Hair Sticks - Complete Guide

If you want to know everything about hair stick accessories, you are at the right spot.

Table of Content

  • History of Hair Sticks
  • What are hair sticks called?
  • Are hair sticks good or damaging for hair?
  • How long should hair sticks be?
  • Are hair sticks cultural appropriation?
  • How to make Japanese Hair Stick?

    History of Hair Sticks

    Between 4000 and 3000 B.C (Bronze Age), ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Germanic women were found to used hairpins from exaction.

    The first record of Chinese hair sticks came from the China Shang dynasty (1600 to 1050 BC) and was carved of materials like a bone (eek!). England also used bone hairpin in 500-300 BC.

    It was used to keep the long hair in place similar to hairpins. However, the hair stick was:

    • More Convenient than a small hairpin to remove and adjust;
    • Easier to track rather than lose like bobby pins; and 
    • Able to grab attention given its size.

    This continues and during the Tang (AD 618–907) and Song (AD 960–1279) dynasties, the accessories became an adornment made with several types of luxurious materials like gold, silver, jade, and other gemstones using engraving, filigree and granulation techniques.

    It was also used to visually tell the rank and status of a woman in Chinese cultures. 

    • A woman was only allowed to wear hair sticks after she is 15.
    • It was also used as imperial hairpins and royal concubines who commit grave errors cannot wear hair sticks. 

    Along the way, hair bodkins are found in Africa and further beautified with flower gems as accessories in Japan by geisha. Russian also used their spindle tools for their hair. 

    In recent cultures, some even used chopsticks, and students would just use long pencils as hair sticks to pin and hold their hair. The below video garnered half a million views showing quick and easy ways to use chopsticks.

    What are hair sticks called?

    There are various names given to hair sticks in different cultures. Chinese and Korean called them Bu Yao (or dangling steps) as the dangling gems would shake as the person walks. Chinese called them imperial hairpin when adorned by the Royals. 

    Japanese called hair stick Kanzashi, and are decorated hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Hair bodkins are also used in Africa.

    Are hair sticks cultural appropriation?

    Yes, hair sticks are here to stay as long as long hair is a trend in our culture. Instead, it might be not cultural appropriation to walk around with messy long hair. 

    Hair sticks have been around since 4000BC (almost 6,000 years) and it might attract people's attention when you walk around with them. But that is their secondary purpose as hair accessories and its primary purpose is to style and hold your hair.

    Don't care about others' discerning looks!

    Are hair sticks good or damaging for hair?

    Some feel that hair sticks will damage your hair if you pull or push it frequently into your hair. There are also concerns if you hold your hair too tight for a long period. These are emotional concerns and there are no studies showing reports of hair losses due to hair sticks.

    Therefore, we will recommend that as long as it isn't painful, you can keep it on. 

    How long should hair sticks be?

    Historical bone hairpins are short and just slightly longer than typical hairpins and works.

    If it is meant to make a fashion statement, it should be at least 5 inches so that it is visible from afar. If you just want it to hold your hair, it can as short as 3 inches. 

    How to make Japanese Hair Stick

    The below Youtube video will show you how the Japanese hair stick is made

    Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
    Sky Hoon
    Hair Lover, Idea Starter. He started HairQueenie, which is ranked #27 in the FeedSpot Top 40 Hair Care Blogs and mentions in ManeAddicts and Tempest. Hair is not everything but something. He started Hairqueenie to share great hair products. Over time, he found there are more value to share answers to hair problems that cannot be found easily.

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