Women dopers - ideas for putting hair "up"?

I like my hair. I want to show it off. It’s a nice color, shiny, bouncy, and soft(of course I condition and blow-dry and straighten etc. etc. to get it that way, but I digress). I usually wear it down, but I get a lot of compliments when I put it up, which is usually just in a ponytail/jaw clip, which is easy but boring. Plus I like having it off my neck in the summer, so…

…I need some ideas for cute and interesting ways to put it up. I completely lack creativity in this department. I’m 25 and I feel like I kind of missed the boat on a lot of “girly” stuff, as it’s only recently that I’ve even begun to care about things like hair and makeup and clothes.

Pertinent info: My hair is layered. The shortest part in front goes to about an inch or so below my jaw, and the longest part in back is down to my shoulderblades. I have a lot of hair, but it is baby fine and tends to slip out of barrettes and things after a few hours. I have on hand elastics, jaw clips(including some teeny tiny ones), and… that’s about it, although I wouldn’t mind spending a few bucks on accessories if I know I’ll use them more than once.

Ideas? Suggestions? Remember I’m new at this, so nothing that I’ll need 2 hours and 6 arms for, please!

When I had long hair, I would put it up in a french flip a lot. You can do it pretty quickly, but if you take your time you can get a really sleek dressy look.

Don’t know if that’s what it is really called, but it’s what we called it in high school. Basically you do a french roll.

Pull your hair back to the base of your neck and twist it, keep twisting so it rolls over and up the back of head. When it’s twisted up, you can hold it there using either bobby pins, chop sticks, pencils, barettes… pretty much anything big enough to hold your hair. The flip just refers to leaving the end trailing out ‘flipping’ back down your head, or you can tuck it under for a sleek look.

With bobby pins it takes a little longer, you open the ‘pin’ with your teeth and push it straight into the edge of the roll, grabbing the hair as you go. When you get to your head, turn it into the roll and push as far as you can. Take the next pin and do the same but on the opposite side of the roll from the first one, and here’s the trick to getting them to stay in… make sure the end of one goes around the other somewhere. If you interlock the bobby pins as you push them in they won’t come out. I have very fine hair myself, clips and barettes slide out as if greased, but by locking them together it gives them a better grip. I’d do my hair like that when I went dancing and it would still be up (well, some hair still straggled out but most of it would still be up).

For the layers, you can clip them back or leave them loose and curl them or whatever you like. Leaving them loose softens the look, especially if you tucked the ends in.

I loved wearing my hair like that, but now I keep it short because I realized long hair just doesn’t really work for me.

Practice it a bit, but once you know what you’re doing it doesn’t take long at all to do unless you are very finicky about how sleek it is.

I found these really nifty barrettes at the dollar store, specifically made to not let hair slip out. They’re just a basic big barrette, the kind designed to grab all or most of your hair, but with a rubbery sheathing on both of the jaws to make it stay where you put it. Similar to the teeny velvet-lined hair doobobbies marketed for basically bald babies, eh?

Other than that, I gots nothing. I generally ponytail it or use the toothy headbands that circle the entire head and pick the hair up off the neck. Oh, and the big barrettes, but I usually just secure front and sides in those and leave the rest down.

Flutterby: The hair in the actual pictures on that page is just bizarre! Of course I realize you were pointing me toward the illustrated instructions, but…wow. I will definitely give it it a try, thanks! I wonder if I could make use of my itty bitty jaw clips to secure the sides?

Queen Tonya: I have a jaw clip for fine hair that has that rubbery grip stuff, but it isn’t large enough to hold all my hair. Manufacturors seem to think fine hair = no hair. Maybe a barrette would work better. Thanks for mentioning dollar stores; I’m in them all the time but I never thought to check out the hair doodads.

I agree, very bizarre but it was the best instructions I could find with a quick google. I wouldn’t do the back combing like it says to, fine hair breaks so much easier I never saw the point.

And Queen Tonya is right, the dollar store is a good place to get cheap clips to try out. That way you can find some you like without dropping a bundle.

Are your layers too short for a French Braid? Perhaps you could braid the longer part and clip/curl/let fly the layers around your face. You can braid from the nape of your neck up and make a small bun/flip at the top, or if your hair is fine enough just tuck it under and secure with bobby pins. If you find your hair is too ‘fly-away’ to work with dry, try combing a little styling gel thru first . If you can get your braid tight enough, you can even sleep in it a couple of days.

My hair is also baby fine. It is about shoulder length. I usually put it up in a twist using Hair sticks. There are a load of brands available, including very plain ones that look like half-length chopsticks. And very, very fancy ones.

For very fine hair, it works best if the hair is wet, or on the second day after shampooing. Day of shampooing, hair dry - mine won’t hold. But the rest of the time it works fine. I can walk briskly and the sticks stay in place.

I usually buy the sticks when I am in the USA. You can buy the very basic ones from craft stores and decorate them yourself if you are the crafty type.

As a guy, I found that a gal that put her hair up with a pencil was kinda…rowr.

I don’t even know why…maybe it’s the dork-lover in me. Going with that, I’d recommend the hair sticks.

I use hair sticks all the time. My hair is too thick for almost any kind of clip or barrette, and I don’t like the look of them anyway.

Most of my hairsticks are lacquered chopsticks I bought in Chinatown for a dollar a pair. Sometimes I leave them the actual length but most of the time I cut them down with a hacksaw (discarding the top fat end, not the pointy end). I then paint the cut end with paint or nail polish. Lacquered painted chopsticks work a lot better than plain wood, as those feel smooth in your hand but when you try to get them through your hair you can fee how rough they actually are.

Many people who have never used hairsticks don’t use them right, and so they don’t work. They think you are supposed to bun or twist the hair and then push the hairstick through. Doesn’t work. The whole thing will fall out. What you do is bun or twist the hair. Then take the hairstick and insert the point near the top of the bun, pointing upward. You put the point in a little bit, then flip it so the hairstick is now pointing down, and slide it next to your scalp through the bun. This will pretty much hold your hair by itself; I use two because I think it looks better and my hair is really thick and I kinda need two. If you don’t, but want to use another for visual balance, you can just slide it in pointing down, or only very “lightly” flip it. You can also put them in in a “V” (so it ends up looking like an X with the bun in the middle) or horizontally through the bun. I also find they hold better on freshly washed and dried hair if I dampen the hair very slightly by wetting my hands and just running them through my hair. I put my nearly waist-length very thick hair up with two of these and no other pins whatsoever and it stays all day, and takes 30 seconds to put back up if I need to take it down. I think you can find videos on YouTube of women showing how to use them, as well as other videos of people doing buns and twists.

For buns, if you want to use pins instead of sticks, I highly highly recommend Amish Hair Pins. A thousand times better than bobby pins. I get the 3.5" length because my bun is fairly big but if your hair is thinner, you can get smaller ones. Three or four of these will hold my hair pretty firmly all day. I even sleep with them in and they don’t fall out all night.

Amish Hair Pins, down near the bottom of the page: http://plainlydressed.bravepages.com/headcoveringfile.html

There’s some other Amish stuff there for hair, some of which is kind of cute although I’ve never bought anything from them except the pins.

There are many links and instructions for long hair updo styles at http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/ I think you can’t post without registering but you can read.

Sorry, I keep missing the 5-minute limit on editing:

One more thing re using chopsticks as hairsticks: there is often a pretty design at the fat end, which you’d think would be the part to “save” - however, if you cut the thin pointy end off, you’ll see that they don’t work so well. Even if you make a point at the newly cut end (I’ve tried a pencil sharpened and just whittling it down), the diameter somehow is too big still, or the whittling removes the lacquered finish, so they just don’t work. I figure that cutting off the top with the design doesn’t matter much since most of the stick is hidden inside my hair. I haven’t tried attaching any other kind of decoration to the top end but people do: artificial flowers or ribbons, or beading supplies from a craft store.

I use hair sticks a lot, too; I find they hold better if I insert them like missbunny described, but then kind of weave it in and out as I push it through, like I’m stitching the bun to my head. Of course, I’ve snapped a few doing it that way, but they were cheap ones from Claire’s in the mall, so I didn’t care. I have to use two, I have hair past my tailbone and it’s pretty heavy. I don’t know how well they’d work with layers, though.

Rather than buying Amish hairpins, you can go to the craft store and buy some small gauge double pointed knitting needles and bend them into a U. That’s what I use.

You might also try searching ebay and google for stick barrettes, hair slides, and hair forks. Me, I covet these beautiful hand-painted barrettes; maybe for Christmas I’ll get some, if I’m a good girl.