December 15, 2011

So what is the deal with bobby pins anyway?



My friend Dina shared the news a few months ago that bobby pins are supposed to go in zig zag side down. It's true. I confirmed that fact for her at dinner prior to her blog post.


She, and Linsday, were stunned. And so is everyone else who I share this information with. 


Lets cut to the chase: YES, put your bobby pins in zig zag side down (as in toward the scalp, or with the flat side being exposed). Why? Because it holds better and looks better.


Wrong:



The zig zag part of the pin "grabs" the hair beneath the section, and the smooth, straight part of the pin simply holds the hair down. Whether you are hiding your pins completely in a messy updo, or pinning your bangs back, always put them in zig zag side down. 


Don't believe me? Give it a try and see how it works!

84 comments:

  1. Wow I've been doing this wrong my entire life lol

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  2. Good tip to know!

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  3. I remember watching one of your videos a couple months ago and you had mentioned that in passing. It caught my attention right away and I tried it the next time I used bobby pins. It holds so much better!! I am using half the number of pins now to put my hair up.

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  4. How could I have not realized this before. They always slide right out of my hair. Thanks Kate!

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  5. I was stunned when I heard this! It works sooo much better with the zig zags down!

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  6. WOW! So great to know - I always get that flicky end of the pin poking up when I clip my fringe to the side - now it won't happen! Thanks!

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  7. What kind of bobby pins do you recommend? I just bought some at walmart and they are horrible, I didn't realize there was a big variation in bobby pin quality!

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    1. I suggest Lilla Rose's Bobby Pins, but they are designed with the zig zag on the top. They are pretty and hold your hair very well, despite the zig zags being on top :) http://lillarose.biz/mamacre8s

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  8. WOW.... I have been doing it wrong for so many years. Thanks for sharing... and LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

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  9. No flippin way!! I love when I learn something new everyday!! Now I can't wait to tell someone else who "thinks" they know a lot about hair!! Thanks for the tip!!

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  10. I've always worn them zig-zag side down. But what I want to know is when you buy the blanks with the extra metal circle (where you glue down your embellishment) - why do they have it on the wrong side? Drives me crazy!

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  11. I was very surprised to learn this as well!

    Except went I went to the mirror to "redo" my bobby pin and discovered that I already put them in the 'correct' way... Go my subconscious!

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  12. Wow that seems like it would be obvious now that I know that's how they're supposed to go!! Ooops! Thank you for sharing :) I feel dumb :)

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  13. That's interesting. I did it by accident one day a while ago and it worked.

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  14. Only in the past 6 months or so since I started using bobby pins regularly did I discover the same thing - probably on someone's blog! "Tis true - it does seem to hold my hair better!

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  15. I have very fine hair and all bobby pins slid out of my hair (the ones pictures and the wider type pins). Magic grip hair pins are the only pins that work & stay put all day for me. Thank you for your vids. & tips! And enabling my new love of Aquage! I'm using the foam, in combination with their sea salt spray, and your loose curl waves for an awesome beach head look!

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  16. Hmmm....my whole life I've always put them in zig zag side down! I don't know why someone would put them in zig zag side up? Haha I always thought that's they way they were supposed to be put in? I guess I was one of the few? :) Oh well!

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  17. Whoa! I've been using bobby pins wrong my entire life....thanks for sharing! I'm definitely going to give it a try.

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  18. I have been doing this incorrectly for 29 years! It's a new day for my hair!

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  19. Definitely did not know that! I will be trying it the right way now! Thanks for sharing.

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  20. I was surprised the first time I saw you say that about the pins...but it does make sense! So now I've been trying to remember to put them in zig-zag side down. :)

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  21. I just did a whole half-up 'do this morning, and if I didn't have so much hairspray in it and just perfectly positioned the way I want it, I would take it all out and redo it this way!

    I feel like I have been cheated out on fabulous hairstyles for 23 years!

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  22. This way makes so much more sense! But why do decorative bobby pins have the decoration on the wrong side? If you wore them zig zag side down, the jewel or whatever would be under your hair.

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  23. What?!? You mean to tell me I've been doing it wrong all these years?!? Well, you learn something new everyday. :)

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  24. Consider me flabbergasted. I never knew! But now that you explain it, it makes so much more sense.

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  25. I know it, that is the greatest tip I have learned in a long time, so happy you all helped me out that night. :)

    Ps--when I get back in town, I think we need to go to dinner!

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  26. Well of course, now that you say it, it makes perfect sense! I stick a bobby pin in my hair nearly every morning to keep my 'growing them out' bangs out of my face and I've been doing it wrong. This morning, I'm-a changin' my ways. :)

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  27. woah. thanks!!! I've been doing it all wrong!

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  28. After I read Dina's post, I tried it, and it totally does work! Who would've thought you could use a bobby pin incorrectly!??

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  29. That's amazing news! I can't believe that for 24 years, my Mom (when I was little) and I have been putting them in wrong! After all this time! Thanks for the tip :)

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  30. Good to know that I have actually been wearing mine zig-zag side down for years. I have fine hair, bobby pins never really held in my hair all that well, and I HATED seeing the point stick up...sort of like when your ears poke through your hair (those of us with fine hair) YUK. I turned them over one day and never looked back.

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  31. I watched one of your videos a few weeks ago and noticed you said "zig zag side now" and since then I have been doing it. My hair is super thin and it's hard for me to get bobby pins to stay in but flipping the zig zag side down has definitely helped. Thanks Kate :)

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  32. Haha, this is so funny to me... I've always assumed that they go in "zig zag side down." It just makes sense to me, and I'm not that great at hair or anything!

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  33. It sounds so obvious now that you've said it, but I've struggled with bobby pins for years! "Should it go this way?" "Why isn't it staying??" I've spent TIME trying to figure out BOBBY PINS. Thanks very much for the explanation!

    Thanks also for the tip about not styling hair without product in it. *duh!* Here I always thought I had unusually slippery hair...

    .ivy

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  34. Who woulda thunk!? That's so interesting!

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  35. Oh my god. so many years of bobby-pins and I never knew. You're the best!!

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  36. WHAT. Well, this is news to me.......

    I guess I'll go change my bobby pins as soon as I finish typing! I'm nervous...

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  37. Good to know I've always done it right! Just makes sense to me, where other seemingly simple things don't! Love your blog btw!

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  38. I am cracking up at myself right now. As I'm reading this, I changed my bobby pins and it was like an "ah hah" moment! It feels so much more secure! I have fine hair and bobby pins literally fall out of my hair. Who knew,I was just using them wrong!

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  39. Very logical..makes perfect sense. New to your blog and am enjoying it. You're such a cutie pie and I am learning so much about hair. I'm a Grandmom with thinning, very fine hair. Bought Aquage and think it's great. Going to buy the flat iron you recommend too. Thanks for all the inspiration and great advice. My hair is the bane of my existence. Love you hair, btw. Merry Christmas!

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  40. wow, i'll have to give it a try, i have thick hair, perhaps this is why it always falls out

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  41. LOL. I just flipped my bobby pin around!

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  42. I can't flippin' believe that! I've been using bobby pins for YEARS, and I feel like I've been lied to...Now I can't wait to put my hair in a side updo (which I learned from you!) and see how the pins work when inserted properly! As usual, thanks for the great advice/info! :)

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  43. I wear bobby pins everyday an I never knew this. I cant wait to try this tomorrow. Thank you do much for the tip!

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  44. Oh em gee! I am just blown away! I use bobby pins on the daily and never knew the proper way to use them...until NOW! And it really does make a HUGE difference...a million thank yous, lady!! :)

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  45. Whoa this is shocking news! I have no idea why most people had it wrong (me included)! I guess, for me, it's really just cause it was easier to grab the longer and pull it open slightly holding the short zig-zag piece, and slide it in! I will try it the right way next time :)

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  46. Every time I would hear you say zig zag side down in one of your tutorials I was like What?! Really?! I figured I was the only girl that didn't know this information, haha!

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  47. I can't believe if there was a correct and incorrect way to put in a bobby pin, why didn't they come with instructions? Even shampoo says, wash, rinse and repeat. Of course, would we have read the instructions?
    NO!!!

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  48. Hey! I am a quick study - I did it the first time you told us!! I am a believer!

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  49. I seriously cannot believe I never figured this out for myself. Thank Goodness for people like you to show the rest of us what should have been obvious!!!!

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  50. When I first looked at this post, I only saw the picture and the word "wrong" and I thought you were dissing her look or hair. My first thought was that I needed a serious makeover because she is so beautiful! LOL!

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  51. I HAD NO IDEA! I've been doing it wrong for YEARS! Thanks for the advice, LOVE your blog!

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  52. weird. i wear bobby pins EVERY day, mini ones at that and always wear them zig zag side down, thought everyone did, haha.

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  53. I've been doing it wrong my whole life too....until I watched YOUR hair tutorial awhile back and caught that you said zig zag side down! I was baffled...until I tried it and it worked....much better hold...and I even noticed that it didn't leave a "crimp" mark in my hair, ie, holding my bangs back during the day, then down for the evening. Yay! You are awesome! Thanks for learning all you can so I can learn from you!. :)

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  54. I have always done this wrong! Completely makes sense though. Thanks for sharing!

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  55. Okay, you made this blog stalker come out of hiding.
    I see the logic in this and will do it next time. But shouldn't someone tell the manufacturers of cute bobby pins too. If you buy a fancy bobby pin the little flower, heart, pattern or whatever adorns it is on the wavy side.....

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  56. Thanks for the great tips. I love your blog. You always have such wonderful easy hair ideas
    http://inthekitchenandonthecouch.blogspot.com/

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  57. wow, I have been doing this wrong all of the time. Thanks for the post, from now on I am going to use them right.

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  58. Wearing it the right way today. Haven't had to adjust it once. Life changing news. Thanks!

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  59. You were right! Check out my blog, I gave you some love! http://thematthewmorganfamily.blogspot.com/

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  60. Yes! I started doing this after you mentioned it the last time. It does work. Thanks for the awesome tips. I final know how to flat iron my hair because of you! Wendy in GA

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  61. I've always put the zigzags facing out, so I tried it the "right" way today. It didn't hold better for me at all. I just used one on each side of my head for shorter pieces that don't reach my ponytail. I don't have a lot of product in my hair, just hairspray that I used so I could airdry it and have some waves/curls. My guess is that the bobby pins are Scunci brand, but I'm not sure. Is any part of the equation the reason why I'm not having the amazing results that everyone else is?

    I love your blog and appreciate all the work you put into making awesome tutorials! :)

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  62. O.M.G. I tried this today for the first time and they held my thick, curly hair ALL day!

    Life altering.

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  63. Hmm....Guilty as charged!!! I never knew this!! Thanks!! I will give it a try!

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  64. Your revelation of this fact has totally changed the way I use bobbies.

    AND...

    Switching from Goody to Sally. Life changing. No kidding.

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  65. First off thanks for taking the time to help so many people with what you do! I'm just curious, when would you use the "U" shaped bobby pins as opposed to the typical ones?

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  66. I'm kind of surprised that so many people have been doing it "wrong". I have TONS of decorative bobby pins too and they all have the decoration on the smooth (correct) side. Not sure where other people have been getting their decorative bobby pins from.....

    The new bobby pins make me mad though - the ends poke out more than the old style. I guess this is to make it easier to open, but all it does it make them more poky and show more. I'm hoarding all my old bobby pins now.

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  67. I'm always amazed at the amount of people who wear them zig-zag up!! It has never occurred to me to wear them that way........

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  68. I've always hated bobby pins because they don't stay in my hair. They always just slide right off my head! Never imagined I was just putting them in upside down. Thanks!

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  69. I know this is probably stupid, but reading this post has bothered me for days! haha I've been doing hair for the last fifteen years or so, and that is absolutely not true. Bobby pins *are* supposed to go zigzag side up, thats why they're packaged that way, thats why if you do a search and see things attached they're on the zigzag side. Now if you said "Hey, do you have a problem with bobby pins staying in, try putting them in upside down!" I would be like "Good tip!" But to say they're supposed to go in zigzag down just isn't true. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest, it was making me crazy! :)

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  70. @melinda: I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. In my professional experience, and the hair that I've seen styled with bobby pins, zigzag down always works best! But keep doing your thing if that works for you.

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  71. No I wasn't saying what works best, I was more just having issue with saying its *supposed* to go zigzag down. Its not made that way, even if it does work better down or not. It was just one of those things that got under my skin by the wording, does that make sense? I think you do beautiful hair and I love that you share with people how to do their hair with your tutorials, I'm all for better tips and tricks. I meant I didn't like saying it was the wrong way to do it if it was zigzag up. Like I said, silly, just one of those things that got to me. :) Keep on keeping on!

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  72. Kate, have you tried flat pins? I just came across Conair Flat Pins in Velvet Touch, and they hold so well! They're pretty thick, but I love their hold!

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  73. Thanks for the great info. I have fine hair and they never stay in my hair. But I've been doing it wrong. Also, I need to buy professional quality bobby pins. What brand do you use?

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  74. I've always thought this way is right.. other people would say it wasn't. So I've been right all along! It always made so much more sense that the zig zags catch the hair. The metal flat part just slides..

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  75. Wow this is genius! I have very fine hair and have had no luck with bobby pins, small barrettes, etc. I just did a 2 twist braid in my bangs and voila it holds perfect with 1 bobby pins. Major Kudos to this blog!!!!!!!

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  76. doesn't the part that sticks out stick into your scalp?

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  77. this is such a great blog about bobbypins. i am a third generation manufacturer of bobbypins in India.
    i am also writing (or attempting to write :-) a blog about the Bobbypin and how it all started for us as a company.
    please visit us at saimanbobbypinsindia.blogspot.com.
    Cheers,
    Rakesh

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  78. Personally, I do not believe this.... if this were true why would bobby pins with decoration on them have the décor on the wavy side? Are you trying to tell me the decoration goes face down? Don't think so. AND when bobby pins are displayed in the store, if the wavy side is the "down side" or also known as the back; why would they be displayed with the wavy part facing you?? You don't market a product backwards!!

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