I'm having some trouble with formatting on this post...it's making me crazy but I can't figure out how to fix it, so sorry!
The basic guideline for good accessories is this: it should not snag/rip/tear/pull out your hair. Ever. Simple enough, right? The thing is that many of the most common accessories do not follow this rule (a list of evil accessories is at the end of this post)
Here are a few specific hair toys that are long hair-friendly. You will notice that most of these happen to be good for holding up long hair, and may not be so useful for anything shorter than about shoulder length.
- Hair Sticks--An updated version of chopsticks, they come in singles or pairs. I prefer metal, wood, bamboo, or bone, but they are also made with plastic, and many have beads on the ends. They are used by weaving them through hair that has been twisted or tucked up. They are snug while worn, yet slip out easily at day's end.
- Forks--usually two pronged, although sometimes with three, a fork is used the same way as a stick (and made with the same sorts of materials) They usually do not have so much decoration on the top. I find the wooden ones particularly beautiful.
- Combs--essentially a fork with more prongs... combs sometimes have short teeth and are good for pulling hair back, while the longer pronged ones are good for securing updos.
- Slides/Stick Barrettes--a personal favorite, these have a wrapped front portion with a hole in each end, and it is secured by wrapping the front around the hair, then sliding a stick through the first hole, behind the hair, and back out through the other hole.
- Hairpins also called Amish Hair Pins, these are straight and U-shaped (like the fork shown, only small and metal...) they do not pinch, and secure a bun by weaving back and forth between the twisted part and the scalp hair.
- Snoods--Seriously I love these, but Hubby doesn't so I don't use them. I like that you can just shove all your hair in it and go...so what if your hair is a little greasy, or being weird and uncontrollable today...tuck it in and you're done. Fast, easy, and looks classy.
Brigit: leather stick barrettes (shown at right)
Northwestgoods: metal , metal combs (shown above), metal stick barrettes (shown above)
Ettamae: handcarved wooden forks (shown above)
Archeress Arts: hair sticks
The Far Grove: bone hair sticks (shown above)
NightBlooming: hair sticks (shown at top)
Wenchie: hair sticks (shown at top)
American Carver: wooden forks (shown at top)
Gypsy Trading Company: hair sticks (shown below)
Isis Arts: hair sticks (shown below)
The following accessories are not bad per se, but they can be problematic if they are not chosen wisely and used with care.
- Metal or plastic barrettes
- Scarves or kerchiefs (just keep hair out of that knot!)
- Claw clips
- Bobby pins--these are the hairpins that have little rubber tips and are squeezed shut. They are great so long as the rubber is on...if the tip comes off, throw out the bobby pin. They're cheap to replace, but will be damaging without the tips.
- Hair elastics--some are thin, some are thick, and so long as there is no metal joint on them, they should be fine if used with care...thicker ones are usually preferable
- Elasticized Hair bands--just as with hair elastics, the wrong one can tear out your hair. So if you like them, great! Just pay attention to which ones you choose to use.
Here are a few accessories to avoid at any cost:
- French Barrettes--these are the metal barrettes with the little springs...they were extremely popular in the 90s--usually with large bows attached. Thankfully they are not as common now, but are still too readily available. These will rip and snag hair like crazy.
- Rubber Bands--yes, the actual rubber bands like from office supply stores. Don't ever let one touch your hair. Seriously.
- Hair Elastics with the metal joint. Just don't do it!!!