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Well this is embarrassing. For decades, most of us have been mis-using what should be one of the simplest hair tools ever. Oops?
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Hands up if you're absolutely sure you know how to use a bobby pin (or hair grip, as I called it before my family moved to Canada) properly.

If at the end of this post, your hand is still up... well, we'll see.

Last Friday I checked out Shoppers Drug Mart's TIFF 2016 media lounge – it's set up for the first few days every film-festival to provide hairstyling/makeup/mani services for media types pre-film-fest shindigs – thinking I'd take the opportunity to learn how to throw my hair up in something other than an unflattering ponytail.

Hairstylist Anna Barseghian of Brennen Demelo Studio did indeed show me a more interesting take on a ponytail, but I'll save that for the next post because right now my inner geek is still shrieking, We've been using bobby pins all wrong; tell everyone!

Before you get the scoop from the on-the-spot iPhone video below, though, let me apologize for the sound issues at the beginning. My phone was too far away from my face, so it didn't pick up my yammering at first. Plus, I was in the grip of a major geek-out, so scoping out a quiet, well-lit spot was beyond me at the time. But pretty much everything Anna says is quite clear, and that's the important part.

how to use a bobby pin (the right way)

So there it is. If you've been forcing bobby pins open before sliding them into your hair, stop it. Not only are you defeating the purpose of the bobby pin by undermining its ability to secure the hair, you're probably risking damage to your teeth. (Don't pretend you don't know what I mean. *grin*) 

Plus, there's a loop-around move, too many of us didn't know about either, am I right?

Turns out that using a bobby pin or hair grip isn't an intuitive skill. It's not as bad as Snapchat, but sheesh!

How to use a bobby pin the right way: this is in fact the WRONG way. Look familiar?

How to use a bobby pin the right way: this is in fact the WRONG way. Look familiar?

To recap, according to Anna, the bobby pin is designed to hold a much smaller amount of hair than we think – and that small amount is all it needs to hold to work best. We've been trying to overfeed the things.

How to use a bobby pin the right way: this is the RIGHT way! Just like this!

How to use a bobby pin the right way: this is the RIGHT way! Just like this!

The video shows the how-to action more clearly than I can describe it, but I'ma try: without forcing the bobby pin open, use its plastic-tipped end to hook the edge of a section of hair and use a slight sewing motion to slip the bobby pin in securely. 

If you need a second bobby pin to create the look you want, come at the section of hair from the opposite side, mirror the sewing motion and slide the pin in to criss-cross the first one. (Yeah, watch the video. You really do need to see how it's done so you know how to hold the pin and how to direct it.)

Okay, is your hand still up in answer to the opening question? 

If no, then omigod, #lifechanging, right??

If yes, why didn't you tell the rest of us? Or maybe it was just me?