This $29 Hair Pin Is The Secret Behind So Many Red-Carpet Hairstyles

When I tell people I'm a beauty editor, they act as if I have the talent of a hairstylist. They assume I've mastered all kinds of complex hairstyles. One person even asked me to cut their hair for them. However much I wish this were's not. In fact, you'll likely see me wearing a hair mask to the grocery store before you'll see me with a perfectly-done style. 

That's not because I don't like to do my hair. It's actually quite the opposite. I love doing my own hair, but I struggle when it comes to certain styles—particularly up-dos. If it's a look that involves anything more complicated than a claw clip, I'm in trouble. Blame it on a lack of practice, my poor technique, or the fact that my long, fine hair doesn't like to hold a shape, but I have yet to master the art of the up-do. That is, until recently. I tried a celeb-approved French hair pin (America Ferrera and Aubrey Plaza have both worn in it in their red-carpet up-dos), and I've been wearing my hair up almost every day for a month. It takes me less than five minutes, holds all day, and (in my opinion) looks extremely chic. Keep scrolling!

The Power Pin

Here it is—Day Rate Beauty's Power Pin. It's a seven-inch French hair pin that comes in different shades that match common hair colors. For example, the shade Cocoa is a rich brown for brunette hair; the shade Dandelion is warm yellow for blonde hair, and the shade Crimson is well-suited for red hair.

"I like to think of them as a damage free alternative to an elastic, or a one and done way to throw your hair up," says Celebrity Hairstylist and Founder of Day Rate Beauty, Aviva Jansen. "And because they are color matched (and we also offer gold), they are a sophisticated, elevated, everyday styling tool."

While it might seem intimidating (I know it did to me), it couldn't be easier to use. "I like to tell people it’s kind of like a grown-up version of using a pencil to throw your hair up when you were a kid," Jansen says. "Or think of it as weaving a safety pin through the fabric of your hair. Twist your hair into a bun or twist, then insert the pin tines wherever your ends are. Wiggle it through the hair, flip, scoop it over, and push through your hair.  When it’s inserted properly you will know!

I decided to create a low bun with my Power Pin. It took me less than five minutes and stayed put through the entire day—until I took it out after dinner. The best part? I didn't use hairspray. 

The Petite Power Pin

The slightly smaller version of the Power Pin is aptly named the Petite Power Pin, and it's five-and-a-half inches instead of seven. Personally, since I have long but fine hair, this one worked better for creating up-dos placed at the crown on my head. However, if you have long, thick hair, I'd recommend sticking with the Power Pin for better hold. 

I simply brushed my hair up into an imperfect twist and wiggled the pin through to keep it there. Again, it took me less than five minutes and stayed put all day without hairspray.

"You really don’t have to prep your hair to use the pins," Jansen says. "Think of them as an elevated everyday way to put your hair up (an elastic alternative). I always wear a Petite Power Pin and leave one on my nightstand. When I wake up, I throw my hair into a messy top knot and sometimes it stays there until I go to bed. If you are doing an updo, I love spraying a little dry shampoo on my pins to give them a little extra grip, but that’s just for extra “Pinsurance”. They are strong enough on their own." 

The Foundation Pin

The third and final pin I tried was the brand's Foundation Pin. This is a three-inch pin (pack of 12) that reminds me of a dual-ended bobby pin. "My clients have all different hair densities and lengths, so I made sure these pins work for every hair type," Jansen says. "If you have fine or short hair, I’d recommend our Min Pins and Petite Power Pins. If your hair is longer or thicker, opt for the Foundation Pins and Power Pins." 

For this one, I decided to toss my hair up in a style that I've been wearing ever since high school—a simple half-up bun. It took me a couple of tries to get the pin inserted correctly, but once I did, I had a simple work-from-home style that lasted me all afternoon. (And please ignore my haphazard hair-straightening work.) 

Two More Day Rate Beauty Hair Pins

Here's the Min Pin Jansen referenced. It's the smallest pin the brand offers at only two inches (it comes with a pack of 12). ""Sustainability is at the forefront of every decision we make," Jansen says. "Our pins are made in America with super strong stainless steel, coated in soft non damaging plant-based nylon. They come in tubes that help keep track of your pins, eliminating single usage."

"Hero Pins are named 'Hero' because they work on everyone," Jansen says. "And because they are plastic free, they are never going to snag or damage your hair. If your hair is too short to put into an elastic, then it's probably too short to use U-shaped pins. But you can always use a Hero Pin to pin your bangs to the side. Very chic!"

Shop My Fave Products for Helping to Style Up-Dos

Just because I'm putting my hair up doesn't mean I'm not using heat tools first. Before reaching for my blow dryer, flat iron, or curling iron, I'll apply this heat protectant. It offers up to 450-degree heat protection with hydrating ingredients. 

If I know I'll be braiding my hair or putting it up into a style that requires grip, I'll apply this texturizing spray to my mid-lengths and ends. It gives my hair texture without making it feel heavy, flat, or gritty. 

If you have fine hair, like me, mousse can help pump up volume and body. This one gives noticeable height to the hair, while hydrating and protecting it with sunflower seed oil, glycerin, and vitamin E. 

If you like a super-sleek up-do rather than a tousled one, this wax stick is a must. Applying it is easy (just glide it across your hair), and it will seal down fly-aways and give your hair a glossy sheen. 

I held out on getting one of these for the longest time, but now that I have one, I can never go back. I can know precisely part my hair with ease and comb back fly-aways. 

I also love using a paddle brush, like this one, to get any knots out of my hair and help me slick it back into a ponytail, braid, or bun. 

The final step for any up-do is hairspray. After all, what's the point of doing your hair if it just falls out anyway? This gives my hair hold without feeling crunchy. Plus, it's travel-sized bottle means I can easily toss it in my bag or carry-on.