Master Class: How to Wear Hair Accessories

Top up your style profile with these sweet summer hair helpers.

wella hairspray
"Hair accessories have gotten a bad rap from people who don't know how to wear them," says Eva Scrivo of New York City's Eva Scrivo Salon. As the mercury rises and chic hair baubles heat up the runways — from outsize bows at Marc by Marc Jacobs to understated crimson barrettes at 3.1 Phillip Lim — learn to don headbands, pins, and clips without looking like a Gossip Girl reject.In the market for a new do? Use our virtual hairstyle makeover tool for a new you today!
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Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Step 1: A Solid Base
Don't think of a hair accessory as a lazy alternative to styling. "Just because you're wearing a clip or band doesn't mean you don't have to do anything else," warns Scrivo. Instead, pull your strands back into a ponytail or chignon first. If you prefer to wear your hair down, tease the crown to add height. Avoid slippery, silicone-based serums when styling so that your accoutrements stay in place.

MC RECOMMENDS: Wella System Professional Ultimation Hairspray, $18.
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Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Step 2: Band Aids
"The right headband can make your haircut and head seem perfectly shaped if it's placed closer to your forehead," says Scrivo. Gold and bronze headbands bring out warm highlights, and silver ones complement cooler hair shades.

MC RECOMMENDS: Eva Scrivo Ballerina Double Band in Bronze, $55; Eva Scrivo Leather 3/4" Band in Chrome, $45.
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Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Step 2: Band Aids
MC RECOMMENDS: Jennifer Behr Nautical Chain Headwrap, $128.
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Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Step 3: Pinning Away
Hair clips are great troubleshooters. Tone down a big blowout with a half-up 'do and a modern pin. Elongate a wider face by side-sweeping one section of hair and securing it above the opposite ear. Soften narrow features with a clip at the crown and volume on the sides.

MC RECOMMENDS: Goody Obi Bow Barrette, $5.29.
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Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Step 3: Pinning Away
MC RECOMMENDS: Jane Tran Polka Dot Feathered Barrette, $45.
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Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Step 3: Pinning Away
MC RECOMMENDS: Jennifer Ouellette Basic Gem Barrette, $55.
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Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Step 4: Grand Finale
"If you feel your accessory is making you look too old — or too young — loosen a few shorter pieces of hair around the forehead and ears to soften the look," suggests Scrivo. If you have a barrette or headband you love but don't know how to style it, bring it along to your next salon visit so that your stylist can demonstrate the most flattering ways to wear it.

MC RECOMMENDS: Lucia Tristao Hair Designs Margot Headpiece, $150.
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