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Long locks require special care to keep them at their best, avoid damage and maintain length. Hair clips or bands that pull, rip or shred your hair can leave ugly breakage lines where you pull up your hair, requiring a tearful trim or even a major chop. Hair-safe accessories are an essential part of any long-haired girl's artillery.
Whether you call them hair bands or ponytail holders, they're one of the most basic options to get your hair up and out of your face and off of your neck. Look for bands without metal clasps. Thick elastic bands are ideal for full ponytails, but you may find that tiny hair-safe clear stretchy bands are perfect for the ends of your braids. Remove the thicker bands with care, but snip the tiny, clear ones out of your locks with nail scissors to prevent any possible pulling. Cloth scrunchies are the gentlest option, but aren't exactly runway-ready. Save these for the gym, nights alone and lazy Sundays at home.
Hair Forks and Sticks
Once your hair reaches great lengths, hair forks and sticks are a fashion-forward and pretty alternative to barrettes and clips. A hair fork consists of two to three prongs, often with a decorative top, while hair sticks resemble undersized chopsticks. Weave hair sticks or pronged forks through buns, knots or twists to hold them in place without pulling or yanking your hair. When you're ready to take your hair down and shake it loose, simply pull the wooden, plastic or metal stick or fork free from your hair.
Jaw clips, or claw clips, are a fast and easy way to clip your hair up, up and away. Small, hair-colored clips can fasten a bun or knot securely and nearly invisibly, while a large one can hold a casual weekend-wear twist. Most jaw clips are easy on your hair, but watch for exposed metal springs or rough spots on the plastic teeth. File away any rough areas with a nail file or emery board.
Whether you're looking for a pin-up perfect flower or a jeweled clasp, finding larger barrettes that don't hurt your head or hair can be a challenge. The traditional french clip-style barrette can easily rip or snag your hair, causing significant damage. Plastic or rubber covering the metal may reduce, but not eliminate this. Clip-style barrettes can only work to pin back growing-out bangs or catch loose strands, but slide easily in and out of hair without pulling. Newer barrettes skip the metal altogether in favor of soft, smooth and flexible plastic to avoid potential damage to your tresses.
Most hair pins, including basic bobbies and larger U-shaped pins, are easy on your hair and won't tear or tangle. Use these pins for high or low updos or use them to secure fresh and trendy twists and small braids along your scalp. Pick your favorite brand, opting for heavier pins if you have thick hair and finer ones for thinner locks. Replace them regularly and avoid using bent or damaged hair pins.