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View Full Version : French barrettes, evil or not?



AgnesONutter
January 3rd, 2010, 05:49 PM
I have always used french barrettes when I wear my hair down, to keep my hair from my face, and from getting caught in my eyeglasses and have never experienced any form of breaking or anything while using them, but then I do use larger sizes and take care to place the hair in the middle and not in the actual closing mechanism. My question is if barrettes cause any other form of damage to the hair, that I'm unaware of?

RoseRedDead
January 3rd, 2010, 06:00 PM
I can't honestly say, because in all my years, I have just never seemed to wear barrettes! I dunno why.

(Off topic: I love your username! Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens! Whoo!)

spidermom
January 3rd, 2010, 06:26 PM
I had to wave bye-bye to french barettes; they definitely cut into my hair. Hairs also tended to get caught in the hinge. I can't wear Ficarres because of hairs wandering into the hinge, either.

wendyg
January 3rd, 2010, 06:43 PM
I don't have any problem with them.

wg

kittensoupnrice
January 3rd, 2010, 06:51 PM
I had to stop using french barrettes, too.

I always thought I was very careful about closing them, but I kept getting broken hair which would lead to devil's horns or halos around my face. I think it was mostly due to the sharper edges on those barrettes, and tugging/leaning/pulling on the hair while it was clasped up causing rubbing and breakage. Probably for shorter hair, they would not be an issue if you are careful, but at longer lengths, they would be damaging in a less-protective hairstyle.

KarpatiiSiv
January 3rd, 2010, 06:52 PM
I've never had a problem with them and have quite a collection. Like you, I always take care to place the hair in the middle so it never gets caught in the closing mechanism.:D

sapphire-o
January 3rd, 2010, 08:21 PM
I use those that are made in France. They're much less likely to catch hair. I think they're hair friendly enough if you don't use them all the time.

little_acorn
January 3rd, 2010, 08:37 PM
I have a couple that I love wearing - I tend to wear them fairly infrequently though mainly as I don't like half-ups on me that much! When I do wear them I'm pretty careful with how I put them in and haven't noticed any obvious damage from them as yet.

klcqtee
January 4th, 2010, 12:26 AM
They can cause damage if you aren't careful when removing them. I use them to decorate my Gibson Tuck. I think they're worth it!

AgnesONutter
January 4th, 2010, 04:34 AM
Thank you everyone. So I can go on using my wonderful french barrettes without feeling too bad about it. :D

SimplyViki
January 4th, 2010, 07:52 AM
I have some that are from Goody (I think... might be another drugstore hair stuff brand) that seem to be less likely to damage than other kinds. It has a flexible plastic sheath over the metal parts (although not over the hinge mechanisms, so if your hair gets caught in that, it won't be much help), and that seems that it would protect from possible cutting of hair on the edges. It also helps the clip not to slip. :D

Liss
January 4th, 2010, 08:10 AM
They're not evil to my hair, I love them. I think they are kinder to fine hair because it's less likely to get caught. I've never had a problem with catching or breaking and my favourite one's have lasted 10 years and counting. I prefer to use the ones where the metal bars are covered with a fine rubber coating, but they are harder to find.

Xandergrammy
January 4th, 2010, 02:20 PM
I love them and never have a problem with them.

embee
January 5th, 2010, 10:31 AM
I have a goodly number from when those bow-barrettes were in fashion (was that 20 years ago?!!) and still sometimes wear them. I used them regularly while growing out my hair and never noticed any particular problems if I were careful with hair placement (avoid the hinge)

Somewhere I read that coating the sharp metal with clear nailpolish would help to dull the edges, and think I did that to a few, but don't now recall! ;)

akka naeda
January 5th, 2010, 10:45 AM
I had breakage with them, but breakage of the barrette, not of my hair:). I used to wear one every day for 5 years or so, and no visible hair damage.

OTOH my daughter's hair is much thinner than mine (her hair is M, ii; my hair is C, iii) and she does experience breakage. Her hair never gets caught in the hinge though, it's just she ends up with a very noticeable area of shorter hairs.

dragonfrog
January 5th, 2010, 10:46 AM
I used to have a page bookmarked that showed how to make barrettes "hair safe" by basically hand-sewing one long piece of felt along the inside of the barrette, folded in half on the hinge side, so all your hair would be in contact with felt-covered metal. Sadly, the bookmark link appears to be broken and I can't find the page with a brief google search, but the idea seems fairly simple. I plan on trying it myself someday.

I have not noticed any particular damage from wearing barrettes, but I wear mine infrequently and use them only for decoration, not actual hair-holding.

ChrissieM
January 5th, 2010, 11:02 AM
I used to wear them all the time in low ponytails about 10 years ago, and stylists would comment that I had breakage in that area and asked if I wore French barrettes! So that was the end of that!

lapushka
January 5th, 2010, 11:23 AM
I had breakage with them, but breakage of the barrette, not of my hair:). I used to wear one every day for 5 years or so, and no visible hair damage.

I usually had a piece of hair hanging out after I managed to close them, or they would spring back open when all my hair was in them and hair would get stuck in the hinge. I remember having to stuff and shove all my hair in and having so much trouble closing the damn things. I ended up pulling the middle part (spring) out of one of the smaller ones just to comfortably wear a low ponytail.

I've never experienced damage, but I rarely use them now. I'm much more into claw clips if I want to quickly, messily, put my hair up. I have sizing issues with claws too. They are okay for a peacock twist, but if I bundle up my hair, even the bigger ones get too small. I'm grateful ficcares & sticks and forks exist. That's one blessing for iii hair, at least!

Xandergrammy
January 5th, 2010, 11:51 AM
I had breakage with them, but breakage of the barrette, not of my hair:). I used to wear one every day for 5 years or so, and no visible hair damage.


Me too!!! I still have one that I love and am trying to figure out how to fix!

MandyBeth
January 5th, 2010, 12:43 PM
They never damaged my hair if I was careful to avoid the hinge - but I sure break them really easily - even with trying to do just the sides up now.

But if I dare to get my hair near the hinge, snappy snappy goes my hair. Which is why I'm still really freaked about Ficcares.

lapushka
January 5th, 2010, 12:54 PM
But if I dare to get my hair near the hinge, snappy snappy goes my hair. Which is why I'm still really freaked about Ficcares.

I haven't gotten my hair caught in a ficcare so far. They are so different from barrettes!

Honestwitness
January 5th, 2010, 03:39 PM
My hair tangles and breaks easily with anything and everything I put in it, including French barrettes, snap clips, claw clips, bobby pins, elastics, and even velvet scrunchies. *sigh* I guess I'm just not meant to decorate my hair.

AgnesONutter
January 6th, 2010, 06:42 AM
Me too!!! I still have one that I love and am trying to figure out how to fix!

How did it break? Was it the 'arm' that opens and closes that popped off? One of my favourite barrettes have a tendency to do that to me, because the pegs that goes into the holes that hold it fast and lets it open and close are too short. I just put the arm back in place and use this tool, I think it is called a tong in English, to press the holder close around the arm and it is fine for a while again.

kimki
January 6th, 2010, 04:50 PM
No matter how careful I am, I always seem to end up getting hair caught in them.

Hiriel
January 7th, 2010, 09:12 AM
I used barrettes for pony tails for years, and while I did see some hairs caught in the hinge, it never caused any visible damage.

Isa-belle
January 7th, 2010, 09:18 AM
OK, why are these called French in the English language? :bigeyes: Some things just elude me...
I'm also not sure why those made in France would be better, as the mechanism remains the same.

I stopped using them when I started actively taking care of my hair. They definitely created breakage at the nape of the neck. This was one of my biggest "aha!" moments when I embarked on the healthy hair journey.
I've replaced them with flexis and Ficcares, which don't break my hair (flexis because of the flexible top, Ficcares because they don't close all the way).

bumblebums
January 7th, 2010, 09:29 AM
I can't use them. They pinch individual hairs on my scalp if used in an updo, and they always come out with a clump of hair.

reishka
January 7th, 2010, 08:39 PM
I don't use them all that often - admittedly, I don't put loose hair in them very often, either. Usually, I use it with a braid of some sort. Though, when I do use them I don't notice anything bad happening. But I'm also pretty careful about where I place my hair, making sure it's away from the hinge, etc.

Kelli Kat
January 10th, 2010, 05:36 PM
I wear one almost every day, and haven't had any problems with damage.

PatGear
January 10th, 2010, 06:15 PM
I'm also not sure why those made in France would be better, as the mechanism remains the same. I'm not sure why either, but I've had numerous ones that are Made in France and numerous ones that aren't and the results are all consistent: MiF ones are hairsafe if I don't overload them. the ones that aren't MiF eat my hair even when I'm careful. :(

So for me, there is a very big difference between the Made in France ones and the rest. I think it's the tolerance. The good ones (Made in France) have no extra gaps between the mechanism for hair to go in and get caught, I think.

sapphire-o
January 10th, 2010, 07:48 PM
The made in France ones usually have one-piece construction on top and less movable parts. They seem to be a bit sturdier as well. I got rid of all the old crappy ones.

Nocturnal
January 10th, 2010, 09:05 PM
The made in France ones usually have one-piece construction on top and less movable parts. They seem to be a bit sturdier as well.
I second that.

I have just looked at my favourite barrette. It is made of only 2 pieces! :bigeyes: I have not realized that before.

sibiryachka
February 9th, 2010, 09:03 PM
Thank heaven, my newest/favoritest ones are made in France/2 pieces! 'Cause I totally depend on them for half-up... I've just purged all the others, having reached the unavoidable conclusion that they are mainly responsible for the inch-square patch of broken hairs, all the same length, at the right side of my head : ( I can hardly bring myself to try to sell or trade them, knowing what they're capable of. Maybe stronger hair could handle them.

Deborah
February 10th, 2010, 01:01 AM
I think they are all evil, including the French-made ones.

I used them for years and never noticed any damage. Then a hairdresser asked if I was growing out some small bangs. I dislike bangs, and never wear them. She pointed out shorter side hairs, then we realized together that the barrettes I was using were cutting or breaking off hairs. I gave them up immediately, and the problem has not occurred since then.

Moral of story: Use at your peril. :scissors: :bigeyes: :twocents:

Renbirde
February 10th, 2010, 02:11 AM
I use the one-piece-bottom, Made In France ones. They actually cope pretty well with my hair, which is saying something. I have one that can hold my whole pony easily. It's priceless. :)

Fractalsofhair
February 10th, 2010, 11:18 AM
Erm, I've never been able to only get my hair in the middle and have it do anything. Thus, I always had breakage if I used them. Well, more pulling out hairs randomly! The barrette/normal hair clips are fine with me though.

Fiferstone
February 10th, 2010, 03:15 PM
I wore those for years and they will pull out or snag on hairs in the hinge, but I try to be careful about avoiding the hinge when I put them on, and then I "bracket" the hair with my fingers when disengaging them, to prevent the hair from slipping into the hinge. I don't wear them as much now, since my hair is longer, but I do use them to decorate updos and I also wear them with a long braid down my back. I've got a couple really lovely ones that I do not want to part with. And I too have a good collection of ginormous fabric bows on french barettes from about 1981 :).