Shopping·7 min read

9 Hair Accessories That Look More Expensive Than They Are

Expensive hair accessories under $40
Design: theSkimm | Image: Kitsch
May 4, 2023

This post was originally published in July 2022 and has been updated.

Products you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Oh, and if something's out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) at time of publication.

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…

headband accessories
Free People

A bubbly headband with a chic look…

Paging Blair Waldorf. This is a preppy dream — pastel colors, padded style, beaded embellishments — and would be cute paired with easy loafers and a lacy blouse. If the beads aren’t really your style, snag this toned-down option in a suede design instead. ($38, Free People)

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TheProjectLabel via Etsy

Dainty, celestial-themed barrettes…

These moon- and star-inspired clips come in five different color options, and you can buy them individually or in various sets. They’re not super flashy, but just eye-catching enough to turn some heads. You’re welcome. ($8+, TheProjectLabel via Etsy)

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Hair pins

Hairpins that add the perfect finishing touch…

These are 6 inches long and have a dainty flower design at one end. Use them to hold your hair in a bun, or stick them in an updo to help your style stand out. ($6.85, Amazon)

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Freshwater pearl barrette

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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Kitsch hair ties

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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Amazon metal hair clip

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. ($11.66/2 pack, Amazon)

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Snake hair clips

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 them, so if you’ve got fine hair, you may need to readjust throughout the day.) ($19/2 pack, Lulus)

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Knot headband
TwineandLove via Etsy

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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Glass tile barrette
ArtesanaAmericana via Etsy

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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