Style File : Hairpin Turns Accessorizing Your Hair

Women have been wrapping bones in their hair since the Stone Age. Over time, hair accessories have become a staple at a woman’s dressing table. Hairstyles can be accented with decorative pins, clips, sticks and combs. These tools help change a look from hip to historical or from glitzy to glamorous.

Whether that mop on your head is thick or thin, curled or straight, take time to learn these simple styles to add flair to your hair. Consider misting your hair or applying small amounts of styling gel to ensure that the look lasts and the hair accessories stay in place.

The Basics

French twist comb: Holds twists, rolls or buns in place; accents classy looks


Renaissance roll: Lassos ponytails with flair

Snood: Net gains for women with either short or long hair

Hair stick: Simple elegance from Asia

Great Moments With Hair

Decorative hairpins, accessories and ornaments can be traced uback to the New Stone Age, which began about 8000 B.C. In Ancient Greece, people wore a narrow band of material, called a fillet, around the head to keep hair in place. Then the locks were dusted with a fine gold powder.

By the mid-1700s, both men and women were decorating their hairdos with feathers, jewels, tassels and other ornaments. The snood, a net bag designed to hold long hair, also was popularized for women.

On the heels of the 1960s flashback, hair sticks are in style again. These thick wooden accessories resembling chopsticks have been in use for hundreds of years to hold hair in place. Today, hair sticks are smaller, easier to handle and available in hot colors

The Hairstyles

Renaissance Rolls

The popularity of this hairstyle may be due in part to the thick elastic bands. Rubber bands and thin elastic can break and damage hair, causing split ends, but these wound or cloth-covered bands roll through strands rather than tug at them.

1) Pull hair into high ponytail

2) Hold ponytail with one hand and wrap band tightly around hair

3) Pull band about four inches out

4) Use both hands to separate hair in the middle and make a hole

5) Flip hair up through hole and pull ponytail completely down

6) Tighten so that band is not visible; adjust bow


Buns lend an air of casual elegance, and they’re fast and easy. They can be held in place with bobby pins, hair sticks or combs. Throughout Asia, women have used hair sticks to hold buns in place and accessorize their look. In Spain, the women hold their buns in place with peinetas , decorative tortoise shell combs.

Simple Bun With Hair Stick

1) Gather hair into tight ponytail and twist several inches to the right

2) Twist and wrap to end of ponytail; tuck any loose coils under bun as you go

3) Tuck end firmly underneath bun

4) Hold in place with bobby pins

5) Angle hair stick up and out at least one inch

6) Insert stick till it touches scalp and reverse direction.

French Twist

1) Gather hair into ponytail; hold with right hand and cup roll with left hand, keeping fingers inside the roll against the scalp

2) Tuck ponytail tightly into roll until all loose hair is held inside

3) Continue to hold roll with left hand, and with right hand, insert decorative comb or hair stick into roll until it lightly touches scalp

4) Reverse direction and push accessory into place; this will tighten the roll

5) If necessary, insert second hair stick

The Snood

Just because your hair is shorter than Annie Lennox’s doesn’t mean you can’t add a splash of material or color or dazzle. The snood--a hair net that clips to the back of the head--is a fabulous accessory for those with long or short hair. Snoods also come with the net filled with hair to give your bob the illusion of length.

1) Pull hair into low ponytail

2) Roll ponytail up until it reaches neck and temporarily hold in place with bobby pins

3) Clip snood into place just above ponytail; fill net with hair

4) Remove bobby pins

Sources: Bullock’s, Nordstrom; Researched by APRIL JACKSON / Los Angeles Times