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Hair Tinsel 101: Everything You Need To Know On How To Wear Sparkly Hair 

Hair Tinsel 101: Everything You Need To Know On How To Wear Sparkly Hair

This particular hair trend peaked during the late 90s and early 2000s, and just like crop tops and UGG boots, hair tinsels are slowly rising back from the dead. So, I thought to myself: better put a guide together for my readers… Am I right?

Also known as “unicorn hair”, the hair tinsel is an accessory to wear on your head like a hair extension, to make your mane sparkle. You can choose a colour coordinated type (gold for blondes, copper for redheads for example) or rainbow-coloured ones to give your hairstyle an extra kick. So many options to play with!

When it comes to applications, there are different techniques to wear glitter extensions on your head. According to stylists, the longest-lasting method is the single knot – a professional application method with which extensions are tied to individual hairs using a latch hook. Each extension will stay in until the hair sheds naturally, with sparkling results guaranteed to up to six weeks (as per the natural life cycle of your hair). Based on your colour choice, hair tinsel can enhance your natural colour or accentuate a crazy colour.

But don’t worry: hair tinsel extensions are made to be versatile, to be seen as a hair accessory rather than permanent hair extensions. These sparkly strands are designed to be low maintenance, and once they’re on they are easily incorporated into your daily routine, without requiring too much aftercare or any particular attention to it. You can wash, brush, and style it however you like, as hair tinsel is heat resistant too!

Although with a bit of practice - and the right installation kit - applying hair tinsel to your friends is quite easy, applying it to yourself is not recommended. Your eyes will hurt and your patience will be tested, although… It’s not impossible, and if you’re feeling particularly brave, you are officially invited to try this at home!

So, looking to know how to put hair tinsel on? For the nostalgic souls like me, here’s an old (but gold) tutorial:

As stated before, hair tinsel is normally heat resistant – therefore, it can be style hassle-free. Make sure to double-check with your seller when buying your personal hair dazzle. Other than that, a good quality glitter hair extension can resist temperatures up to 200°C/392°F.

Time to get rid of your glitter hair? No worries – we got you covered. When removing your tinsel bling, hold the knot between fingernails and the hair it is tied to securely, then pull gently along the strands of hair until it comes out. The root of the hair may come out as well depending on how tight your knot is and how hard you pull on it. If you’ve been wearing your hair tinsel for several weeks, this may also happen as your natural hair’s life cycle is coming to an end.

So, hair dazzle was a big thing around twenty years ago – who do we have to thank for this comeback? Of course, the top of our list is dominated by Queen Bey.

In 2010, she marvelled us all with her golden strands – and this time we’re not talking about her latest shade of blonde, but her glitter extensions instead!

More recently, Kasey Musgraves took hair tinsel to another level with a ponytail loaded with gold and hot pink hair glitter, worn for her performance in New Orleans, LA.

Last but not least, from America to South Korea, K-pop star Heize has also been spotted wearing sparkly hair dazzle during her live performances.

To each their own of course, but there are indeed some top tips for you if you want to get the most out of your experience with hair tinsel. 

First thing first, contrary to what you may think, my first advice is: take photos in a not-so-bright room, with one light source to make the glitter extensions shine. If you’re wearing copper, watch it go on fire under golden hour lighting! The best way to capture the real effect of your hair tinsel is to take videos; for this style, movement is key! Have fun with boomerangs, reels and TikToks to show off your new, sparkly, glitter hair strands.

Make sure to place the tinsel strands where they will be the most visible for a dramatic effect, or under a layer of your natural hair for a more subtle spark.

Peppy, dazzling, playful: there are so many styles that you can create with hair tinsel! Use a couple of glitter strands to spice up an elegant updo; add a few to your layers and give new light to your hairstyles or – why not? – load your ponytail in sparks and colours for a night out of fun. 

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