life·6 min read

9 Hair Accessories That Look More Expensive Than They Are

Expensive hair accessories under $40
Design: theSkimm | Image: Kitsch
Jul 20, 2022

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Hair accessories: They’re one of the easiest ways to upgrade a look. So it might be time to swap out that same ol’ black hair tie for something a little classier and flashier — without breaking the bank. That’s why we’ve rounded up our fave hair accessories, from artist-designed hair clips to elevated barrette sets, that look way more expensive than they are. Taking your OOTD to the next level in 3, 2, 1…

A set with three different-sized barrettes…

Choose from either silver or gold finishes. Each barrette has a different minimalist design — one is rippled metal, one forms a wavy oval, and the other is flat and rounded. Use them to pin the front strands of your hair back, or as dramatic touches to your next updo. ($28/3 pack, Anthropologie

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A barrette with real freshwater pearls…

Six of them to be exact — all inlaid in elegant gold-plated iron. The 3-inch-long accessory is big enough to hold up a ponytail of medium-thick hair, or a half-up look for thicker hair. It’s the perfect casual statement barrette to accent all your going-out looks. ($16.50, Madewell)

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An oversized, textured hair scrunchie…

Meet the basic scrunchie’s more sophisticated cousin. It’s the perfect accessory for securing your hair back on a dinner date, at work, or just hanging around the house. It measures 8 inches in diameter and comes in four colors, including two pretty pastels. Customers rave about its staying power — even for ultra-fine hair. ($12, Kitsch)

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A dainty metal hair claw for an elevated updo…

This two-piece set comes with a silver and gold one made of alloy that shouldn’t fade easily. It’s got a non-slip grip and rounded claws that minimize snags and breakage. Customers say it can even hold thick, waist-length hair in place all day with no adjustments or headaches. Hair for it. ($12.66/2 pack, Amazon)

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A snake clip duo that’ll make a major statement…

The gold clips are made of iron, complete with matching green gemstones for eyes. Use them side by side to hold back your bangs or frame your ponytail — and get ready for the compliments to roll in. (BTW, customers say that these have a little weight to ’em, so if you’ve got fine hair, you may need to readjust throughout the day.) ($18/2 pack, Lulus)

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A hair clip that’ll add a pop of color to any outfit… 

It’s got stacked ribbons of colors on one side, and a pale pink glitter tone on the other. Oh, and it's made with eco-friendly materials. It was designed in collaboration with New York–based artist Amber Vittoria, and the brand also carries other artisan-crafted accessories — like this coral butterfly claw designed by Emily Antonian Li Mandri. Art for your hair? Sign us up. ($38, Wolf and Badger)

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A modern throwback to a traditional hair pin design…

Made from stone with a marbled finish, this little pin will be the focus of any look. It comes in three different designs: a white daisy, pink butterfly, and yin and yang symbol. Customers note that it’s not meant for holding thicker hair up. Since there’s no clasp, you'll have to pin whatever hair you can behind the prong. We rec using it for a cute half-up hairstyle — or adding it on as a finishing touch to an already supported ponytail. ($12, Urban Outfitters)

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A handmade tie-dye knot headband…

It comes in five different color combos that scream “summer” — we’re big fans of the cotton candy-like sky blue and pink — and has a 1.5-inch wide band. Customers say they love the headband’s quality and its subtle, not-too-big knot. Bonus: It ships for free in only one to two business days. ($17.99, TwineandLove via Etsy)

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A unique barrette made from glass tiles… 

Each of the tiles on this handmade piece has an intricate blue and white design and is smooth and rounded at the edges. The barrette measures a little over 3 inches and has a traditional silver colored clasp that works well with both fine and thick hair, since the closing mechanism has two different settings. Plus, if you’re gifting it, it comes packaged in its own little box. Go ahead, grab one for yourself and a friend. ($16, ArtesanaAmericana via Etsy)

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