If you think
hair bands, barrettes and bobby pins are merely a grade school memory, think again. This season is all about hair accessories (the grown-up versions, of course). We saw warrior-like helmets of barrettes at Alexander McQueen, jewelled hair bands at Chanel and Nina Ricci, and Rodarte and Cynthia Rowley both featured models wearing sharp, angular, art deco-inspired hair pieces.
Fall hairstyles: The decor hype
Hair accessories have gone upscale. Celebrity hairstylist and beauty expert Billy Lowe isn’t surprised designers from Marc Jacobs to Carolina Herrera turned to hair decor as a way to make their collections pop. “Hair decor is one more element that designers can tap into for beauty enhancement and profitability,” Lowe says. “Why only focus on clothes. Hair itself is an accessory, so you can choose to dress it up, too.”
The penchant for using pretty pieces to spice up our strands is nothing new. Historically, we’ve seen it many times from tiara-toting royals to silver screen beauties sporting eye-catching bling atop their famous heads. But if the spate of sparkle, bold color and unique shapes adorning model’s perfectly coiffed heads was any indication, this season in particular is shaping up to be all about hair accessories. “Adornments for hair provide that little something extra,” Lowe says. "Bling can add a soft and sophisticated look. When we pull hair back, it looks a little empty simply tucked with a pin, so we amp up the style with a subtle clip, or perhaps something a bit more extravagant.”
Get adorned this season
When it comes to adding that “something extra” to your fall hairstyles the possibilities are endless. Lowe says hair bands are a great choice, especially thin ones with jewelled elements. Thick plastic hair bands are not as popular, but he says they can be fun to work with if you find something more playful and whimsical. Think bold colors, textural elements and interesting patterns.
More tips on creating pretty fall hairstyles on the next page …
The only thing to remember when adoring your tresses is to keep it simple and don’t overdo it. Too much can work against you and hinder your look, Lowe explains. If you are using hair decor, focus on one section for accenting. For example, when pulling everything back into a low chignon, focus on that area at the nape, rather than adding clips at the sides or a hair band on top. This will detract from the style you originally wanted to achieve. Or if you’re pulling everything off to one side, focus on the side that you’ve pulled back, not on the heavy side. “The idea is to accentuate, to open up, and to create space. That’s what hair accessories help us do.”
If you’re not sure where to start Lowe says to think “back to school” with a little more glamour and sophistication. “All the things you used to do in the second grade, you can do at 20, 30, 40 or whatever age, just with more adornment and glitz,” he explains. Everything from hair bands to clips are now sleeker, less chunky than the ones you may have worn as a child, and often adorned with a smattering of sparkle. The only time Lowe advises staying away from accessorizing is when your hair is in a ponytail. “Ponytails are to be simple, classic and speak for themselves.”
Like shoes, bags or bangles hair decor is just another way to express your personal style, or as Lowe says, “a little kiss of something to accent your personality for the day, what you’re wearing, or how you feel."
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.