Unlock endless styling possibilities with these easy-to-follow techniques.
Everywhere we look, the girlies are prominently showing off their bobby pins in different colors in their hairstyles in many ways instead of hiding them to secure updos like our mothers and grandmothers did.
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A quick glance on TikTok via the hashtag #bobbypintutorial (35.9M views and counting) you’ll find videos of women blessed with a rich diversity of hair textures—coils, kinks, waves, and curls—displaying versatile uses of bobby pins for endless styling possibilities.
A quick search of “bobby pin hairstyles black girl” shows videos confirming they are an essential item in many naturalistas’ toolkits to create a variety of looks, from sleek updos to playful twists. While bobby pins are the most versatile and practical way to tame flyaway strands in the most stylish way possible, there are more ways to use them to enhance your updo and add flair.
Check out the photos and videos below of bobby pin hacks that make using them easier, and more stylish than ever before for various hair types and lengths.
Bobby Pin Basics
Before you get started, it’s important to choose the right bobby pins for your hair type. Bobby pins are typically added to hair after styling to add extra security and tame any flyaway strands. Hair pins, on the other hand, are typically a U-shaped tool that is more open and used to keep hairstyles like buns and updos in place. For finer hair, opt for smaller bobby pins with a wavy or crimped design to provide better grip. For thicker hair, larger bobby pins with a smooth surface will work best.
Before you begin, apply a few spritzes of hairspray or dollops of your favorite hair gel on the flat inside surface of the bobby pin to give it extra grip and ensure your style lasts. You can also use a dry shampoo to give your strands some grit.
The most common trick is to use the one hand you’re not using to insert them with to apply pressure to keep the surface of your hair as flat as possible where you intend to insert them. Insert your bobby pins with the wavy side against your scalp to get the best hold possible.
Essential Bobby Pin Techniques
Here are a few techniques that will help you style your natural hair:
The U-Pin: This is the most common bobby pin technique and is perfect for securing sections of hair. To create a U-pin, simply bend the bobby pin into a U-shape and slide it into the hair at an angle.
The X-Pin: This technique is ideal for securing larger sections of hair as it ads extra grip. To create an X-pin, cross two bobby pins over each other and slide them into the hair.
The Crisscross Pin: This technique is great for adding volume and lift to your hair. To create a crisscross pin, cross two bobby pins over each other, then slide them into the hair in opposite directions.
Once you’ve mastered the basic techniques, you can pull your strands off your face and give your look a stylish twist by adding a few to your ‘do. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Enhanced Middle or Side Part: No matter your hair length or texture, putting at least three bobby pins on each side of your part is a nice way to hold your hair back. If you have bangs you’re growing out, you can sleek it down and put pins over it.
To create this look, hold your hair flat and secure three bobby pins parallel to each other on each side of your head.
Sleek Updo: This is a classic and elegant style that is perfect for special occasions. To create a sleek updo, gather your hair to one side or into a high ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Then, use bobby pins to secure the ponytail in place.
One Strand Braid: Section your hair with a side part. Cornrow one large braid on one side until it is secure. Then, use bobby pins to secure the opposite side in place.
Bantu Knots: This is a protective style that is perfect for preventing breakage and promoting hair growth. To create Bantu knots, section your hair into small squares and twist each section until it forms a knot. Then, use bobby pins to secure the knot in place.
Pineapple Updo: This is a quick and easy style that is perfect for second-day hair. To create a pineapple updo, gather your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Then, use bobby pins to secure the ponytail in place.
Half Updo: Switch out your usual hair tie and lock in your top half by using bobby pins to create a design. Start by taking two even sections of hair from each side of your head and crossing them over each other at the back of your head. Take two bobby pins and slide them in horizontally over the crossed section. Then, take two more bobby pins and place them diagonally facing upward to hold the right side in place. Repeat this step on the left side to complete the triangle.
Half Mohawk: Instead of concealing your bobby pins, let them be the star of the show. We love the look of slicked-back hair with bobby pins as an accent.
Bedazzled Bobby Pins: If you love bling, add rhinestone bobby pins to create the shape design of your choice for a look that’s seriously eye-catching.
Jazz up a low ponytail by adding a line of colorful bobby pins at the side. Don’t hold back, the more the better.
Create a temporary mohawk with the help of a few strategically placed bobby pins. Check out this video to see the transformation.
With a little practice, you can use bobby pins to create a variety of stunning styles for your natural hair.