Bobby pinning hair is not a skill that comes naturally to me.
I used a bobby pin for the very first time when I decided to go natural in 2011. To begin with, it was impossible to pin my hair up because I didn't have much but within about six months I had enough 'material' to work with.
As an amateur, I used lots of pins to keep my hair down and even then, it still looked loose. Over time, however, I am getting better. I'm yet to become a master but I'm well on my way. Currently, it only takes two pins on each side of my head to keep my hair in place with one hair comb at the back.
My top five tips on pinning hair up successfully are:
1. Wipe your hands if they are oily;
2. Similarly, when your hair is too oily, the pins will slip out so don't overdo it with the hair oils;
3. Make sure the hair is tightly bunched up and hold it in place before picking up the pin;
4. Open the bobby pin very slightly using your forefinger (a.k.a. the pointing finger) and then push the pin where you want the hair to hold;
5. I usually place the first pin into my hair after I have folded the hair over twice then I place another pin after two more folds.
If the pins are inserted correctly, the hair will hold even if you haven't pinned all the strands at the end. To be on the safe side, I fold the remaining hair until the base of my head and insert a hair comb before pinning up the other side of my head.
My hair is still on the short side right now so I expect my technique to change when I have more hair to deal with.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward