15 ways to use a bobby pin
Hair Tools

The Efficiency of A Bobby Pin: 15 Ways To Style Hair Using One

The Notorious Bobby Pin

Don’t take these bad boys for granted. They are the most used and misplaced item in our hair cabinet. I bet you can relate.

Bobby pins are the ultimate product to have! If bobby pins were at a concert, they would most likely work backstage, making sure everything, from the performers to the lights were always in place and on point. They are the go-to item. They bring easiness and security to hair.

What Are Bobby Pins?

A bobby pin is a type of hairpin that holds and secures sections of hair in the desired place. The “bobby pin” is a flexible and straightforward double pronged metal hairpin used to keep hair in place. For a grip on the hair, it ridged on one side, and other is straight. Some bobby pins have either both ridged sides or both straight sides.

History of the Bobby Pin

The bobby pin was invented in the early 1900s by Luis Marcus, a cosmetic manufacturer that popularized this hair tool because of the hairstyle, the “bob cut” or the “bobbed hair.”

bobby pins natural curls ponytail

Variety of Bobby Pins

Bobby pins come in different shapes and sizes: some jumbo, some mini. Different types can serve individual purposes. Within each type of bobby pin, there can be differences in the type of pins: those that have ridges and those that do not have them.

The Regular Bobby Pin

These regular bobby pins are standard. The traditional structure is a pin with a straight side and a ridged side.

In a Refinery 29 interview with Clay Nielsen, a stylist, Nielsen shared a detailed description of the bobby pin.

Neilson described four parts of a bobby pin: the eye, ridge, balls, and blade.

  • The Eye- “The eye is the loop that holds the bulk of the hair.”
  • The Ridge- “The wavy side of the pin that is for compression and those spaces help extra hair fit between the blade and the ridge.”
  • Blade- “The blade is the flat side of the pin, and you apply it against the scalp.”
  • Balls- “Supposedly they are for comfort” Some bobby pins do not have this feature.
rihanna sleek black hair clips pins

There are others kinds of bobby pins that are also popular in the market.

Jumbo Bobby Pins

The jumbo bobby pins are larger, longer, thicker and much stronger than a regular bobby pin. Its stronger hold helps with thicker hair. Most jumbo bobby pins have two stronger metal straight prongs made for a secure grip.

Mini Bobby Pin

These cute mini pins look just too cute. They secure the hold of thinner and shorter hair and create a decorative look.

Hairpins

Hairpins are in the bobby pin family, but people usually mistake the hairpin for the “ regular” bobby pin. Both are different regarding the structure and hold. Hairpins have a way less secure hold on the hair. They usually for up-do hairstyles.

bobby pins

Now that you’ve heard a bit about bobby pins let’s talk about the different ways we can use them for our hair–from styling to decorative reasons.

Uses for Bobby Pins

We’ve compiled 15 ways to use bobby pins for your hair whether it is for styling purposes or creativity.

#1 Traditional Use

Bobby pins were traditionally made to keep the hair in place and to help style the hair as desired. The bob cut was a hairstyle that took the bobby pin by storm.

short blonde bob

If you have hair that you want to keep to the side or hair that is constantly in your face and bothering you, use a bobby pin to secure the hair in place. It can clear the annoying loose strands of hair, and you’ll be unbothered for the rest of the day.

#2 Hair Rollers

You can use bobby pins to secure hair rollers. It’s just another way to keep the same method of curling your hair to achieve those beautiful and bouncy curls. The jumbo hair pins are perfect for this.

What You Need:

Plenty bobby pins, plastic hair rollers, hair styling product (optional), holding spray hair product, a fine-toothed comb, and a flat-iron.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Take a section of your hair.

Step #2

Flat ironed the sectioned hair.

Step #3

Add product to the hair (optional to last longer).

Step #4

Take your roller, then start wrapping your hair on the roller from the end of your hair until you have reached your scalp.

Step #5

Use the bobby pin to hold the very end of your hair against the roller, clipping the roller to your hair that is near the scalp.

Step #6

Add a holding spray or any product that you want to use to style.

Step #7

Unravel the hair on the rollers removing the bobby pin.

Step #8

Style as desired.

curling rods

#3 Making Pin Curls

Bobby pins are great if you want to make pin curls for glamorous curls. You can use regular or jumbo pins.

What You Need:

Plenty bobby pins, hair styling product (optional), holding spray hair product, a fine-toothed comb, and flat-iron.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Take a section of your hair.

Step #2

Flat-iron the sectioned hair.

Step #3

Add product to the hair (optional to last longer).

Step #4

Roll the section of your hair all the way until you have reached your scalp.

Step #5

Pin the curl with a bobby pin.

Step #6

Add a holding spray or any product that you want to use to style.

Step #7

Unravel your pins curls by removing the bobby pin.

Step #8

Style as desired.

pin curls

#4 Jumbo Bobby Pins for Hair Buns

Many women with the longer hair tie their hair in a bun. A bun is a style where the hair is tied back in a twisted style on the head. Days where you don’t want your hair in the way or touching your neck and back, this is a great simple style, and it can easily be achievable with the use of a bobby pin.

What You Need:

At least three regular bobby pins, hairbrush, and a hair rubber band.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Thoroughly brush your hair.

Step #2

Make a ponytail and pack all of your hair in any desired location on your head.

Step #3

Use a rubber band to tie the ponytail.

Step #4

Twist your hair around in a spiral to make a bun.

Step #5

Gently open a bobby pin and slide it in your hair, holding the bun and hair down to your scalp.

Step #6

Use at least three bobby pins around the bun to secure the style.

Hair Bun With a Sock

What You Need:

At least three regular bobby pins, hairbrush, hair rubber band, and a bun sock.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Thoroughly brush your hair.

Step #2

Make a ponytail and pack all of your hair in any desired location on your head.

Step #3

Insert the bun sock down close to your scalp.

Step #4

Spread your hair around the sock

Step #5

Tuck the hair under your bun.

Step #6

Gently open a bobby pin and slide it in your hair, holding the bun and hair down to your scalp.

Step #7

Use at least three bobby pins around the bun to secure the style.

high bun

#5 Great for Holding Down Wigs

When applying a wig, you can also use a bobby pin to help make it feel more secure. Stop your wig from sliding.

What You Need:

Plenty of regular or jumbo bobby pins and a fine-toothed comb.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Place your wig on your head

Step #2

Hook your bobby pin on the lace edge of the wig and your hair close to your scalp.

Step #3

Do the same for different edge parts of your wig.

Step #4

Use a much as you need for a secure hold.

wig heads beauty supply

#6 Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are traditionally African styled coils of hair that have become very popular in the hair world. Different sections of hair coil against the scalp. Bobby pins are of great help when achieving this style.

What You Need:

Plenty of regular bobby pins.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Brush the hair thoroughly.

Step #2

Section out different parts of the hair.

Step #3

Add hair styling product to a section of hair keep hair moisturized.

Step #4

Start coiling the hair by twisting it. Make sure you are twisting one set of hair (not twisting two sets of hair).

Step #5

Start wrapping the hair from the scalp area until you have twisted the whole hair section.

Step #6

Use a bobby pin to secure the hair by hooking the end of the coiled hair and the scalp area for a hold.

bantu knots

#7 High Ponytail

Get the perfect high ponytail with little effort.

What You Need:

Two regular bobby pins, a hairbrush, and a hair rubber band.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Thoroughly brush your hair.

Step #2

Make a ponytail and pack all of your hair in the middle of your head.

Step #3

Hook two of the bobby pins on the rubber band vertically towards your scalp. The balls part of the bobby pin should be on the scalp area.

justine skye high ponytail

#8 Triangle Style Design: Pin your hair back

Need something simple yet a bit stylish? This triangle style of holding back your front hair is more decorative with bobby pins than without. Its very easy and you can style it in no time!

What You Need:

Three bobby pins and a fine-toothed comb.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Grab two front sections of the hair.

Step #2

Bring back both sides of the hair, making sure they are layered on top of each other, centered in the back.

Step #3

Create a triangle shape by pinning the bobby pin around the layered hair.

#9 Braid to the Side Style

Bobby pins are for cute, simple styles. This is an easy “securing a braid to the side” hairstyle. You can style the bobby pin as visible or invisible.

What You Need:

Regular bobby pins and a fine-toothed comb.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Grab a section of your hair on the front side.

Step #2

Braid the section in its entirety.

Step #3

Pull the braid towards the back and use a bobby pin to hold the braid in the back.

#10 Updos

There are updo hairstyles that require a large number of bobby pins to secure the hairstyle. Hairpins are for this kind of style. Hairpins are easier to become invisible which works for the updo hairstyle.

#11 Using Bobby Pins are Decoratives

Lately, they’ve been hairstyles that embrace the bobby pin as its entity. They are for decorative reasons. There are many different ways people have used them. Even Rihanna was seen using regular bobby pins as decoratives.

janelle monae updo

#12 Mini Bobby Pins

Aren’t they so cute? Mini Bobby pins can perform the same functions as a regular Bobby pin. They are usually used for shorter hair to keep the hairstyle aesthetically pleasing.

#13 The Faux Bob

Don’t want to cut your hair, but want to make it shorter? Bobby pins can do that by creating a faux bob.

What You Need:

Plenty bobby pins.

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Decide the length of the bottom half of all your hair that you want to use to shorten your hair.

Step #2

Make a big braid: Braid the whole part of your hair. You can braid loosely.

Step #3

Take that big braid and tuck it under the back of your head.

Step #4

Use bobby pins to secure the big braid.

#14 Use Bobby pins to help Section Your Hair

If you don’t have enough hair clips around, an alternative to them is bobby pins.

When styling your hair, they can help section off some of your hair so that you can focus on another section. You don’t want random parts of your hair to get in the way of the hair you are working on. That can be very annoying.

#15 Use Bobby pins to secure hair pieces

Some hairstyles require us to attach hair piece weaves such as ponytails, buns, hair track pieces. You can use a bobby pin to secure their hair pieces.

What You Need:

Plenty bobby pins

Steps To Achieve

Step #1

Secure the hairpiece in the desired location.

Step #2

Use Bobby pins to add extra hold to the hairpiece.

Unlimited Styles with Bobby Pins

There are far more styles, hacks, and decorative ideas you can use with bobby pins. Not only are they great, but very cheap too. So, you have no reason not to own any. Remember to always keep a few bobby pins in your purse. It’s a necessity. It might just save your life.

What do you usually use Bobby pins for? Comment below.

About Funke Adeniji

As someone who constantly changes her style, Funke grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s "figuring out" her hair. As the industry of hair grew, she also did--understanding the nuances of hair styles and trends that she has constantly adapted. She's a 9 to5er that holds a Sociology degree and lives in Washington, DC.

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