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Hair Ye, Hair Ye: Girls’ Hair Accessories for the School Year

I’m not going to lie, one of the first things I thought upon finding out I was going to have a girl all those years ago was, “I get to do her hair!” And then another one came, and I was like “TWO! Two little heads of hair begging to be braided and twisted and fishtailed and tied up with ribbons and bows and all the hair accessories in the land!” Now that school’s rolling, we’ve stocked up on all our favorite hair accessories to make getting ready in the morning much easier rather than the end-of-the-year army crawling under beds to scour the floor for a possible hidden ponytail holder because everything’s missing (every day of our lives come May).

For the most part, my girls’ hair is up every day because A: Nella will be distracted and play with hers if it’s down, and B: I was a teacher once, and lice prevention is my jam. Lice prevention goes like this: Keep it dirty; keep it up. Therefore (I threw a “therefore” at you!), we don’t wash it every day. Although I will say some people (not naming names, but it rhymes with “Krett”) take that a little too far, because I rolled up in car line to pick up the girls after “Krett” held the fort down for my 4 days away last week, I saw Nella, and I was like, “DEAR GOD. HER HAIR.” It looked like someone washed it with a CAN OF CRISCO.

How do you get a kid to let you do her hair? I get asked this a lot, and my answer may not work for everyone, but it’s how we play the hair game: it’s non-negotiable here. As they say in the south, “No bow, no go.” Lainey does her own hair now, but starting with preschool, my girls have always known that hair’s gettin’ done, end of story.

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It helps that I started doing their hair when they barely had enough to do, so they’re so used to it and never complain. Occasionally, if I’m doing something that’s a little more time-consuming or annoying, I’ll do it in front of the T.V. or hand Nella an iPad, but for the most part she doesn’t hesitate and gets involved in how she wants it done. “I want a fishtail!” “I want honey pots!” (two buns–got that term from a blog reader years ago).

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And on weekends when it doesn’t matter, we let her wear it wild and free and down if she so chooses so she can swing it around like a diva.

As for storing and organizing our hair accessories, we have tried everything over the years from those big ribbons you use to snap on all your clips to labeled containers. We finally settled on what works for us (and actually keeps us from losing as much as we used to)–an entire top drawer of a dresser with a compartmentalized drawer organizer in it.

As for our hair products and accessory stash, I’m sharing some of our favorites today.  There are some handmade shops out there that make the most beautiful hair accessories, and we’d love nothing more than to have our entire selection be made up of these gorgeous goodies, but we’d be broke. So we do hair stuff with a half-and-half approach–we splurge on the really pretty-pretties we love for a nice foundation to our stash, and then we stock it with inexpensive fillers, especially when it comes to trendy stuff.

As for the basics, we always keep bobby pins on hand and use them for buns, braids and up-dos. For the ends of braids, we use clear mini bands.

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I always buy a spool of narrow red grosgrain ribbon to tie in ponytails and at the end of braids (red goes with everything) as well as a spool of some gingham check to keep on hand (Joann’s or Michael’s or any fabric store). The ribbons fall off and we lose them from time to time, so the inexpensive spool replenishes our stock.

And the rest? Here’s what we’re currently loving for our mane game:


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1. Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Prevention Spray. As a former teacher, I’m a bit of a lice prevention freak. I spray this on my kids’ hair every day (it doubles as a detangler) before I do their hair.

2. Rabbit Ear Ponytail Holders. Lainey LOVES these for her ponytails. They’re super inexpensive (20 of them for $7), won’t damage hair and turn an ordinary ponytail into something a bit more special.

3. Giddy Up and Grow Barrettes and Accessories. Basically, I want everything in her shop. We have several goodies from Giddy Up and Grow, and they are so beautiful–all handmade with the most beautiful materials. Her clips are super fun (Nella wore the popcorn and cotton candy ones to the fair this year), and her headbands are intricately designed and absolutely stunning. And her fall and Halloween line this year–Gah! Adorable.

4. Glitter Snap Clips. I mean, it’s glitter. You can’t go wrong. And it’s a 9-pack for only $10. Tight snap, great for bangs that are growing out or securing flyaways from braids. Or, in Nella’s case, chunks of uneven hair that she cut herself.

5. The Wet Brush. It took us a while to get one of these but after every kid who came over for a sleepover pulled one out of her bag and was all, “What? You don’t have a Wet Brush?!?”, we finally got one, and we’re in the cool club. By cool, I mean not crying from ripped tangled hair.

6. Hello Shisho Clips. Maybe it’s my miniature loving heart, but their coordinating themed clips? Obsessed. And they’re so cute when worn as a pair. Little conversation starters and the perfect accessory to any outfit. The fall acorn and leaf? The chicken and the egg? I CAN’T.

7. Sweet July Clips. These have been our signature clips since Nella was a baby, and if you look back in the blog archives, these babies pop up on my girls all the time. My good friend right here in Naples makes them, and I love to go to school and see all the other kids wearing them as well. They stay put–my favorite part. Even when Nella was little and took swipes at her hair, these suckers didn’t come out. Lots of fabric and size choices as well.

8. Pom-Pom Pins. Forever 21 is one of my favorite places to stock up on inexpensive hair stuff for the girls, especially the trendy funky stuff Lainey’s more into now. Also it gives me an excuse so when we walk in the store and Heidi tells me, “Dude, we’re like minivan-driving moms; we don’t belong in here,” I can snap back with, “I’m just here for the hair stuff…for the girls, of course.” (shhhhh…and also a bedazzled crop top). These pom-pom pins are super cute–shove a couple in a bun for a pop of color.

9. Miss Magpie Originals. You can’t go wrong with classic simplicity. Everything in this shop is timeless. These sweet bows are hand tied and made from high quality materials. Pair with a Peter Pan collared dress, bobby socks and Mary Janes, and then climb into the pages of a Dick & Jane book.

Also, Lainey is all up in those giant Jojo whats-her-name bows perched at the top of a ponytail cheerleader-style, but they’re like $16 a pop. We’ll pick one up on sale every once in a while because they do have some snazzy rainbow sequin stuff you can’t find anyplace else, but Lainey’s been happy with this set for way less.

And one from the archives to close…Gahhh! That itty itty bitty barrette!

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Leave a Comment
  1. A non-negotiable, yes! Check out MetaGrip bobby pins. They’re amazing! And subscribe to’s YouTube channel. So many fresh ideas. I want to try them alllllll.

  2. Hi Kelle,
    Thanks for all the great ideas. My daughter loves JoJo bows too. I found a great deal on QVC of all places. 5 bows for like $22. There are three available sets of five and we bought the “Rainbow dreams one”

    Here is the link:

  3. I am so off my hair game after an entire summer of wild and wavy swim hair. Just ordered a bunch of your recommendations and must get back on track with putting Audrey’s thick, thick hair up for school!

  4. Holy buckets we love the Fairy Tales hair products! We use the detangler on my daughter every day and they also have a Styling Gel that I use every day for my son since he doesn’t need detangling. 4&6 years old with lice outbreaks around us – no lice so far!! 👍😊

  5. Hi ~ We get our mega bows from She has so many to choose from and smaller sizes too, we love them! LOVE your blog!!

  6. As west-coaster this “no bow, no go” saying is new to me, but I love how catchy it is.

    Something I drop my ladies at school and think, man they look like rag a muffins, I wish I had spent more time on their hair (ok any time).

    I started keeping a brush and pony tail holders in the car just to give us one last fighting chance.

  7. Love this and am bookmarking for my baby girl. Would you please do a tutorial of how you actually execute their braids and honey pots? I am hopeless and need to start learning now for when my 15 month old has some actual hair to work with!

  8. As always, your girls look so sweet. This is getting me inspired for when my one-year old finally grows some hair!

  9. OK, so when is the post coming about how to do hair? I was a child with stringy hair that about put my mom in the loony bin trying to fix it so I always had it short. Then I had to get my sister ready in the morning who basically had hair to her butt and those dang pony tail holders from the 80s that you had to wrap around and the bead would come back and hit your finger causing you the worst pain imaginable (thus, never really learning how to do anything but a pony tail). So, now I have two girls, one who wants her hair long and all I can do is the classic pony tail, pig tails, and wait for it…braids. Any good books, youtube tutorials, etc that you can recommend? Thanks!

  10. Stacey Muller says:

    Google “How to do an easy braid” or “How to do girl hair” and you’ll come across a ton of videos. I did this when my daughter was born and several times after that, when looking for specific hairstyles. Between Pinterest and YouTube, there are a lot of quality videos with very easy tutorials!!

  11. and also, I read a post somewhere recently that said you’re supposed to use bobby pins with the ripple side down and flat side outward. i’ve been doing it wrong this whole time!!!!! changes everything

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