You've Been Using Bobby Pins Wrong Your Whole Life

Ever had a bobby pin start to slip out of your hair before you'd even finished placing it? Gone to unpin your hair and only found a few of the ones you placed that morning? Well, it's possible you've been using bobby pins wrong all this time. Don't feel too bad; they've been perplexing people since they first gained popularity in the post-World War I era (along with bobbed hair, the pin's namesake), back when two handmade pins would cost you 35 cents (via the Los Angeles Times). Nowadays you can buy them by the pound online, but a pack of 60 will cost you about four cents per pin, which is lucky because once you've read these tips, you'll want to head to the bathroom to practice.

Which side of a bobby pin faces down?

Bobby pins famously have a straight side and a wavy side, and the first thing you've probably been doing wrong is putting the straight side down. That's right, the wavy side is actually designed to go against the scalp to create more grip, thus securing your style for even longer (via Good Housekeeping). To really get the most out of each pin placement, start by grabbing the section you want to secure, start pinning the way you would usually, then twist the pin so the wavy side is against the scalp. The effect of seeing the straight side of the pin facing out might be jarring at first, especially in wavy or curly hair, but it can also be a benefit in disguise. By placing the pins so the straight side faces out, you can create clean, graphic shapes like triangles or chevrons in the hair, or even design your own unique clip. Finally, make sure the opening end of the pin is facing down. This will ensure that gravity is keeping your style in place, rather than helping your bobby pins to escape. 

How to make bobby pins stick around

Now that you know the correct technique, here are a few more tricks to really up your bobby pin game. If you have straight, slick hair that repels all bobby pins no matter which way they lay, try spraying them with a dry shampoo, texturizing spray, or hairspray before placing them. This, along with shopping for matte pins (as recommended by Women's Health) instead of the standard glossy-finish ones will help add even more stick to your pin placement. If they still keep falling out, try using two (or more) pins to form an "X" shape for more security. Also, keep in mind that updos tend to work better with second or third-day hair, so the hair isn't too silky for the pins to grip to. For even more tips, check out these hair hacks all women should know.