(Image of Linda Levinson Hair Accessory Design - Swarovski™ encrusted hair clip with Swarovski Pearls as accents - on metal base - HairBoutique.com - All Rights Reserved).
Since the fashion world is organized around different categories of fashion pieces, accessories groups together anything that is not the actual clothing.
What Are Fashion Accessories?
(Image of Linda Levinson Snake Bracelet - Turquoise And Swarovski Crystals - Hand crafted by Linda - HairBoutique.com - All Rights Reserved).
There is also eye wear including reading and sunglasses. Earrings, bracelets and related jewelry items which are not made of precious gems are also grouped into the accessory category.
Finally, you might also find odds and ends categorized into various categories. Decorated cell phone and eyeglass cases are often included with handbags.
Hair accessories are a bona fide accessory category all its own. Hair accessories are generally categorized by the types of hair accessories.
Soft Hair Accessories Vs Hard Accessories
Sometimes, not always, hair accessory vendors will specialize in either soft (headbands, bandeuas, scarves, bows, hair flowers, hair veils, soft ponytail holders) or hard accessories (hard headbands, barrettes, clips, hair pins or bobbies, sharks, jaws, claws).
(Image of Jane Tran authentic cashmere headband encrusted with Swarovski™ crystals - hand crafted by Jane Tran in USA - HairBoutique.com - all rights reserved).
Within the soft versus the hard category some hair accessory vendors will focus on Made in The USA versus imported. Some will feature metal bases while other will feature cellulose or faux Tortoise or plastic.
Actual Hair Jewelry From Jewelry
Although hair accessories may be referred to as "hair jewelry" for the most part, hair jewelry refers to precious gems that are made into jewelry for the hair.
Sometimes at the major award ceremonies like the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards the major stars will ask the famous Hollywood jewelers to craft a jeweled comb or clip. These are authentic "hair jewels" and often worth a major amount of money.
Gems Used In Hair Jewelry Versus Hair Accessories
The gems used in hair jewelry tends to be precious or semi-precious with gems ranging from diamonds to pearls as well as semi-precious stones. Authentic hair jewelry is also usually set in authentic silver or gold metals although they may be set in the high end, hand crafted cellulose clips.
Hair accessory gems are usually authentic Swarovski™ crystals. It should be noted that a manufacturer, hair accessory designer or distributor can not use the words Swarovski unless the crystals are authentic and from an authorized Swarovski (pronounced swore-off-ski) supplier.
Non-Swarovski crystals might be described as rhinestones or crystals although Austrian Crystal also refers to Swarovski. Hair accessory vendors have to be careful not to violate the Swarovski guidelines when describing non-Swarovski stones.
Hair accessory items rare contain authentic diamonds, pearls or semi-precious gems. Instead they might contain Swarovski pearls, Swarovski colored crystals or similar. Famous hair accessory designer Linda Levinso who was initially trained as a precious stone jeweler uses Swarovski pearls and colored crystals to create couture quality hair accessories.
Another major difference between hair jewelry and hair accessories is the price tag. Authentic hair jewelry encrusted with diamonds and pearls can cost in the thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hair clips made with Swarovski pearls will generally costs in the hundreds. Quite a difference.
Terminology Is Important
Over the past 12 years I have devoted myself to studying the fashion accessory markets including the hair accessory marketplace. It is very important when talking to designers, manufacturers, distributors and related vendors to use the proper terminology.
Hair jewelry contains precious stones and is made by jewelers. Hair accessories are fashion accessories and are designed, manufactured and distributed by those in the fashion world.
Over 10,000+ Hair Accessories Acquired Over The Years
Yes, I made the mistake of calling hair accessories hair jewels early in my buying career. HairBoutique.com currently contains over 10,000+ unique hair accessories from literally over 50 different designers, manufacturers and distributors. The first time I referred to a couture headband as a "hair jewel" I was corrected by the designer. My face turned beet red but I didn't make that mistake every again.
Hair Accessories Are My Passion
Hair accessories and hair jewels are my passion. I own some of both. Yes, I have hair jewels with real pearls but I have stacks of hair accessories with Swarovski crystals. And that's not even counting my 10,000+ square foot warehouse with every imaginable type of headband made today.When it comes to hair accessories I am your lady to talk to. I never get tired to discussing the history and development of this amazing industry. All I ask if you want to talk about hair accessories is that you let me see photos or the actual items since to me they are all little works of art.
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