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How to Organize Your Hair Accessories

By Amalah

Dear Amy,
I’ve gone back and forth about sending this question in — it just might be the dumbest one ever, but I’m driving myself crazy here and I know I’m missing an obvious solution.
I wear my hair in ponytails a lot. To the gym, walking my dog, around the house, etc. I use the clear plastic “ouchless” bands since they seem to be gentler on my hair and I like the way they look. And here lies my problem: I lose these suckers like crazy! I can never seem to find one, even though I know I’ve bought at least a dozen packages so far this year.
I know, I know, I should just have a spot for them and be better about putting them back, but…where? I’ve tried keeping them in the bottom of my makeup case, in a cup by the sink, in my gym bag, but I still seem to space out when I pull them out of my hair and they end up scattered around my house, everywhere except where I need them to be when I’m putting my hair in a ponytail.
(The same goes for any of my hair things, come to think of it — I also buy tons of those little snappy barrettes for my bangs and am lucky if I have one or two after a few weeks.)
Help me with my dumb problem, Amy!

hairbands.jpgAhhh, I love the smell of an easy question in the morning! And by “easy” I don’t mean “dumb,” because I struggled with this exact same problem for YEARS before finally stumbling on that elusive obvious solution you mentioned. (And I’m 99% sure I read it in a beauty advice column…in a magazine. Crazy old school, cats!)
You know how you (usually) use your hairbrush to put your hair in a ponytail? And when you take said ponytail out, you again (usually) use your hairbrush? That right there is your hair band landing dock. Pull band out of hair, wrap tightly around brush handle. Voila. Hair bands, right where you need them!
My hairbrushes (my big-ass giant one and my little purse-sized one) always have a decent row of hair bands on them — I usually wrap a slew around the handle right when I buy a package and then store the package in a drawer somewhere in case I still manage to lose a few.
As for barrettes and hair clips — I keep those snipped to a long, wide piece of brightly-colored ribbon. Some bit of heavy grosgrain ribbon that came with a store-wrapped present. When I was in college I kept the whole thing tacked up to my bulletin board…now it’s just tossed in the same drawer as my styling products, blow-dryer and other assorted hair accessories. It takes up less room than any kind of special storage box (which I know I probably wouldn’t keep very organized after awhile), and keeps everything visible and within easy reach. I still generally have a few loose barrettes floating around my bags and house (and I’m perpetually wanting my BLACK claw clip but only my BROWN claw clips have made it back to the drawer, or vice versa), but overall it’s the best system I’ve found.

Published August 15, 2008. Last updated August 15, 2008.
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Shelley

    August 15, 2008 at 11:43 am

    You could just do like me and always always have one on your wrist. Although, I suppose sometimes it should come off; a couple of months ago we’re sitting at a formal wedding, me in a beautiful cocktail dress, boyfriend in a nice suit and he leans over during the processional and whispers “So, do you just NEVER take that thing off?” Oops…at least the hairband and the dress were both black…

  • Kate

    August 15, 2008 at 11:46 am

    For the clear elastic bands – if you just tug on them a bit at first to slightly loosen them, you can loop it around twice on your finger (any finger you prefer). They usually last for about a month before they start to get discolored.
    My sister and I have been doing this for years. They’re too tight to put around your wrist, and this way they’re always there when you need them, “on hand” as it were (I slay myself, sometimes).

  • Carolyn

    August 15, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I do the same thing – but as I find them around the house? I always stick them on my bedroom doorknob. That way I can always find some when I need them (as I WILL forget to put them on the hairbrush)

  • The Muse

    August 15, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Because I always end up with a claw clip with a broken tooth or two (mostly because my bf thinks its funny to throw them… I don’t know what), I use that to hold all of my hair ties together in my drawer. It’s pretty much perfect for me.
    And then I have one of my ponytail holders that I use to keep my bobby pins and snap clips on.

  • A

    August 15, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Shelley, I’m right there with you. I always have a hairband around my wrist, even though I also always have several on my hairbrush. (Good call, Amalah!) Last year I was the maid of honor in my friend’s wedding. We attendants were all in very formal, floor-length, pale sage satin dresses and matching pearls. I looked down after the ceremony and discovered that the entire time, I’d been wearing a black hairband around my wrist — the wrist facing the congregation. Fortunately no one was looking at me!

  • TasterSpoon

    August 15, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I love the hairbrush idea – it might actually get me to start brushing my hair.
    I go with the ever-present wrist one, and I have a huge stash on my stick shift. It looks like one of those kids’ toys with the stacking colored donuts.

  • Emily

    August 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I don’t really use a brush, so in case you’re like me, I found a round tin (sell them at Ikea and knick knacky stores, I think). They usually fit in the med cabinet. Also, I keep bobby pins in a shotglass. Real classy. 🙂

  • Justine

    August 15, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I keep my hair clips in an old bright green Bubble Tape (gum) container. How is that for fancy?!?! It works great and with the little lid its easy to throw in a bag when I am going out of town.

  • Jezer

    August 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I used to have this very same problem–hair elastics, clips, claw clips, barrettes, headbands, all of it strewn about everywhere or nowhere to be found. But then I had all of that hair cut in a super-short pixie style, and voila! Problem solved.
    (I know, that was totally smart-aleck and I apologize, but it’s true. Now, I just keep a few cute little clips in a pretty dish on my vanity.)

  • Addie

    August 16, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I keep a decorative pitcher on a shelf in my bathroom – a vase or something similar would work just as well – and I always keep all of my hair accessories in that. It keeps them out of the way (and out of sight), and it’s big enough to hold everything except for headbands.

  • Rachel

    August 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I have lots of curly hair, so it is sometimes a disaster if I don’t have a hair tie around. I keep an emergency elastic on my keychain at all times. Very handy if you happen to break the one you’re wearing!

  • Nicole

    August 17, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I usually attach my hair bands to a banana clip. I have one in my bathroom drawer and another on my desk, and one in my purse. The only problem with that is when I need to use the darn banana clip. My solution – I use a bag clip – I got a gazillion in a bag from Ikea. Otherwise my hair bands can be found throughout the house where ever (like you I’ve pulled them out.) I bought a little wicker basket to put them in underneath my bathroom sink – the only thing that’s in there are my headbands – at least it’s not a total waste!

  • Heidi

    August 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    i just read this good idea somewhere: buy hairbands the color of your skin so that when you inevitably wear them as bracelets, they’ll be less visible. (i’m pretty sure that was in Real Simple.)

  • Jen

    August 18, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    People still use banana clips?

  • mommy and me

    March 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    When I got out, I always carry a small pouch where I put my hair brush, clips, powder, etc. So when I need to fix my make-up or my hair everything is there. Ofcourse it is in my bag. =)

  • Anonymous

    May 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    This might seem strange,but I always sleep with a stuff animal. I can’t fall asleep unless I’m cuddling someone/something. So I wrap my hairbands around my stuff animal’s arm or leg.

  • Irena

    August 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I take a carabiner (one of those clip things that you put on a key ring, also used for rock climbing) and put all my elastics on it. It works really well because I keep it in the drawer next to where I take out my hair, so I put them back on afterwards.