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New Hair, Hairstyles, Haircut & Hairloss Articles & Tips 1997 - 2014

Hair Accessory Tips For Long Hair

Karen Marie Shelton 
Date: 06/12/2006

Introduction

Daisy Fuentes
With
Soft Bandeau Style Headband

Hair accessories are my absolute passion, which explains that there are currently over 10,000 hair accessories to choose from in HairBoutique.com's Marketplace.

Not only have I been the primary buyer of any hair accessory collection for short, medium or long hair,  that has ever been featured at the  HairBoutique.com Marketplace, I also have designed a few hair accessories including the current Karen Marie Le Fleur silk flower collection. 

My love of hair accessories has driven me to take tons of classes learning to blow torch my way through metal and carefully hand applying Swarovski crystals to a myriad of barrettes and pony elastics.

Since hair accessories are my passion you won't be surprised to hear that I have practiced applying hair accessories to tons of hair in every length imaginable.  I even glued Swaroski crystals to a completely bald head at one point.

One common misconception is that hair accessories are safe for anyone to wear.  This is not necessarily true because some hair accessories, especially those in the less expensive category, may have rough edges and cause rips, snags, pulls and tears to cherished long strands.

Types Of Hair Accessories For Long Hair

Hair accessories, for all hair types and all lengths (short, medium long & super long) and textures (fine, wavy, curly) are primarily designed to be:

  1. Functional hair tools to help hold tresses firmly in place.

  2. Decorative only hair embellishments to add splash & sparkle or finish to a style.

  3. Combination of functional and decorative - hold hair and add sparkle in the process.

Continued below ↓
 

Hair Accessories Available For Long Hairstyles include:

  1. Hair pins which include bobby pins - plain and jewel encrusted.

  2. Headbands - U shaped and soft - bandeaus

  3. Pony Elastics & Pony Wraps

  4. Barrettes - Migali, Tige Boule & Baby

  5. Hair Sticks, Hair Forks & Single Pins

  6. Hair Clips - Salon, Jaw, Claw

  7. Silk Flowers - Clips, Bobby Pin

  8. Floating Gems - Snaps, Magnets

  9. Hair Combs - Regular, mini combs & jeweled

  10. Snoods - Attached to mini barrettes or combs

  11. Bun Wraps - Adjustable for small hair

  12. Tiaras - Small & tiara combs

1.  Hair pins & Bobby Pins

Hair pins date back to the earliest periods in recorded history.  Two basic varieties of hair pins commonly exist which are the open ended pin types or the bobby pins that have a closed end.  Both types can easily be used with short strands, whether for functional use or for decorative use.

Allysa Milanon
Two Tiny Bobby Pins
At Front Crown

Hair pins and bobby pins come in all lengths and the mini hair pins and bobby pins can be easily worn by people with short tresses to hold back stubborn strands or bangs that are growing out. 

While hair pins rarely are available with added sparkle, bobby pins are often embellished with everything from crystals to semi-precious or precious stones.

Bobby pins decorated with Swarovski crystal pearls or white crystals are very popular with brides.  Many brides will layer jeweled encrusted bobby pins under a clear veil for a spectacular effect. 

Jewell encrusted bobby pins also add a simple splash of elegance for a very short crop or similar hairstyle when added to the front of the hairline or along the side.

2.  Headbands

Allison Mack
in
Skinny Black
 U Shaped Hard Style Headband

In the current fashion arena, headbands are sizzling hot.  Trust me when I tell you that they come in every imaginable size, shape, material and width.  Mini headbands that are only 1/8 to 1/4" in width are popular for instantly adding sophistication to any length of strands. 

For slippery strands, headbands that have a thin width are also available with a range of "teeth" to help anchor the band to the hair without it slipping off.

Thin width metal bands encrusted with crystals or semi-precious stones are also very lovely and can help to finish a look.  Depending on what country you live in, head bands might be called Alice bands or just bands.

Under the headband category there are two basic types of designs.  These include:

Alyssa Milano
in
Soft Headwrap
Charmed On The WB

A.  The U shaped "hard" headbands built upon a metal, plastic or form form that is then covered with silk, satin, cotton or other fabrics or crystals, flowers or other materials.  I have seen U shaped hard headbands covered in wooden beads, sequins, glass pearls and even rope.

B.  The soft bands which may be called head wraps, bandeaus, or durags (also known as doorags).  Depending on the design, the soft bands may or may not have either embedded elastic or they might include strings that tie the band in place. 

Soft bands come in just about every width but are usually designed to instantly adjust to the head size and shape. 

Depending on your head shape, hair type and face shape, you may or may not enjoy the results that soft bands provide.  

3.  Pony Elastics

Long hair is perfect for wearing in any type of pony or braid style.  Pony elastics are a necessary tool for hold hair or braids firmly in place.  The key to using hair elastics is to use ones that will not rip or pull your strands. 

If you are concerned about any type of snagging, opt for the famous Bungee band which opens and closes and can be wrapped more than one time around the base of a pony.

Blax elastic bands offer the option to cut them off when removing the ponytail.  Many celebrity hairdressers only use either Bungee or Blax bands on long hair. 

Covered elastic bands can also work but there is more risk of tugging and pulling strands.  Pony wraps that literally wrap around the base of the ponytail are a great option for long or super long tresses.

4.  Barrettes

Sharon Osbourne With
Jewel Encrusted Migali Style
Baby Barrette

Barrettes are also designed into categories. 

These include:

1.  Migali Clips which are specifically designed to only hold a small volume of hair. They can be utilized by people with long or very long tresses if they are worn just as small frosting or accents.

Mini barrettes made with the Tige Boule design are also good options.

While they have limited functionality to help hold back small cowlicks or other hair sections, they are often decorative in nature.  They work perfectly for super short or short tresses. 

Migali Clips are available in very ornate designs that could easily be worn to a wedding, by a bride or to a special formal event when worn only as an accent piece for long tresses.

Alyssa Milano
With
Tiny Baby Barrette In Front Hairline Section

2.  Baby Barrettes are the standard type barrettes but scaled way down to hold only small amounts of hair and be used only as an accent accessory for long hair.

Baby Barrettes come in both functional and jeweled encrusted designs.  Similar to a Migali Clip, they are often considered sturdier and less fragile than the Migali.

3.  Long & Skinny Barrettes are designed to substitute for pony elastics.  Depending on how long or how thick your hair is, they may or may not work to create a "hair friendly" ponytail.

The reason that the long and skinny is a good option is because it is made with 100% handcrafted cellulose (faux tortoise) and has a soft 14K gold plated spring clip that is less likely to rip or tear hair than traditional barrettes.

For dressy hair accessories hand crafted with Swarovski and semi-precious designs that are suitable for small accent accessories on long tresses check out the Linda Levinson (a fine jeweler by training) Collection which is exclusively available through HairBoutique.com.

For functional but elegant hand crafted celluose (faux tortoise) Migali, Tige Boule and Baby Barrettes for small accent accessories worn along the hairline or tucked into the bang area check out HairBoutique.com's France Luxe collection.

5.  Hair sticks

Although hair sticks are considered a traditional hair accessory and have not been a sizzling hot fashion trend for some years now, many people with long or super long hair enjoy wearing hair sticks for both casual and dressy hair events.

The biggest downside to hair sticks is learning to use them properly.

6.  Hair Clips - Claws, Jaws, Condor Clips

The claw and jaw clips started life as plain salon clips.  From the simple salon clip the hair accessory world has developed and embellished more sophisticated clips that are designed to look like the claws or jaws of birds or other animals.  There is a lot of disagreement over what actually qualifies for a claw versus a jaw. 

A lot is determined by the manufacturer of the line and what name they give the clips.  Those names can include condor, Concorde (after the plane), banana clips, salon clips or even spider clips.

Just like all the other hair accessories mentioned in this article, claws and jaws come in miniature versions. They also are made in various types of materials including metal, hand cut or poured plastic.

To cover all the minute details that I have learned about hair clips over the past ten years would take many hundreds of pages.  Therefore, I will leave it to this overview paragraph for now.

7.  Silk Flowers

Kelly Osborune With
Large Silk Hair Flower

Trust me, after spending literally months touring silk flower warehouses around the world, I have discovered that they come in every size, shape, hue and material.  Silk flowers can be made of a dizzying array of fabrics including paper, rubber, silk, satin and a combination of ingredients. 

Depending on your personal style and length of hair, you can even wear a large silk flower if you want to make a big fashion statement. 

If you prefer to scale your hair accessories closer to your actual hair length and style, you can select from silk flower adorned salon clips (jaw/claw clips), pony elastics or bobby pins. 

Be adventurous and layer more than one flower into your look.  Or be spontaneous and pluck a few fresh stems from your garden for a unique style.

8.  Floating Gems

Alyssa Milanon
Tiny Floating Jewels
Near The Crown

Like everything in the hair and fashion world, floating hair accessories have cycled in and out of popularity.  Even when they are not as popular, they are still always available if you know where to find them. 

Floating hair gems are basically a variety of crystals, semi-precious stones or other adornments that are affixed to a base of tiny magnets, metal snaps, hook and loop type fabric or tiny curled wires that you twist into your strands.

9.  Hair Combs

Hair combs come in small, medium and very large versions.  They are available in metal, hand cut cellulose or poured plastic.  They can be found in plain or embellished version.

Floating hair gems are basically a variety of crystals, semi-precious stones or other adornments that are affixed to a base of tiny magnets, metal snaps, hook and loop type fabric or tiny curled wires that you twist into your strands.

10.  Snoods

Snoods have been popular for centuries and come and go in fashion.  Depending on how they are designed, snoods may or may not be attached to a barrette or hair comb that anchors the snood to the crown so that the rest of the hair can be tucked inside. 

Depending on the way that the base barrette is designed and crafted, there could be some potential of hair getting caught in the barrette hinge.  Another issue can be that the hair could be too long to fit into a barrette style snood.

For long or super long strands, a traditional snood that fits over the gathered long strands by means of either a covered elastic, ribbon or string is a much better option.  This is true because a traditional snood would allow more hair to be tucked into the netting and because there would be less risk of snags with a snood held in place by ribbon, elastic or a string.

11.  Bun Covers

Although medium lengths can often push enough hair together to wear a bun cover, ideally these hair accessories which can come in a variety of materials from metal to plastic or wood

12. Tiaras

Yes, tiaras are available in full blown as well as scaled down versions that are known as tiara combs. 

With long hair there are several options for selecting the proper tiara.   For super short looks, opt for the very popular tiara combs which are even more scaled down but add a very nice dazzle.

13. Hair Slides

Hair slides were originally designed with longer strands in mind.  This is because the slide has to be held in the hair by means of hair thickness and length.  If hair is too thin, fine or short, a slide will not remain properly anchored.

A traditional hair slide consists of a stick and a slide cover that has predrilled holes for holding the slide snugly into place.  Depending on the materials used, a slide can be very hair friendly for long hair. 

Some slides which might utilize a rough stick might snag or pull delicate strands.  Slides that are made with carefully polished cellulose, plastic or metal sticks are less likely to cause any damage to delicate long strands.

Miscellaneous Accessories

While I mentioned the most popular categories of hair accessories available for long to super long strands, there are often fashion fads and trends that will pop up a new variety of hair accessory.  Beaded hair strands are always available. Beaded hair strings are attached to tiny hair jaws and can work for most hair lengths although they are mostly decorative in nature.

Clip on ponytails are also an accessory that may work for long hair depending on how the ponytail is to be utilized.  Ditto for add-on braids. When used to help create a half-up or half-down do, an add-on pony or braid can be an excellent decorative finish. 

Add-on hair might not work for long or super long hairstyles because the add-on pieces might not be longer than the actual hair that it is to be integrated with.

Summary

Hair accessories are in plentiful availability for long and super long tresses.  The key is to decide whether you wish to wear hair accessories for their functionality or to add dazzle to your style.  In some cases you can easily do both. 

For long hair strands an added concern should be present for "hair friendly" devices.  If you are concerned about having super healthy long strands that are virtually split end free, you need to make sure that you avoid hair accessories that could snag, rip, treat or otherwise harm you hard worn hair lengths.

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