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Hair Huggers, Clips and Pins: Centuries of Trying to Keep Hair Up

May 6, 2008
The rudimentary concept of holding one's hair up goes back centuries ago. However it's not the base concept of keeping long hair out of your business, face, high-speed hydraulic machinery and the like, but it's for fashion as well.

It probably started with the hairpin and developed to the hair clip. Archaeologists have old hairpins that date back as far as 600 B.C. They postulate that is probably went further back, but what museums have on hand that resembles closest to the pins we sell today, that are some of the oldest physical evidence in historical proof. With ancient hairpins there really isn't much difference between their styles, except that some of them were from carved wood. The metal ones are similar, and keep a slight barb near the tip from falling out.

The less ubiquitous, and possibly more ancient, the hair comb is another accessory that grew out of function and into fashion. The Romans, Greeks, and dozens of Persian and Middle Eastern ancients produced beautiful hair combs with elaborate carvings in wood and bone that are commonly found in archaeological digs all over Europe and Asia.

Fundamentally the hair comb was developed simply to comb through and clean the hair. Lice were a bigger burden back in the ancient times so specialized hair combs kept the little crustaceans at bay.

The most common hair clip today that serves only as the function part of pinning hair up is the bobby pin. You'll now this one even if you are not a long hair wearer. The Bobby pin is simply a stiff piece of thin flat wire bent on to itself with little bumb bends put into the top half to better capture hair stands.

Modern Spin on Hair Containment

There have been scads of new gadgets and tools for hair placement, containment and style. You will often find late at night watching infomercials a new invention that makes hair more manageable or stylish. There are hair lifters and frizz killers, chopsticks clustered with sequins and hair huggers of all shapes and sizes.

Some of the following hair styles are common using some type of hair hugger or pull:
- Basic long hair pull-back
- Peacock twist
- Half up, half down
- Ponytail
- Sport ponytail

Just like hair tools of ancient times, women will always battle the same elements of keeping their hair in place. Making curly hair less unruly, making straight hair more interesting and keeping humid hair frizz explosions under control will still be the bane of future hair tool implements.
About the Author
Hairzing (http://www.hairzing.com/) makes unique and elaborate hair huggers that put any hair clip or rival hair hugger to shame. They offer inexpensive hair holding products with easy video instructions for various style variations. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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