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Bobby pins are probably one of the most used items in your hairstyling stash—but chances are you don’t give them much thought beyond being tiny tools to lock your strands in place. If that’s the case, we’re here to tell you that you’re missing out. These tried and true pins can actually help fix a multitude of beauty blunders and provide solutions in almost every beauty category (we’re talking hair, makeup, and nails). To make the most of your bobby pins, try out these 11 hacks that can help instantly upgrade your beauty game.
Curling your hair with a wand or barrel iron can be quite the process—and spirals can often fall flat once they’ve cooled. If you’ve ever had this dreaded experience happen to you, we’re sure you’d love to find a fix. Thankfully, we have just the tip to help keep your hair from looking lifeless by the time you’re finished curling. Piece by piece, use a curling wand or iron to curl your hair. While each piece is still hot, roll it back up into a tight curl and pin it up with bobby pins. When your hair has cooled down, slip the bobby pins out and let your locks loose.
A visible elastic can really ruin the perfect ponytail, which is why we love to hide our hair ties using bobby pins. Just pull your hair into a ponytail as you normally would, then grab a piece of hair from the edge. Wrap the strand around your elastic before pinning in place with a bobby pin. Your elastic will be effectively hidden for a more mature, elevated style. And that’s a wrap!
If you think your ponytail looks a touch too drab, you can punch it up with the help of a few bobby pins. Insert the pins vertically into your elastic so that they’re facing downwards. The pins act as tiny props, lifting your pony up.
Sometimes bobby pins start to slack on how well they grip and hold your hair, but there’s an easy solution. To help amplify the holding power of your pins, spray them with a strong hold hairspray, such as the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold. After spritzing your pins, insert them as needed into your style—before the spray has dried down. The grip of your hairspray and the pins will work together to lock your look into place for longer.
Here’s the deal: if you already know this hack, you’re bound to be nodding along like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. But if you don’t…this could just be a total beauty game changer for you. There’s a possibility you could be using your pins the wrong way. We know it’s hard to believe, but it’s actually a pretty common occurence. You may be consistently inserting bobby pins with the grooved side up, that’s actually not the best idea. The smooth, flat side of your pin should always face upwards, with the grooves facing down. This way, your pins won’t slide or shift throughout the day. Try it—we think you’ll be impressed!
Taking the leap and giving your hair a major chop can be extremely scary. That’s why it makes sense if you want to take short styles for a temporary test drive. Instead of picking up a wig, just use bobby pins to pretend your way to a new length. To fake a bob, separate your hair into a top and bottom section. With the bottom section, pin the pieces tightly to your head. Let the top layer of your hair down, hiding all your pinned sections. Fold the ends of the strands under, rolling them under the bottom section and holding them in place with bobby pins. Ta-da! When you’re tired of sporting short tresses, all you have to do is pull your pins out.
Decorating your hair is an easy way to elevate any style, and you don’t even need to buy hair accessories to do it. All it takes is a bunch of bobby pins. Use your pins to adorn your hair with different shapes and patterns. Let your creativity flow or try a few of our favorites: triangles, arrows, hashtags, X’s, and diamonds. Basically, anything with straight lines works!
Bangs can be a serious commitment—sometimes you might just get tired of having hair in your face all the time. And that feeling multiplies when you’re in the midst of growing out your bangs—talk about a laborious process. Instead of suffering in fringe-faced silence, use bobby pins to pull your bangs back. Try styling your bangs into a small French braid and pinning the ends down. This gives you the best of both worlds—a chic braided style and no grown out strands hanging in your face.
News flash: Bobby pins can be used for more than just helping you style your hair. If you need a marvelous mani and don’t have any nail art tools on hand, pick up a bobby pin. Use the rounded end of a pin, dipped in polish, to make dots on your nails. Once you’ve mastered dots, you can use the simple shape to create everything from flowers to leopard print! If you get polish around the edges of your nails, wait for it to dry, then use a clean bobby pin to gently push the excess away.
When applying false lashes, applying the perfect amount of lash glue to your strip of lashes can be beyond tricky. You don’t want too little because then your lashes won’t stick, but too much can leave you with a gooey mess. Instead of trying to squeeze out just the right amount of glue directly onto the lashes, use a bobby pin as lash glue applicator. Apply the glue to the tip of your pin, and use that to deposit just the right amount of glue along the lash strip. Wait for the glue to become tacky before applying and you’re good to go.
Even if you consider yourself masterful with makeup, you probably struggle with getting the perfect winged eyeliner from time to time. To put an end to your struggle, we have a tip for getting a razor-sharp cat eye, even for those of us with the shakiest of hands. And of course, it involves a bobby pin. Place the straight edge of a pin against the outer corner of your eye and use it as a guide for your eyeliner. If you attempt to color outside of the lines, the excess liner will end up on the pin instead of your skin.
Want more hacks? We’ve got you covered. Speed up your beauty routine by trying these time-saving hacks.