Welcome to the Art for Hair Blog!

We love creating hand-crafted hair sticks, hair forks and matching jewelry to show off the beauty of long hair! Our blog features our designs, different ways to put long hair up, as well as how to care for and grow long hair and features on other Etsy craftspeople.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So what *are* hair sticks?

Have you ever seen a woman with long hair apparently effortlessly up in an intricate style with a pencil, chopstick or more elegant stick? I always envied these women their ability to quickly create these styles, until I discovered hair sticks myself. Hair sticks are decorative pieces of art, which really do make these styles extremely easy for anyone with shoulder-length or longer hair to create, with a little practice.

Hair sticks have been used since ancient times, and there are records of them being used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Of course, it is the Chinese and Japanese cultures which are best known for their use of hair sticks. In Japan, Geishas used elaborate hair sticks as part of their decorative styles. As a Geisha progressed in seniority, they wore different hair sticks to signify their rank. Different sticks, colors and flowers were also worn with different seasons and festivals. These hair sticks were called Kanzashi.

During the 1920s, hair sticks became more widely used in the West. Today, they remain a classic way to style long hair; they will never be out of fashion. Hair sticks today are made from wood, bone or metal, and choice of material is largely a personal preference. The tops may simply be carved into a design, or decorated with beads or dangles. There is a hair stick for every occasion, from designs suitable for casual, everyday wear to those for office wear, special occasions and formal events.

A major advantage of hair sticks is how little they damage long hair. When growing long hair, it is very important to minimize damage and breakage, and hair sticks are some of the least damaging hair accessories. Contrary to popular belief, long hair does not have to take a long time to style every morning. Compared to the blowdrying and styling products often needed to style short hair, putting up long hair with hair sticks takes no time at all! Also, you do not have to have superlong hair to use hair sticks. As long as your hair is shoulder-length or longer, you will be able to use hair sticks. Any hair stick purchase from Art for Hair includes fully illustrated instructions for several styles, so you will easily be able to create a variety of styles. We will also regularly post hair style instructions on this blog, so check back soon!