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10 Ways to Use Bobby Pins Creatively: Hairstyles and Beyond

“Just as some people do not rise from their beds without putting their eyeglasses on, Mother never left the house any day of her life that I remember without at least two bobby pins in her hair.” (Priscilla Marie Hubenak, “The Bobby Pin”). These seemingly insignificant tiny accessories have become a critical part of hairstyling for decades now. Have you ever wondered why they are called bobby pins (perhaps instead of bobbie)? Do you know who actually invented the bobby pin? Traveling a bit back in history shows that the term “bobby” comes from “bobbed hair”, a popular style after the First World War. Luis Marcus was the inventor of the bobby pin, who unfortunately didn’t get around to enjoying the profits from his product. His daughter, Elaine Marcus, explains that “There was talk of naming it the Marcus pin, but he named it for bobbed hair”.

Nowadays, if we were to be stranded on a deserted island and we had to pick just one item from each essential category to take with us, bobby pins would be, without a doubt, our choice for hair accessories. Japanese, Spanish, American… any woman from any country in the world, no matter if she has short, medium, long, blonde, brunette, thick or thin hair, cannot resist the practicality and stylishness of bobby pins for their everyday hair issues. No other type of hairpins can compare to the good old bobby: it is virtually invisible when interweaved in your locks and can save you a horrible hair day in a matter of minutes. Professional brands like Scunci, Conair, Goody, Metagrip, Marianna, Flamingo, Jane Tran or Diane offer jumbo packs of big or small, straight or spiral, made from plastic or metal, simple or decorative with crystal, jeweled, beaded or rhinestone details, colorful or black / white bobby pins, so you have a large variety to choose from when shopping for basic hair accessories (make sure that you do not confuse your searches with Fallout 3 booby pins, Bobby Pins Diary, the Bobby Pins & Blush studio or the Bobbi Pins salon in Glendora). An alternative to buying bobby pins that are already decorated with flower, pearl or other fancy details is customizing your own pins. In this article, we will show you how to use a bobby pin in 10 different, creative ways, including the best types of bobby pin hairstyles, how to pick a lock with a bobby pin and even how to use one when painting your nails. Read all about them below!

1. Bobby Pin Curls

A cute and chic way to wear wide curls is by using bobby pins to get the hairstyle right. You don’t need to use a curling iron; you can easily get finger waves, long and soft curls or other retro styles if you curl your hair with bobby pins.

2. Triangle Bobby Pins Design

A fun and creative way of using bobby pins is by playing around with several pieces. You can use three bobby pins to make a triangle that holds up your “half up, half down” style, just make sure that you are using bobby pins with a fine grip so they don’t slip off.

You can pump up your ponytail with bobby pins.

3. Ponytail Pump with Bobby Pins

Use bobby pins to prop up your ponytail when it lacks fluff. What you have to do is take two extra bobby pins and place them vertically on the bottom side of your ponytail, under your hair.

4. Detailed Manicure Art

Make mini patterns and designs on your fingernails only with the help of bobby pins! It is safe to dip a bobby pin in nail polish, so make your nails colored in red, gold or silver circle or polka dots and enjoy your very own creative and chic manicure. Become a master of the craft and play around with design ideas!

5. Retro Pin Up Hair Style

Among hairstyles with bobby pins, it is crystal clear that the twisty retro ones based on 1950s fashion are the most popular. Look for a vintage photo gallery and get inspired by any of the styles presented, I guarantee that any one of them will look splendid on you.

6. How to Use Bobby Pins for Lashes

We all know how annoying it can be for your lashes to bunch together due to mascara. You can separate each lash (both natural and fake varieties) by using a bobby pin. Just make sure that it is clean beforehand.

A faux bob hairstyle made with bobby pins.

7. Faux Bob with Bobby Pins

If you were to choose between a real bob vs a faux bob, you probably would choose the latter if you don’t want to cut your hair. Accentuate your pearls or rhinestones for a classy vintage look by pinning your hair into a faux bob curved at the back of your neck.

8. Funky Bobby Pin Earrings

Create your own decorative bobby pins and make super cool earrings out of them! Paint the bobby pins individually and then connect them to an earring hook for some dazzling drop down beauties.

9. Chevron Pattern with Bobby Pins

We love boosting creativity, so encouraging you to make your own patterns out of bobby pins is a priority for us. You can paint a few pins in the colors of your choice and set them two each (in a shape like this: ^), afterwards placing as many rows as you want one after the other.

Using a bobby pin for picking a lock.

10. Life Hacks with Bobby Pins

  • Easy Zipper Pull – connect to a broken zipper to be able to pull it down.
  • How to Pick a Lock with Bobby Pins – if you can’t find the key to your locked car or door or if you can’t remember your locker combination code, you can unlock them by picking them open with bobby pins.
  • Pit Olives or Cherries – use bobby pins to pit cherries or olives without destroying their shape.
  • Store Your Bobby Pins – use a magnetic strip as a bobby pin holder or store them in an empty Tic Tac case.

* Do NOT use bobby pins to remove ear wax, it can be dangerous for your well-being.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

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