‘Tis the season of hair tinsels, here’s how you can DIY the trend

By Malavika Pradeep

Updated Jan 10, 2022 at 01:15 PM

Reading time: 4 minutes


Have you ever had the seasonal urge to rip a Christmas tree decoration and implant it into your hair instead? Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this. And given your commitment issues this cuffing season, I bet you’ll tag along—as we shift back into the magical era of hair tinsels, here to spice up those greasy locks you’ve been stuffing into beanies all December.

What are hair tinsels?

Remember Beyoncé running the world with glitter in her hair back in 2010? Yes, I’m talking about those “metallic wispy thingies”—as the media once called them—attached to her honey-hued locks as she strutted down the red carpet. Although Queen B was criticised and even mocked for “taking down her Christmas tree before the Grammys and forgetting to pull the extra tinsel out,” she fronted the rise of a dreamy new hair trend that is presently making an iridescent comeback—coupled with gen Z’s love-hate relationship with the early aughts.

Also known as fairy hair or glitter hair, hair tinsels are sparkly strands that can be weaved into your original hair at the root. With a variety of colours available for you to choose from, you can either opt to sprinkle them throughout your hair while embedding, or go all out and double your head up as full-blown cheerleading pom poms. In the chicest way possible, of course.

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A post shared by ✨Glitterlites – Hair tinsel✨ (@goddessglitterhair)

Capable of withstanding the tests of time for a maximum period of eight weeks, hair tinsels can be subjected to washing, brushing, blow-drying, curling and of course, straightening. Heck, a couple of them are even chemical-free and have a heat resistance of up to 392°F (200°C). If someone asked me to name a versatile beauty invention, these tiny strings might be it. Packing for Coachella 2022 already? Stuff half of your suitcase with iridescent packets of hair tinsels—guaranteed to shine like the stars when the sun catches a glimpse of them. Want to channel your inner Queen B in front of your sunset lamp instead? You know where I’m going with this. They’ll also make a perfect addition to your addiction to meta selfies and digital flash photography.

Not only do the tie-in strands offer an inexpensive way to incorporate dimension and highlights into our locks, they do so without the commitment of permanent changes that are typically required to switch up our looks. In fact, you can have a major hair transformation if you choose to go all out on the trend. Sure, cheerleading pom poms might come into the equation if you have a sibling daring enough to tease you. But hey, you can always clip on and remove these baddies in the flick of an eye and flick their eyes in the process. Win-win, am I right?

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A post shared by 𝗞𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗛 (@keashldn)

A shimmery resurgence rooted in nostalgia

Credited to the Y2K movement, the resurgence of hair tinsels can be traced back to 2019—when singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves looped them into her ponytail during her world tour. Since then, the trend has been replicated by brands like Insert Name Here Hair (INH Hair). A couple of months later, even actress Saoirse Ronan pulled off a variation of the emerging trend in the form of a braided crown.

On TikTok, hair tinsels seem to have a mind of their own. With 53 million views and counting on #hairtinsel, users gathered here are increasingly manifesting themselves into the signs others are looking for to jump on the trend. Decked with hair tutorials, styling advice and colour recommendations, the videos depict the versatility of the hair accessory. One example of the beauty affirmations you can fish out is that the length of your hair doesn’t really matter to participate in the trend. On Amazon, hair tinsels are available in a variety of options for the number of strands and the length you want to purchase per packet—the longest being 47 inches with 100 tinsels. And once you embed these, you can always choose to trim them with the level of your original hair. Pixie cut babes, it’s time to live out your wildest Lisa Frank dreams—well into 2022 and beyond.


Hope this helps for the people who are still curious😋 insta @ josl.yns #fyp#hairtinsel#fypシ #MACscaraface #viral #shorthair#pinkhair#hairstyles#short

♬ t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l - WILLOW

If all of this talk has piqued your interest, I’ve got you covered. After spending an eternity down the shimmery rabbithole of hair tinsels, I’ve raked up all the DIY methods—along with all the dos and don’ts—to begin your journey into the sparkly style. For starters, decide the type of look you want to go for. You can either choose to keep the glitter subtle with peek-a-boo strands or blind your neighbours with heavy embeds. Once you make up your mind, Amazon is the magical platform you want to hit—in order to make your fairy hair dreams come true on a budget. A rough idea of the final output will then help guide your choices for the colour, number of strands and length. However, there’s a catch. There’ll be two options available for you to choose from: one with just the packet of strands, and the other with a complete DIY tool set.

These two alternatives loop into the method of installation that you prefer. The first technique is what I would term a ‘freestyle tinsel’. All you need are the sparkly strands and your ambidextrous hands. What you want to do is grab a piece of tinsel and fold it in half to make a loop. Now, you have to tie a slip knot here by pulling the ends of the strands through the loop you’ve made using your index and thumb finger. Don’t tighten the knot all the way just yet. Choose the preferred place to embed the baddies on your head and section off a few strands of your original hair. Now loop the tinsel with your anchor hair, tighten and pull down towards your scalp. For extra security, you can make another slip knot or choose to tie a double knot with each side of the tinsel strand.

As for the second method, your DIY kit will arrive with a packet of microbeads—known as guards, available in the colour of your original hair—along with a sectioning tool and a clamper. The first step here is to take your hair tinsel and bead a guard before tying it in a knot at the center of the strand. Next, pick up the bead with your long sectioning tool, part the perfect piece of hair on your head with the hook end of the tool and pull it through the bead. Then get your hand on the clamper and squish the bead until they flatten out and tighten into your hair. And voila, you’re done. Oh, and don’t forget to trim the excess. Or leave them in if you’d prefer otherwise. Your hair, your rules.

When it comes to removing hair tinsels, you can either choose to slide them off in the first method—provided you haven’t tightened the soul out of the strand—or take the clamping tool and press the bead open in the opposite direction of what you had secured it earlier. If properly installed, the beauty innovation will cause zero damage to your hair while sprucing up your aura.


Alllll the tinsel for my girl @buggsies 🥰 #hairtok #hairtinsel #hairtinseltutorial #hairtutorials #fyp #PerfectAsWeAre

♬ Back To Black - Amy Winehouse

With strategic minimalism in the forefront, hair tinsels are guaranteed to level up your muted cardigans all winter. Plus, they’re great conversation starters—for the better or the worse depending on the crowd—unlike that one time your crush pointed out a glittery strand of grey hair on your head years ago. Blonde locks might be cheugy but blonde with hair tinsels are definitely not. And given the motto of this festive season, the more the merrier.

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