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The Ultimate Guide to Using Hair Sticks

Women (and men!) have been styling their hair using hair sticks for many centuries but even so, many people have no idea how to use them. Using hair sticks needn't be intimidating, creating hairstyles with them is actually very easy to do and can be mastered with very little practice. The result is always a style that only looks complicated and is more elegant by far than any you can create with any other type of hair jewelry. This guide provides step-by-step instructions and tips that teach you how to use hair sticks to create a beautiful yet simple bun in anything from shoulder-length to very long hair. Best of all, any type of hair, from the finest and smoothest to the thickest and coarsest, can be securely held with hair sticks. This guide and others found at LongLocks will enable you to create a wide range of stunning updos in only seconds... your hair style options are limited only by your own imagination!

Susan Maxwell Schmidt Visual Fine Art

Once you've mastered the basics as outlined below, be sure to check out the LongLocks HairStyles Gallery for illustrations and detailed instructions for many different styles created using hair sticks. And of course, don't forget to treat yourself to the one-of-a-kind pair of LongLocks HairSticks that best represent your own style!

Using Hair Sticks Basics - A Simple Bun

1. Always comb your hair and eliminate any knots before you begin styling it. See our Ultimate Guide to Removing Knots for great tips on getting rid of tangles.
2. Make sure your hair sticks are within easy reach, and then gather your hair into a ponytail at the back of your head. The placement of the bun you are about to make may be as low or as high as you like but keep in mind it is easier to keep your hair smooth, especially if it is straight, if you keep the bun low.
3. Grasp the base of your ponytail with your left hand (assuming you are right-handed).
4. Using your dominant hand, twist the hair until it begins to coil in on itself just a bit.
5. Coil your hair into a bun working from the side of your dominant hand, up toward the top of your head and continuing around until only a couple inches of hair remain loose at the end of the ponytail. Add a twist or two if necessary as you wrap your hair.
6. Tuck the ends under your bun and using your non dominant hand, cup the entire bun against your head to hold it in place.
7. Using your dominant hand and working very close to your head, slide the pointed end of the hair stick through the very edge of your bun and then use the point to pick up just a small lock of the hair that lays against your head under the bun.
8. As you work the hair stick under and across the bun, continue using a slight "sewing" motion between the bun and hair against your head, picking up small "stitches" of hair as you go.
9. Once one hair stick is inserted, you may let go of the bun with your non dominant hand. Repeat the process with the second hair stick.
10. Adjust your hair sticks so they are more or less evenly centered from end-to-end in your hair, if desired.

Useful Hair Stick Tips:

Never, never, never force a hair stick into your hair. If you meet resistance twist the stick while gently pushing it through, do not force it or you will risk breaking the stick no matter what it is made of (even metal!). If you still meet resistance, remove the hair stick from your hair and insert it from a slightly different angle.
If your hair is extraordinarily slick or fine, braiding it first will not only create a beautiful bun but will help to very securely keep the hair sticks in your hair. Check out Hair Braiding Basics to learn how to make a variety of braids!

If you still have trouble keeping hair sticks in your hair, there is a secret that we have yet to see any type of hair defeat. When you begin inserting your stick and pick up the first lock of hair, do it with the stick going in the direction facing away from your bun. Once the lock of hair is on the stick, lever the stick by swinging it in a half circle until it points back in the proper direction, and continue the sewing motion to secure the bun as outlined above. Levering the stick with the lock wrapped around it effectively tightens the loop of hair around the hair stick! Picking up different amounts of hair with that first stitch will affect how tightly the lock of hair will wrap... the more hair, the tighter around the hair stick.
A Japanese Woman Adorns Another's Hair With Hair Sticks in a Painting by Utamaro
Always work close to your head, do not work from the side of the bun farthest from your head. You do not need to grab large locks of hair to securely hold it with hair sticks and you'll find working with smaller locks much easier on both you and your sticks!

For a more trendy hairstyle, don't tuck the ends under and fan them out a bit to create a messy updo.

When twisting your hair, there is no need to make your hair coil too tightly to make a simple bun but keep in mind you can use different coiling techniques to make a variety of hair styles.

Be sure to leave enough length loose at the end of your twisted ponytail when you are done making the coil so you are sure to be able to securely tuck the ends under the bun. If you make them too short, they will be much more difficult to secure.

Remember that you don't have to cross the hair sticks through your bun, you may certainly insert both of them from the same side. Play with different variations of angles until you find the ones you like best, but always keep the top of the hair stick above 3 or 9 o'clock to limit the chance that gravity will eventually work it out of your bun. The higher the top of the stick, the more secure it will be.

Be sure to use the hair sticks that are right for you hair! Almost all hair types and lengths can easily use our standard-length bone LongLocks HairSticks but if your hair is extremely long (butt length or longer) or exceedingly thick, you may want to try LongLocks RapunzelStix. RapunzelStix are also great for hair styles using only a single hair stick in any type of hair. If you aren't sure which length hair sticks are best for your hair type, check out our article on Choosing Hair Stick Length.

Another option for very thick or long hair is to make two buns, either side-by-side or one on top of the other. See our HairStyles Gallery for hair styles created with two buns.

To master twisting your hair into a bun quickly, try making a circle with your middle finger around the ponytail a few inches from the base. Twist the hair by wrapping it around your middle finger by making small circles with your wrist. Move your hand down the ponytail as it twists and let the ends flop over and around your hand with each twist. If you practice this, you will literally be able to bun your hair without a mirror in a matter of mere seconds! Amaze your friends!

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