The 10 Commandments of Hair Accessories
Don't Be a Baby
Headbands can look juvenile and prissy. Wear them with a messy bun and they're fully adult.
Switch to Barrettes
When you want to pull your hair back quickly, use a wide tortoise barrette. "It looks classier and more expensive than an elastic," says hairstylist Eugene Souleiman. To assure a tight hold, thoroughly tease the underside of the hair before gathering it into a ponytail and snapping the barrette as close to the nape as possible.
Crown with Jewels
Brooches, pins, or earrings can be gorgeous with braids and chignons, says hairstylist Odile Gilbert. Place them around the base of a bun or above one ear to hold shorter layers. Expert tip: Secure them by tying on floral wire and looping that through hair.
Try a High, Tight, Totally Badass Ponytail
A piece of black plastic and tons of shine serum give a high ponytail a naughty (and cool) dominatrix vibe. At Jason Wu, Gilbert flatironed the hair and slicked on Kérastase Resistance Fibre Architecte before wrapping black bondage tape from a Paris sex shop around high ponytails. "You want the hair stick-straight and supported away from the head," she says. "That swingy, swishy movement is so sexy."
Balance Sweet Hair with Tough Makeup
Give girlie hair accessories an edge by wearing jet-black eyeliner, says Chanel makeup artist Rachel Goodwin. Rim both the top and bottom lash lines with "a smudgy kohl pencil, which gives you intense color but not a full-on goth look," she says.
It's OK to be a Little Dirty
Second-day hair holds barrettes and clips better than freshly washed hair. But if grime just isn't your thing, a spritz of dry shampoo, like Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, gives clean hair grip.
Long Hair Isn't a Requirement
Forget for a moment that headbands and barrettes are tools that keep hair off your face. "Sometimes, they are just great for creating a new style when you can't manipulate the actual hair," says hairstylist Chris McMillan. Case in point: Carey Mulligan's dressed-up pixie in The Great Gatsby.
Don't Wear One Bobby Pin -- Wear Five
Like a stack of bangles, multiple bobby pins catch the eye without trying too hard. Gilbert likes gold or silver ones. "Use them to pull short layers off the face or to add structure to a messy bun," she says.
You Can Wear Ribbons, as Long as They're...
...grosgrain or silk and floppy. "Stiff or wiry ones look cheap, no matter how well they're styled," says hairstylist Mark Townsend, who likes coordinating ribbons to his clients' outfits, not their hair color. Weave skinny ribbons into braids, or finish an updo with a wide sash worn as a headband. (Wrap a tiny section of hair around the bottom to keep it from falling out.)