How to Use Bobby Pins in Weird Yet Ingenious Ways

What can't they do?

bobby pins


They’re not new or flashy, and they don’t contain any buzzy ingredients or require a charge to get the job done. Bobby pins are just bobby pins. Like paper clips, bobby pins are refreshingly simple, and they’ve changed very little since their origin. Like red lipstick or a black cat eye, they prove that sticking with the classics is unfailingly chic. After all, bobby pins have been an integral part of women’s beauty routines for generations. What other beauty tool can say the same?

With that being said, it’s easy to ignore innovation for tradition. Many women, us included, were blind to the myriad uses for these ubiquitous little pins. In fact, we would go so far as to say they’re the most underrated beauty multitasker out there. If you think they’re only good for taming flyaways and keeping your bun in place, you’re in for a huge awakening. Keep reading to learn how to use bobby pins!

Make Your Curls Last Longer
Gold Curling Iron - 3/4"
Hot Tools Gold Curling Iron 2 Inch $50 $40

If your curls fall flat before you even leave the house, you need—we repeat, need—to try pinning them. Release your curl from the curling iron, roll it up, and pin it to your scalp with a bobby pin. Don’t release the curls until your hair has cooled. When you do, they’ll be set for longer than you’ve ever imagined possible. Take it from us: You won’t have to go through half a can of hair spray in one sitting anymore.

Give Your Ponytail a Boost

bobby pin tricks

Droopy ponytail? Fight back with bobby pins. Crisscross a pair of bobby pins behind your ponytail right at the base to prop it up. When you drop your hair down, your pony will be sitting up nice and high.

Customize Them

Smith and Cult Nail Polish
Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer $18

Bobby pins don’t always have to be minimalistic. Give them a little something extra by painting them your favorite color. We love Smith & Cult’s Nail Lacquer in Regret the Moon ($18) for brunettes and Chrome Girl’s Nail Lacquer in Bed Head Blue for blondes. Not only is it a cute way to add a little personality to a universal product, but painting your pins is a good way to keep from losing them in the black hole of your purse (like us).

Make Bobby Pin Art

bobby pin art
Justin Coit

Bobby pins are great at what they’re known for—stealthily holding and supporting your hair. But we also happen to love the visible bobby pin. Stack a bunch on one side, make a geometric shape to hold your hair back… The possibilities are endless. Use your painted pins for extra adorability.

Use Up the Last of the Toothpaste

colgate toothpaste
Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste (pack of 3) $4

Leave no drop of toothpaste behind. When your toothpaste gets low, just slide a bobby pin onto the end of the tube and use it to push down the remaining paste. This works for hand creams and lip salves as well. It may be a simple tip, but it’s a money-saving one.

DIY a Contour Brush

powder brush
Liz Earle Powder Brush $20

Short on brushes? You can turn your powder brush into the contour, bronzer, or highlight brush you’re missing. Pinch the bristles together, and then slide a bobby pin onto either side of the brush to maintain the shape. Use the slimmer brush to accurately apply your contour, and then remove the bobby pins to bring your powder brush back to normal.

Apply Eyelash Glue

eye lashes

The tiny prongs of bobby pins make them ideal for applying a thin line of eyelash glue along with your favorite set of falsies. Because let’s be real: Applying glue straight from the tube makes for a goopy mess. This trick lets you deposit the perfect amount of glue every time. As if that weren’t enough, they’re also perfect for adding a single dot of polish to the base of your nail and resetting the time on electronic devices. (Why do they make those buttons so tiny?)

Make a Chicer Braid

fishtail braid

Nothing ruins a beautiful braid quite like a chunky hair tie at the end. Instead, secure the braid with a hidden bobby pin. Tie the ends into a knot, pinch them together, and slide a bobby pin into the center of the knot.

Create a Makeshift Chip Clip or Bookmark

Sun Chips Multigrain Snacks $3

So many snacks, so few chip clips. Luckily we live in a world where bobby pins come by the dozens. When you’re short on chip clips, slide a few bobby pins onto your Tostitos to keep them fresh. When traveling, this tip is a must. It prevents open food and crumbs from spilling all over things. You can also use bobby pins to bookmark the correct page on your passport or travel guide.

Tailor Your Clothes

woman in yellow jacket, dark eyeliner

Shirt or pants too long? In a pinch, bobby pins can create a temporary hem, no tailor required. Keep this in mind next time you’re suffering a wardrobe faux pas.

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