Why You Should Trade in Your Hair Ties for French Pins

A lazy-girl upgrade.

Hair, Blond, Hairstyle, Beauty, Chin, Long hair, Human, Hair coloring, Layered hair, Step cutting,
(Image credit: Design by Betsy Farrell)

According to Pinterest, one of its biggest hair trends of the moment is the "banana bun," which is essentially a messier, lazier French twist. All you need for the oblong-shaped style is dirty hair, some twisting prowess, and U-Pins AKA French pins. Fitting, right?

U-pins, and others like them, have been used since ancient times to hold hair into place, but over the past few decades, they've been largely outnumbered in households by hair elastics. And while using hair ties for ponytails and top knots is useful—especially for the gym or times when we can't even—they're making us a liiittle lazy. In fact, we're basically intimidated by any hair accessory that we can't wear on our wrist...and missing out because of it. French pins are so much more versatile in the range of styles they can create for ALL textures.

The banana bun is a shining example of a style that feels elevated, isn't stiff, and is actually ridiculously easy to achieve. It just comes down to twisting or rolling the hair and popping in the pins, according to Pinterest's in-house stylist Amanda Switzer. And it's always good to use your pinky to pull out strands for good, not-too-done-looking measure.

French pins don't just suit low-situated hairstyles either. Back in February, Bumble and bumble's global artistic director Laurent Philippon showed us the French take on a top knot: A twisted knot with "ends" sticking out. It really is as simple as twisting it onto the top of the head and pinning it. But, what really added polish to the look was the Parisian waves that Philippon created—so that's another thing to keep in mind. A great base, like bendy waves (whether just-rolled-out-of-bed natural or simulated), makes a style that much cooler.

When it comes to choosing what kind of U-pins to go for, keep in mind that most versions fall into the two to six inch range based on the length of the hair you'll be working with. And be sure that they have kinks at the ends, as that's what will will keep them from slipping. Material-wise, we love everything from an all-business metal to classic tortoise. The latter of which skincare founder/all-things-goals-lady Linda Rodin swears by—and we tend to everything/anything she says so...

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.