No matter what length, color or texture hair you have, there are some styling essentials that every woman needs: bobby pins, a brush or two, some decent headbands. But actually finding amazing quality, Holy Grail-status hair basics? That’s another story. For every incredible hair elastic we’ve found, we’ve gone through another pack that broke on us—nearly breaking our hearts in the process.
Now there’s no need to suffer through sub-par products again: we’ve rounded up the very best hair basics ever. From incredible pins to hair-beautifying combs, these are the bare necessities your lovely locks need.
Best classic bobby pins: MetaGrip Premium Bob Pins ($7.99 for 300, Sally Beauty).
Everyone knows that when it comes to hair, an amazing bobby pin can make or break your style completely. An no matter your hair type, length or texture, these MetaGrip bobby pins are the droids you’ve been looking for. They’re strong enough to hang tough in even the slipperiest hair, and they never bend or snap, nor do the tips wear away and stab your scalp. They work like magic in every hair type, length, texture and style that will hold your hair in place all day.
Best GIANT bobby pins: Conair Roller Pins ($2.19 for 18, CVS)
If you have extremely long, thick or curly hair, you know that regular-sized bobby pins often aren’t good enough to control your mane. Enter these super-sized pins, which are big enough—and strong enough—to hold back even the most intense hair. We especially love these because they’re totally flat, rather than having those strange crimps on them. Not only does this make them easier to slide into hair, it also won’t leave awkward marks in your lovely locks when you slide them out.
Best hair ties: Scunci No Damage Elastics ($4.99, Drugstore.com)
If you want a hairtie that never stretches out and holds tight all day, these are the products for you. Simple and claspless, these Scunchi ties will keep your pony high without ever pulling or breaking. We also find that these ‘dent’ hair less than other ties we’ve tried—which is pretty amazing.
Best soft headbands: Greecie Girl Headbands ($11.50, Etsy)
If you’re looking for an easy, slip-free way to keep your hair out of your face while working out (or doing some DIY spa treatments), these handmade beauties are for you. Coming in about a million fabrics, these headbands are custom-sized, don’t press on your temples and give you a headache, never pull at your hair and truly stay put. We’ve worn these through HIIT workouts and long runs, and they haven’t budged. Plus, who doesn’t love supporting a small business?
Best elastic headbands: Scunci Headwraps With No-Slip Grip ($3.89 for 4, Drugstore.com)
If you prefer a thinner headband that literally will not budge, these are the headbands for you. They will not move until you pull them off, regardless of the activity you’re doing. We especially love to use these as the base for a gorgeous twisted updo, or with our hair teased a little at the crown for a mod-inspired ‘do.
Best paddle brush: Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush ($25, Aveda)
Not all brushes are created equal. This wide, flat brush feels solid and substantial in your hand, and the soft-tipped bristles feel amazing against your scalp. It detangles, de-frizzes, smooths and creates volume wherever you need it. If you have flyaway-prone hair or you have a hard time doing blowouts, this is going to change your life. It’s a beautiful brush and a pleasure to use.
Best round brush: Harry Josh 2″ Round Brush ($40, Dermstore)
If you want a Kate Middleton-esque blowout, this is the round brush you need. Made with a mixture of natural and boar bristles, this beautifully designed round brush pulls hair taut without yanking it and adds shine as you go. Plus, the bevelled handle gives you perfect grip and control—and can we say that we truly love the sea-green color?
Best wide comb: Swissco Comb ($10, Swissco)
If you have curly hair, you know how essential an amazing wide-tooth comb is—and this is the best we’ve ever tried. Not only does it look gorgeous, it glides through hair, stopping whenever it encounters a tangle instead of just ripping through. Amazing on wet and dry hair and all types of curls and waves, this comb is a bathroom essential—and at the price of a decent sandwich, definitely an investment that everyone can make.
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