The Proven Pin
Bobby pins and hair pins may be the most overachieving hair accessories in history. From taming baby hairs to that once-in-a-lifetime bridal updo, pins play a key role. Despite their long history, the differences between a bobby pin and a hair pin are not always so obvious.
Bobby Pins – A Beauty Essential
The bobby pin gained popularity in post-World War I when flappers used them to pin their short hair “bobs” in place. Today, everyone seems to have a supply of these hairstyling essentials at the ready to secure hair perfectly in place.
The types of bobby pins available are as varied as the hairstyles they adorn. In addition to the standard pin, there are mini and extra long sizes, crimped and flat designs. These more specific pin styles have evolved to address different hair types and textures and various techniques. Mini pins are ideal for shorter hair or kids and flat pins are coveted for wrap styles and pinning rollers.
PRO TIP: keep the pin closed as you slide it into hair for a tighter grip
Crimped Style: A perfect all-purpose pin that works on all hair types and hairstyles. The crimped design secures hair without slipping and allows room for more hair to fit in the pin.
Flat Style: Preferred for wrap styles and securing rollers. Holds less hair than the crimped style.
Curved Style: This pin forms to the head shape and is often used for wrap styles.
The Flexible Hair Pin
Used similarly to bobby pins, hair pins are also ideal for buns, chignons and updos. Like the bobby pin, the hairpin is double pronged, but its prongs are u-shaped, offering a looser hold, allowing for a more natural, softer finished look. Hair pins are thinner and more flexible than bobby pins, making it easy to bend the ends of the pins; professionals use this method to hook the hair into place more securely.
The Hair Pin Advantage
As with bobby pins, hair pins are available in varied lengths – smaller and more delicate sizes for thin hair or kids hair and longer pins for long or thick hair. Hair pins also come in a variety of colors so they can expertly hide in any hair color.
Hair pins do offer some unique advantages vs the more ubiquitous bobby pins.
Thin and flexible: hair pins are thin and easily hide in buns and chignons; professionals often bend one or both ends to hook securely in hair
Looser styling: with their u-shape, hair pins can lend a looser, more natural finish to styles
Preferred by professionals: while a little less common among consumers, hair pins are a must have for professionals due to their versatility
Built to Last
Bobby pins and hair pins are a staple of vanities, backstage dressing rooms and stylist kits around the world. It is amazing how something so tiny is so fundamental. Pins effortlessly secure hairstyles to the delight of brides, runway models, movie stars and the everyday beauty consumer. And it will no doubt continue to dazzle far into the perfectly coiffed future.