterations. Here are the main groups:

  • Barrettes: These hold hair in place on the sides or back of the head. The popular half-up look is achieved using a barrette.
  • Snap Clips: Commonly used by kids, these metal clips bend one way when open and the other when closed, making them ideal for one-handed application.

    Some of these cover just the top portion of the hairline, while others go all the way around:

  • Casual: Wide metal bands, sporty elastic headbands, and narrow plastic versions come in many colors and styles.
  • Fancy: When the list includes beaded headbands, tiaras, and other variations, you are talking about headbands worn to special occasions.

    With multiple teeth meant to grab and hold hair, combs can be made of metal or plastic in a myriad of colors. Here are two common types you’ll see:

  • French: These are usually about three inches long and take a little practice putting in. Wearers must insert them upside down and backwards before turning them over to lock tresses into place.
  • Stretchy: Like the French comb but in a circle format so it goes around the entire head.

    Endless Elastics
    At least a thousand options exist in this category, but they can be described in one of two ways:

  • Bands: Simply called “ponytail holders,” elastic bands work for both long hair and shorter hair. They can be small, large, colorful, or include decorative beads.
  • Scrunchies: Basically comprising a piece of elastic covered by fabric, scrunchies bring color and a fuller look when worn to contain a ponytail or bun.

    Softer Side
    Not all hair-control devices have to be hard or pull hair tightly. Some women prefer to corral their locks using fabrics or other soft materials. Consider this approach:

  • Head scarves: These colorful pieces of cloth can be worn in different ways, depending how much hairline you want to show or how many times you want to wrap the fabric around.
  • Hair wraps: You might want to don one of these to make sure your fancy ‘do survives a windy ride in the convertible. They can be worn with any length of hair.

    This and That
    You can also avail yourself of these handy tools when trying to achieve the ultimate hairstyle:

  • Sticks
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair pieces

    When it comes to hair control, women have myriad options depending on their desired look. We’ve outlined all the basic categories for hair accoutrements.

    Hair & Beauty

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