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Hair Accessory Tips For Short Tresses


Alyssa Milano With White Daily Silk Flower Clip

Hair accessories are my absolute passion, which explains that there are currently over 10,000+ hair accessories to choose from in'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 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 only work for medium or longer hair. That is absolutely untrue.

Every single hair accessory that is created for medium or long hair is also available for short of super short hair. I can promise you this fact because I have personally picked out a variety of accessories specifically for short strands.

Types Of Hair Accessories For Short Hair

Emma Watson With Small Hair Clip

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.

Hair Accessories Available For Short Hairstyles include:

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

  2. French hair pins & hair forks - U shaped pins

  3. Headbands - U shaped and soft - bandeaus

  4. Pony Elastics & Pony Wraps

  5. Barrettes - Pinch Clip, Migali, Tige Boule & Baby

  6. Long Skinny Barrettes - Pony elastic substitutes

  7. Hair Sticks, Hair Forks & Single Pins

  8. Hair Clips - Salon, Jaw, Claw

  9. Silk Flowers - Clips, Bobby Pin

  10. Floating Gems - Snaps, Magnets

  11. Hair Combs - Regular, mini combs & jeweled

  12. Snoods - Attached to mini barrettes or combs

  13. Bun Covers & Wraps - Adjustable for small hair

  14. Tiaras - Small & tiara combs

  15. Fascinators - Cross between headband and hat

  16. Hair Sleeves - Type of sleeve which fits over a long pony for protection and decoration

  17. Hair Slides - Similar to barrettes or sleeper clips designed to secure hair.

1. Hair pins & Bobby Pins

Allysa Milanon Two Tiny Bobby Pins At Front Crown

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.

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. French Hair Pins & Hair Forks

French hair pins are often the same size as regular hair pins except they are often U shaped and may have straight or wavy pins. The U shaped end may or may not be decorated. Hair forks are often larger than regular French Hair Pins and they may or may not have smooth or wavy sides. Hair forks may consist of 2, 3 or even four fork legs.

3. 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 short strands.

For slippery short 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:

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.

Alyssa Milano in Soft Headwrap Charmed On The WB

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.

4. Pony Elastics

Just because you have short strands, don't think you have to forgo ponytails. Cameron Diaz is famous for wearing her short tresses in mini-ponies. She often wraps them with jeweled pony elastics. The beauty of pony accessories is that the elastic can be wrapped around the tresses several times.

Baby ponytails can be formed from short strands with the ever adjustable Bungees or Blax bands that are uber popular. The advantage to both is that they can be double over, are hair friendly and decorative at the same time.

Although pony wraps might work in some cases, this would need to be determined on a case by case basis.

5. 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.

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.

2. Baby Barrettes are the standard type barrettes but scaled way down to hold only small amounts of 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.

6. Long & Skinny Barrettes

Alyssa Milano With Tiny Baby Barrette In Front Hairline Section

The long and skinny barrettes are designed to substitute for pony elastics. Depending on how short or how thick your hair is, they may or may not work to create a mini ponytail.

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

For functional but elegant hand crafted celluose (faux tortoise) Migali, Tige Boule and Baby Barrettes, check out's France Luxe collection.

7. Hairsticks

Believe it or not, hairsticks come in short and skinny widths. Mei Fa is famous for their short version of their longer sticks. While you might really need a certain amount of strands to easily pop in hairsticks, I have seen people with short strands wear them purely for decoration.

8. 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.

9. 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 adventureous 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.

10. Floating Gems

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.

Alyssa Milanon Tiny Floating Jewels Near The Crown

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.

11. 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.

12. Snoods

Snoods have been popular for centuries and come and go in popularity. 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.

Snoods are actually available for small amounts of hair and would work best for chin length styles. Snoods might not work perfectly for super short strands.

13. Bun Wraps & Covers

Kelly Osborune With Large Silk Hair Flower

If you can make a tiny pony then you might be able to wear a small bun cover. This would need to be determined on a case by case basis.

14. Tiaras

Yes, tiaras are available in scaled down versions which make it easily possible for short hair styles to wear a crown. For super short looks, opt for the very popular tiara combs which are even more scaled down but add a very nice dazzle.

15. Fascinators - Cross between headband and hats

A cross between a headband and a hat which is embellished with an array of feathers and similar metals which creates the appearance of always been in movement.

16. Hair Sleeves

Type of sleeve which fits over a long pony for protection and decoration

17. Hair Slides

Although usually designed to hold a lot of hair, slides do sometimes come in downsized versions. Evaluate the value of utilizing a slide based on your hair type, texture, length and the event you wish to wear it for.

Miscellaneous Accessories


While I mentioned the most popular categories of hair accessories available for short 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 short hairstyles.

Hair tinsel and hair feather extensions also cycle in and out of popularity.

Clip on ponytails are also an accessory that works very well for many short hairstyles. Ditto for add-on braids.


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

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Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.

- Revised Publication Date: 04/29/11

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