How to Use Bobby Pins Correctly

I used to get so frustrated with bobby pins! They never seemed to hold anything, they would slide out, leaving my hair a mess and undone. I would pin like 30 in my hair for updos for special occasions.  Then throughout the night I would feel them shifting and sliding in my hair, and by the end of the night my hair would have fallen several inches. Boo! But NO longer! I finally learned how to get them to hold my hair and stay for hours! So I want to share these tips I learned with all of y’all!

1. This is very important: Use good quality bobby pins. I always used to just pick up whatever pack of bobby pins I saw in the drugstore. However, I highly recommend going to Sally’s Beauty Supply and picking up their quality bobby pins or ordering them online. It makes such a huge difference!

Meta Grip Bob Pins


2. Everyone always uses their teeth to open Bobby Pins, this is NOT the correct way to use them! By opening them you ruin the integrity of the Bobby Pin, so they become loose and unable to use. Instead they are already built to slide into your hair.

Bobby pin opening

3. Yes, this means most people put them in upside down! When I learned the correct way to put them in, it was weird because it felt like I was putting them in upside down, even though it was the right way!

3. You don’t actually need to catch ALL of the hair in the pin. If your twisting your hair then pinning it down, you really only need to pin the small section of the twist that was from the bottom of your hair. This small piece of hair should be twisted around the rest of the hair and hold it in place easily.

3. Finally the secret to not having to use a ton of bobby pins is learning the “lock” technique. When you go to use the bobby pin catch a little bit of hair with the little “arm” then slide it in just a little, then lift, flip and slide the bobby pin in the rest of the way. I know that’s confusing, so here’s a video explaining and showing the “locking” trick:

So good luck y’all! Hopefully this helps with all your updos and special occasions!

This entry was posted in Hair.


  1. Courtney says:

    I was just saying earlier this week that I must not be using bobby pins right because I have to use a ton, and my style still dies a quick death. Thanks so much for the “locking” trick – can’t wait to try it!

  2. Rhianna says:

    This is an awesome tip. Too bad “SOMEONE” didn’t share it with me sooner. I was not even aware of this really great website where I could find wonderful tips from a proud southern girl!

  3. Darlene B says:

    I loved the tip but hated the video! First of all, you used black bobby pin on black hair. Then your head was cut off where you were putting the pin. I couldn’t see a darn thing! Please think about re-doing the video! Its just too good a tip to have it ruined!

    • Deirdre says:

      Oh, sorry for the confusion, but the video is actually not of me :) I found it a while ago when I was learning how to do it and so I thought I would share it with y’all. However, maybe I will try filming one myself, that will be easier to see. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Katia says:

    Mind….BLOWN!!!!! Wow – this is the best hair tutorial I have ever seen. One, I never know I was using my bobby pins upside down, Two – I just re-fashioned my pin while watching your tutorial and it is the best I have EVER put a bobby pin in. Thank you, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!

  5. hayley says:

    Just saw your tutorial. Really loved it. Can’t believe I’m 42 and just learned to use a bobby pin correctly. Nice. Hope its OK that I pinned your post.

    Cheers Hayley

  6. Sandra ROVIRA says:

    Great!!!! Didnt have a clue i just … I just Gave up and kept buying them! …well try 45! Years and just learnt how to use them! Thank u

  7. Nichole says:

    Oh god. Really? It’s that simple?? I have super-fine, baby-soft hair and had given up on using anything except clunky clips in it. I twisted my hair into a simple French knot and two freaking bobby pins have held it in place perfectly since I got home from work ~ I even took the dog for a nice stroll around the neighborhood! THANK YOU! <3

  8. mrs o says:

    Thank you so much for this tip. I wish I had read this before the ball. I had my hair in a simple updo and I was not using the pins correctly.: they held my hair only for a short time and my hair would constantly fall apart! It was a nightmare. I can’t wait to try some updos using this trick…confidently!!!

  9. Andie says:

    Hei! I just wanted to leave you a comment because your video and explanations changed my life :) I’m not at all an expert at fixing my own hair, but last night I was at a party and all my bobby pins just slided off my hair – it was such a disaster. So this morning I found your video and realised I was doing everything wrong! I tried again, used your technique and it was so damn easy and life-changing! Thank you so much, you can now rest at ease knowing that you changed someone’s life for the better :)))
    Keep up the good work!

  10. Tami says:

    Does this work when you’re trying to do the “bouffant” or “mini-bouffant”?? It just seems like it works when trying to grab a lot of hair.

  11. Jomell Smith says:

    i’m 65 an a former beautician. i feel cheated that i did not know of this when i use to do all of those french twist with curls. wow, i can’t wait to try it on someone… thanx

  12. Lisa Demuth says:

    Southern Girl, thank you so much for this video. Today my girls have a dance recital and I am trying to get their hair into buns and dreading bobby pins galore. Both have long hair but the youngest has such a thick mane of hair it is intimidating to tame. Appreciate you going through what you did several times vocally with instructions as well as physically demonstrating your technique. You have a good voice and an easy going presence while you are filming this. Much appreciated!

  13. rebecca jiles says:

    Thanks for this video! I have always been “challenged” in the area of styling my hair. Growing up I was a tomboy and once I became a mom it seemed even harder, cause I don’t have the desire nor the time to do anything elaborate. So simple styles involving bobby pins seemed like the best thing for me, however I could never get them to stay! So frustrating when you just want to make an effort to look a little cuter one day and the simplest of techniques eludes you. But I think I’ve got it now. I feel better about myself already! Thank you thank you thank you.

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