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Hair Accessories

So, you’ve washed, dried and preened your locks to perfection. But styling is the easy part. Now you have to dress your hair, and it needs just as much attention as the rest of your wardrobe. Nowadays most high street fashion shops sell their own range of accessories; you’ll usually find their accessories match the clothes they sell, so be sure to check out your favourite fashion stores for those finishing touches.

Each person will find a certain style of hair accessory appeals, just as each different haircut will demand a different product. If you have a cropped style, there’s no need for hair bands, no matter how cute they look. If you have very fine or flyaway hair, clips won’t have enough to hold on to, and they’ll fall out. So before you splash out on accessories galore, take time to figure out what’s going to work for both you and your hair.

CLIPS: Clips are nearly every girl’s best friend. They’re both decorative and practical, although the amount of hair you want to pin up depends on the size of the clip you buy. A basic black hairgrip will just about tame a wild fringe but won’t be of much use for your dazzling red carpet up-do. For anything more than an inch or so of hair, you need to invest in a bigger (and, naturally, more eye-catching) clip. The good thing about larger clips is they’re designed to be seen, unlike the smaller grips, and really good clips can hold ridiculous amounts of hair and barely break a sweat. Of course, don’t become overambitious - forcing too much hair into a single clip could result in the clip breaking or (even worse) the clip springing open again at some point later that day - an embarrassment we’d all rather avoid.

HAIR BANDS: A common mistake people make when talking about hair accessories is to confuse hair bands with headbands. The names are far too similar and neither really gives you any hints as to their individual purpose. However hair bands are, at their most fundamental, the simple elastic bands about 2 inches across that we use to put hair into ponytails, pigtails, and all other manner of tails. They used to be limited to the primary hair colours - blonde, brown and black - but gradually have become more and more of an accessory in their own right and now come in a range of bold designs. For a younger look, go for bands with ‘attachments’ like cherries, flowers or dice. For a more glamorous look, try diamante or bejewelled bands to give a classy edge to your style.

HEADBANDS: The counterpart to hair bands, these lovely creations are often referred to as Alice bands after the famous horseshoe-shaped band Alice is depicted as wearing in Through the Looking-Glass. They were immensely popular in the 80s as an icon of rock n’roll music, but then took a downward trend in the 90s and early Noughties. Lately, however, the headband has gradually crept back into fashion and now is one of the must-haves of the hair world. The traditional Alice band has been refashioned in a variety of different materials, and even the most basic of bands now come with retro print patterns or added sparkle. Full headbands, usually with a small elasticated section so you can get it over your head, are mainly made from fabric and have a much more summery, hippy feel than the shinier plastic horseshoe bands, which are much better suited to rainy winter days. And even better, nearly everyone can wear headbands as they don’t require thick hair to stay in place. For those with finer hair, you’re better off with Alice bands, as these usually come with some grip on the inside to hold the band in place. For those with thick or curly hair, the fuller fabric headbands give your hair some shape whilst keeping all of the volume.