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2 Easy Ways to Add Hair Tinsel to Your Hair at Home

This Y2K trend is a great way to add brightness and dimension to your hair without hair dye.
September 09, 2022

Thanks to TikTok, there’s a new way to add brightness and dimension to your strands and we're not talking about a new balayage technique or semi-permanent hair color. We’re talking about hair tinsel. As Y2K beauty trends like claw clips, glossy lips and frosted eyeshadow remain at the forefront of current trends, it only makes sense that hair tinsel is back into the mix.

Whether you love it or hate it, celebrities and influencers are proudly adding shimmery tinsel to their tresses and it works really well. Not only does it give shiny hair a whole new meaning, it has an aspect of playfulness that other hair trends don’t have. And it’s temporary, so there's no need to commit to bleaching or changing your hair color to try it. 

if you’re ready to give hair tinsel a go, don’t feel like you need to make a pricey salon appointment — it’s totally possible (and quite easy) to achieve at home. Read on as we share a step-by-step tutorial for two different ways to add hair tinsel to your strands at home.

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What Is Hair Tinsel?

Hair tinsel are individual strands of shimmering threads that are temporarily secured to your hair to achieve a sparkling, dimensional look. Similar to hair extensions, hair tinsel, also dubbed as “fairy hair” by TikTok, comes in tons of different colors and provides the perfect trendy fix for any occasion. 

Unlike coloring your hair, hair tinsel does not damage your strands (when applied correctly) and it’s temporary. If you’re looking for a fun way to upgrade your strands or wish to elevate your Halloween costume, hair tinsel is perfect for a moment.

Editor’s tip: If you can't decide on a color for your hair tinsel, stick with the classics. Gold is a great complement for blondes and redheads whereas silver provides the perfect pop for brunettes. 

How to Install Hair Tinsel With a Slip Knot 

If you’re looking to rock hair tinsel for a moment in time, the split knot method is the perfect temporary fix. All you need is hair tinsel and a little concentration and the look can easily be yours. Check our steps below.

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1. Brush Your Hair and Clip Up the Top Section

Start by brushing your hair to remove any tangles. This will make installing the hair tinsel an easy process. Depending on where you part your hair, you’ll want to grab an inch-wide section of hair on each side of your part and clip it up. Doing so will help to make sure the tinsel is blended with the rest of your hair. If you add tinsel to the top section of hair, the knot is going to be visible and it’s not going to look seamless with the rest of your hair. 

2. Create a Slip-Knot With the Hair Tinsel

Take your hair tinsel and fold it in half. The tinsel is typically pretty long so this should work, even if you have long hair. At the top loop where your tinsel is folded in half, create a slip knot, leaving it open enough so you can pull hair through. 

3. Separate a Small Section of Hair

Next, grab a small section of hair and by small, we mean an eighth of an inch of hair. A tiny section of hair is best because the next step is to secure the tinsel to your hair with a knot. If the section is too big it’s going to fall out pretty quickly and it may even feel uncomfortable.

4. Secure Your Hair and the Tinsel With a Double Knot

Take the small section of hair you just identified in one hand and grab your tinsel by the slip knot with the other hand. Pull the section of hair through the opening of the slip knot and tighten the loop as you reach the scalp. With the tinsel in one hand and the small section of hair in the other, double knot the two at the roots to secure the hair tinsel. Repeat the process until you reach your desired look and finish by carefully trimming the tinsel to match the length of your hair. 

How to Install Hair Tinsel With Microbeads

Installing your hair tinsel with microbeads is another, much easier way to get the look that lasts much longer than the slip knot method. Similar to the way beaded extensions function, a microbead is placed near the roots to secure the tinsel to your hair. Most hair tinsel will come with a pack of microbeads, a hook and pliers and you will need all those tools for this method. Check our steps below.

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1. Brush Your Hair and Clip Up the Top Section

Brushing your hair is the first step because tangles will make this process a bit more difficult. Along with that, your hair needs to be dry so it’s easier to pull through the bead. Depending on where you part your hair, section off an inch on each side of your part and clip that hair up. This step is especially important because you want to camouflage the microbeads that attach the hair tinsel to your hair. If you install the hair tinsel on the top section of your hair, the microbeads are going to be very noticeable. 

2. Clip the Tinsel to Your Hair 

After you have separated the top section of hair, take the hair tinsel and use a flat clip to secure it right above your part. 

3. Use the Hook to Pull the Tinsel and Hair Through the Microbead

Using the hook that comes with your hair tinsel kit, grab a small section of hair just under where you clipped the tinsel and use it to fish the tinsel and hair through the microbead. 

4. Clamp the Micro Bead

Once your hair and hair tinsel is fished through in the bead, pull the bead up to your scalp and use the pliers to clamp it and secure the hair tinsel. Repeat the process until you have enough tinsel for your liking and finish by carefully trimming the tinsel to match the length of your hair. 

How to Care for Hair Tinsel

Hair tinsel is pretty easy to care for and once you’ve installed it, you can wash your hair as usual. The only thing you want to be careful with is heat styling. Most hair tinsel is heat resistant to a certain degree but you definitely don’t want to overdo it with the heat. 

If you plan on using heat, prime your strands (tinsel included) with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant or the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In. Another good tip is you use your hot tools on the lowest temperature setting and only pass through each section of hair once if possible. If you can avoid applying heat to your tinsel altogether, that’s always the best option.

As for how long hair tinsel lasts, the slip knot method lasts a couple of weeks. Eventually, the knots will loosen and the tinsel will fall out on its own. Hair tinsel attached with microbeads may last about a month or so. The beads will loosen with time and some may fall out on their own. To speed up the process, you can use the pliers that come with your hair tinsel kit to gently loosen the bead.

Next: How to Do Your Own Box Braids

Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo credit: Lindsey @/IG lindseypamatmat, @/IG hair.bymackenzie, Design by: Sarah Duvivier

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