OK - so I know what you're thinking - you're seriously going to do a Back to Basics on bobby pins?! But more people ask me about them then you would think & most aren't using them correctly. When you use a good bobby pin the right way you're hair is going to stay put & you're going to be taking only a handful of pins out of your hair at the end of the night instead of an entire package getting caught everywhere & finding them all over God's green earth the entire next day.
Bobby pins are a “U” shape that are clamped together in order to hold the hair more firmly. Typically one side has ridges and one side is flat. Always insert the bobby pin into your hair with the ridge side against your scalp as it will hold the section of hair being worked with much better. It will also look much more polished once you complete the style.
It’s important to note that there is huge difference in drug store versus professional pins.
Drug store, or non-professional grade, bobby pins simply don’t hold as well. They typically have a slick coating of plastic along the metal that allows the hair to slide into the pin more easily, but that also means the hair will slide out of the pin more easily as well. When I have girlfriends use my bobby pins instead of the drug store ones they have in their house they always cannot believe the difference.
If you even remotely enjoy styling your hair, do yourself a favor and invest in professional pins. Since they are stronger and tighter than the others, it’s very likely that they can be used more than just one time. It’s a worthwhile purchase that will only make your hairstyles better.
Professional bobby pins aren't always available but here's a link for some from Sally's Beauty Supply that should do the trick - Salon Care Professional Supreme Bobby Pins.
If you do have very fine, slippery hair you can spray your bobby pin with hair spray before inserting it or teasing out or hair spraying the area the bobby pin is going into to make a textured base for better hold. It's like you're giving something for the pin to grab on to.
If you have textured and/or thicker hair you most likely won't have to do these little tricks - but you'll have to take smaller sections then people with finer hair for the bobby pin to hold. If it won't close on the open side of the pin then you've takes too big of a section. Take multiple, smaller sections - don't expect one pin to do all the work.
One last tip - the ridges of the bobby pins are designed to lock into the ridges of another bobby pin. So if you criss cross your bobby pins with the ridges locked together your style is sure to stay put!
It's harder to get used to then you would think - but once you do it makes a world of difference.
Cheers - Hal