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20 awesome bobby pin hair hacks you can't live without

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Sarah Biddlecombe

No beauty kit is complete without the humble bobby pin. You can use it to secure sections of hair and hold any style in place. 

But did you know you can also use these little pins to keep your hair straight or to perfect the shape of your fringe?

Here we have compiled the definitive list of 20 bobby pin hair hacks and tutorials, from intricate braids to casual updos.

There has been fierce debate about whether the pins should be used with the wavy or straight side on the scalp (here in the team we are split 50/50) but however you choose to use them, these hardworking pins are both incredibly useful and extremely versatile.

  • The perky ponytail

    If you want your ponytail to stay super high, slide some bobby pins into the base of your hair bobble to secure the top of the pony to your scalp. Kayley Melissa has an easy video tutorial to guide you.

  • The criss cross

    This is an unusual-looking hairstyle that will take you less than five minutes to master. Give this great 8-step tutorial by Makeup Geek a try.

  • Hair bow

    For days when you want to add a little something extra to your updo, look no further than the hair bow. All you need to do is loop your hair in an elastic before splitting the loop in half and pinning each side with a bobby pin. Get the full tutorial from Hair and Makeup by Steph.

  • Two bobby pin updo

    We love a good messy updo and this look can be achieved with just two bobby pins - you don't even need a hair bobble. Irrelephant have an easy to follow guide.

  • Triangle pins

    Wear your bobby pins with pride in this kooky triangle look; we recommend trying light coloured pins for brunette hair or darker pins for blondes and redheads. Get the look with the Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno blog.

  • Messy French twist

    A look that works best with hair that hasn't been washed for a day or two, this messy French twist requires crossing your bobby pins over each other to make an X shape that holds the look in place. Get more detail with this tutorial from Irrelephant.

  • Waterfall braid

    It takes just one bobby pin to hold this sweet waterfall braid in place. You simply need to twist a front section of your hair and secure in place; for more details see this great tutorial from Hair and Makeup by Steph.

  • Thick hair bun

    If you have thick hair that is impossible to wind into a bun in one go, use bobby pins to twist your hair up section by section. Kayley Melissa has a great video tutorial.

  • Double rope braid

    Work two rope braids down each side of your head and secure in a bun with a couple of bobby pins for a simple, yet eyecatching, look. Get the full tutorial from Divine Caroline.

  • high half updo

    You only need two bobby pins to keep this look in place; just make sure you backcomb with plenty of hairspray beforehand to get the height. See the full video tutorial by Lilith Moon for further help.

  • Centre twist bun

    This thick twist finished off with a messy bun takes a little practise to perfect but the results are worth it. Give it a go with this tutorial from Twist Me Pretty.

  • Flicked fringe

    To get the perfect flick in your fringe, hairspray your hair and curl the fringe in the direction you want the flick to go. Then secure with a bobby pin for five minutes (or longer if you can) to set the style; once released, it should be in the perfect shape. See more with Nikki DeRoest's video tutorial.

  • Flower bun

    This waterfall braid and flower bun can be created with just three bobby pins and a couple of hair ties. Get the full step by step tutorial at Missy Sue.

  • Keep hair straight

    If you have naturally wavy hair, bobby pin your hair tightly against your head overnight while you sleep to keep it smooth and straight. Get the full tutorial from xoVain.

  • Twisted updo

    Lots of twisting and pinning will result in this effortless, messy updo. Get the full tutorial from The Small Things blog.

  • Twisted crown braid

    Another beautiful and simple braid that requires only a couple of bobby pins to keep it in place. Get the tutorial from Divine Caroline.

  • Three mini twists

    Keep your hair off your face with these three quick twists; simply twist sections back and secure with a trusty bobby pin. Get the tutorial from Ma Nouvelle Mode.

  • Lace braided updo

    To recreate this intricate braided updo, you need only two bobby pins to secure the plaits to the bottom of your head. Summer style, sorted. Get the tutorial from Yet Another Beauty Site.

  • Bobble free pony

    This look takes less than 30 seconds to create; simply twist a section of hair around the bobble holding your ponytail up and secure with a bobby pin. All Things Hair has a good video tutorial.

  • Thirty second twist

    Spruce up any hairstyle with a quick twist secured with bobby pins. Image via Pinterest.

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Follow her on Twitter

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