What is Hair Jewelry?

Sheri Cyprus

The term hair jewelry usually refers to beaded or crystal accessories which include barrettes, clips, pins, ponytail holders, combs and headbands. Oftentimes, the beads, crystals, rhinestones or pearls used in these typically sparkly hair accessories are combined with intricate metalwork. While some hair jewelry is designed to be worn for everyday situations, much of it is made for special occasions such as proms, cocktail parties and weddings.

Pearls are a popular wedding hair accessory.
Pearls are a popular wedding hair accessory.

White pearls, rhinestones and pearls are especially popular in hair jewelry worn for weddings. These stones often blend well with the details in the bride's gown as well as her accents such as rings, earrings, bracelets or a necklace. Bridal hairstyle accessory jewelry may help hold the veil in place or may be worn in the hair if the bride changes from her wedding gown to another outfit.

Beads add style to hair accessories.
Beads add style to hair accessories.

Since hair jewelry is usually quite sparkly and shiny, it's often the ideal accent for cocktail parties. For example, even a plain black dress or skirt and top can be dressed up by adding sparkling crystal combs or pins to an up-swept hairstyle. While white crystals, rhinestones and pearls are commonly used in jewelry types of hair accessories, many fashion colors are also available in these pieces.

Hair jewelry adds a nice touch to the bridal party's hair at a wedding.
Hair jewelry adds a nice touch to the bridal party's hair at a wedding.

For proms or other special occasions in which colorful looks are typically worn, matching or coordinating the color of hair jewelry to the attendee's gown can create a complete-looking, dressy outfit. Depending on the current popular styles, pink, lilac, red and blue are just some of the typically available hair fashion jewelry colors in accessories that may include headbands, ponytail holders and clips. These fashion styles of jewelry for hair will vary in their size and shape depending on the trends at the time.

Jewelry designers create much of the intricately beaded pieces sold as hair accessories. The overall look of hair jewelry usually depends greatly on the style of the designer. Usually, two main methods of styling the metal between the beads, pearls, rhinestones or crystals is used by the jewelry designer: scroll and filigree. The scroll technique features detailed S-shaped curves, much like wrought iron, while the filigree method creates more of a lacy appearance. Both techniques, when combined with beads and gems in glamorous, jewelry-like accessories, can give almost any hairstyle an elegant look.

Some jewelry designers create hair accessories that are not necessarily sparkly, but rather more artistic looking, such as in multi-colored, enameled hair sticks. These hair jewelry sticks are made to accent buns or other up-swept styles for longer hair. Rather than crystals, unique, handmade beads may be featured on the tops of the hair sticks.

Hair jewelry is best when it compliments a person's hairstyle.
Hair jewelry is best when it compliments a person's hairstyle.

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