Long hair styles: How to use a clip for upswept hair styles

Intructions for creating two versitile updos for long hair using various sizes of claw clips.

Simple, Elegant Updos for Long to Very Long Hair

Long hair is a blessing and a curse. Once it passes the shoulder blades, it makes a striking impression when it is left down, but putting it up in a style more complex that a ponytail is a chore. Today’s new styling accessories have made controlling long hair easier, however.

Claw clips were a new product of the late nineties and have come a long way in that time. Now they are available in the original three-inch size, as well as in tiny half-inch clips and long, curved 8-inch monster claws. For use on very long hair I recommend the very long claw and the 1-inch “butterfly” clips.
To create an updo with long curved claw, begin by washing and drying your hair. Plug in your curling iron, too. If your hair is sleek, treat it with a texturizer. Using a hair friendly brush, such as a soft boar bristle brush, brush hair straight back off the forehead and pull it into a smooth ponytail just above the nape of the neck. Secure the tail with a seamless elastic band or bungee.
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Twist the ponytail up against the back of your head. Hold the twist in place with one hand and with the other open the big claw. Press the open claw against your scalp, being sure it’s low enough to hide the elastic of the ponytail. Let the claw close, continuing to press it tight against your head, especially at the top. If the weight of your hair is still enough to make the claw lean away from your head, use pins to secure top of the claw and twist. Let the twist undo and hang to either side of the clip.

The separate the hair in one inch sections to curl it, spraying each section with maximum strength spray gel before applying heat. Keep the hair on the iron for at least 30 seconds to ensure that the heat saturates. If you have more that 8 inches of hair to curl this way, protect the ends with a bit of tissue, and hold the curl for 45 to 50 seconds. Once you have curled all of your hair this way, spritz the whole thing with hairspray to set it. This updo is fabulous for long layer as well as hair that is all the same length.

For a more contained look, use the small clips. You can use the 1/2 inch clips if your hair is merely “long” or if it is very fine. If it is thick or very long, use the 1 inch clips. These can be found in a variety colors and make a striking long when colors are chosen that contrast strongly with your hair color. For example, if your hair is very dark, use pastel clip with glitter to highlight them. Blondes should try navy, forest green or maroon clips that are flocked to resemble velvet.

To begin I recommend letting your hair “age” for 24 hours after washing it. The natural oils in your hair will help keep the style defined. If working with clean hair, prep it with an appropriate product.

Brush hair straight back off of your face and into a sleek ponytail very high on the crown of your head. Secure it with a hair safe bungee or elastic the same color as your hair. If your hair is prone to fly-aways, smooth a bit of light gel into the tail to keep it sleek. If you have long layers, this look will be challenging to keep sleek. Use gel and lots of pins, but don’t be surprised when you get a spikey-bun anyway.

Lift the pony tail and twist it clockwise, then lay in to the right of the elastic, securing the twist to the scalp with a clip about 3 inches from the elastic. Continue twisting the tail and laying it in a tight spiral around the elastic, placing clips every three to six inches in hair length. The smaller the clips you are working with, the closer you will need to place them to keep the bun tight.

When you get to about 4 inches from the end of the ponytail, carefully work the ends under the last round of twist/clips. To secure it, use pins on the very tip and on any sections that are loose.

Both of these hairstyles are adaptable for business, casual and special occasions. For business purposes, tone down the bright colors and glittery finishes. Try a more subdued look with tortoise shell or brushed silver. For casual, also lose the glitter and stick with bold solid colors in glossy finishes. The glitter and rhinestones are perfect for the dressy, special occasions you have to attend, however.

Once you have mastered the basics of these two styles there are several options for varying the looks, including half-buns, bangs, wisps and crimping. Good luck and have fun!

Posted by on Jun 30 2012. Filed under Beauty & Makeup. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


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