How to Rock (and Ruin!) Hair Accessories

Zooey Deschanel hair accessory

After we spotted Helena Bonham Carter wearing a giant pink faux flower in her hair at the Harry Potter premiere in London, we were left wondering: is it ever acceptable to wear big hair accessories? This deep-rooted question seems to have women seriously divided. Those in favor of hair accessories point out that Duchess Kate wouldn’t have been quite so exquisite without her bridal tiara. Then again, those opposed remind us of the atrocity that is the scrunchie. So we looked into what our favorite celebs were doing with their hair, hoping to get a clearer answer.

The Feather

Jennifer Love Hewitt hair feathersJessica Alba hair feathers


The feather-in-the-hair look has been overwhelmingly trendy this year, as women everywhere sought to get their inner boho on. We were all about it, especially the way Jennifer Love Hewitt used the bright yellows, pinks, and reds to spice up her outfits. But shortly thereafter, we spotted Jessica Alba attempting to do something else with the trend: wear far too many, scary-looking peacock feathers on her head.

The Verdict: A few hair feathers can be fun when used in small doses. However, large feathers are a no-no. Whether they’re dangling from your locks or glued to a headband, they just start to look tacky when they're too big.

The Flower

Padma Lakshmi hair flowerLil Kim hair flower


Adding a flower to your ’do is a timeless trick that’ll elegantly complete any look. We love the way Padma Lakshmi pinned a lily to the back of her flowing locks, allowing it to peep out just slightly. But a white flower like Lakshmi’s can go wrong very quickly. Lil’ Kim tried to rock the look with a floral clip in her hair, but the accessory (bigger than her forehead) looked simply overdone.

The Verdict: Flowers can work when they’re placed below your ear or at the back of your head. The trick is to treat hair flowers like accessories, not the main star. Big petals can look kitschy fast, especially if they’re used to cover up sloppy hairdos or a dull outfits.

The Sparkle

Zooey Deschanel hair accessoryBeyonce hair tinsel

images: stylebistro; hollywood life

We love a little bedazzlement to make your hair sparkle, especially if it comes in the form of a hair clip. We credit Zooey Deschanel for showing us the ropes; from small, feminine bobby pins to big, dazzling hair clips, the (500) Days of Summer actress seems to know just how much sparkle to sport.

That said, adding glam to your hair can be tough; it starts to look like a middle school dance ’do rather quickly. Take Beyonce’s attempt at one red carpet event: the superstar threaded her hair with tinsel that was better suited for a My Little Pony mane. That Sasha was not so fierce.

The Verdict: Unlike almost every other hair accessory, sparkle is done better when big. Keeping it light starts to look like a beauty error, so stick with sequins and don’t be afraid to own them.