Thanksgiving Advent, Day Sixteen: Hair Screws

Tonight, I am thankful for these things:

I first encountered them years ago at my ballet studio. Bought some for myself, lost them over the years, and then my mother made herself a hero of the revolution by tracking down more. These days, Goody makes their own version, which are a bit longer (though not as nicely coated) as the kind she found for me.

What are they? They are magic. I know they can be put to other hair-related uses, but to me, they are the things that hold my bun up. For those who haven’t seen me: my hair is down to my hips, and is relatively thick. When I put it in a bun (for ballet then; for karate now), I end up with a mass of hair more than half again as big as my fist. This is a lot of hair to bun, y’all, and it takes a vast number of hairpins to hold it, not very securely, in place.

I can hold my braid up with two of those, messily. Four makes it tidy. Six makes it secure enough to stay in place through two hours of karate and kobudo.

They are freaking magic.

We call them “hair screws;” I don’t remember what Goody calls them. If they might be of any use to you, go out and buy some, stat: I want Goody believing there’s enough of a market to go on manufacturing them. Otherwise, I will be back to buns falling down, and I will be sad.

0 Responses to “Thanksgiving Advent, Day Sixteen: Hair Screws”

  1. lindenfoxcub

    I’m on a long hair community, and they’ve been mentioned a couple times – Goody calls them “spin pins”. I’ve seen them in the stores, but never tried them – I suppose I should. I was never sure if they’d be strong enough, since any time I’ve bought hair sticks in a drug store, they’ve been cheap plastic and won’t actually hold my hair without breaking.

  2. jekni

    They look brilliant – and a bit better than the heron-bill thingies I use now. Pity we don’t have Goody in Australia.

  3. missxtravesty

    Oh my, I know what you mean! I got a pair of those a few months ago and I am hooked on them. I’ve never been able to figure out bobby pins in general, so buns were never an option for me. Now I can twist my (butt-length) hair up into a bun as messy and fun or as perfectly proper as I like, just in time for the office job I started in August! I agree – whoever invented those needs a huge hug.

    • Marie Brennan

      I was only ever able to use the V-shaped pins anyway; the flat bobby pins, as far as I can tell, are only good for holding stray wisps of hair in place.

  4. elizaeffect

    Holy crap, I just picked up a pair of those at the drugstore because they looked like the answer to my thick-hair-in-a-bun prayers. I’m still figuring out how to make them work 100% of the time, but I know what you mean about “magic”.

  5. hhertzof

    I was looking these in the supermarket the other day wondering if they worked. (Also mourning the lack of the beaded pony-tail holders as I usually do the ponytail thing and I find standard elastics impossible to get on or off without tangling in my hair.)

    Now that I know, I might buy some and experiment.

  6. Anonymous


    The original ones were called hair scroos and I don’t know why they ever stopped making them. Without them I would have made you cut your hair a lot shorter when you were still dancing! The ones I found you a few years ago were from Target, but I’m not sure they were Goody.

  7. benbenberi

    Oh man, I wish I had known about these things back when I had long hair! (It would *never* stay up, no matter how many hair pins I shoved in it.)

  8. diatryma

    I am trying to be brave and try new things in my hair, and these might be on the list. I don’t like anything that could potentially fall out or that feels like it’s going to fall out, and my standards for ‘professional’ and ‘decent’ are kind of stratospheric. And the last new hair thing I tried nearly made me cry because issues. But these look interesting, and you have lots of hair, so it’s not like pixie-cutted people telling me just what I need.

    • Marie Brennan

      These things do. not. fall. out.

      I have never once had one fall out. Ever. Even when doing pirouettes. If I’ve placed one badly, sometimes when I’m taking my bun out the braid will fall down unexpectedly early, with the misplaced one still screwed in — but I’ve never had one just clink to the floor without warning.

  9. tiamat360

    Wonder how these things would work in my (extremely curly) hair. Dunno if I could ever get them back out…

    • Marie Brennan

      I think they would work well. They just screw into the hair, and rely on the spiral motion to stay in; the only difficulty getting them out, most of the time, is finding where they’ve gotten to. 🙂

  10. battlehampster

    They make mini ones. Walgreens has them.

  11. Anonymous

    I. Love. These. Things.

    Seriously, they are amazing. I used hair sticks for the longest time, and that was fine until my dance teacher developed a sudden phobia that they might fly out and kill someone. They never did, but I decided I should do her sanity a favor and managed to find a replacement in the form of these things. These pins are really the only other things that would hold my thick and waist-length hair. At first they take a bit of practice in terms of figuring out where to put them, but after that they STAY where you put them until you decide to take them out. If you have a lot of hair, you might want more than the standard set of two, especially if you need it to be extra secure(I usually used four for dance, six if I was performing), but it most definitely beats the fifty or so normal pins I would have needed for a much less secure bun.

    Seriously, if anyone has thick and/or long hair and can’t figure out how to hold it up, these are the most amazing things in the world.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yeah, I need four to hold it all, six to be certain it will hold through vigorous exercise. But that’s still a massive, massive improvement over normal pins.

      • Anonymous

        Oh yes. 🙂 My hair is also shorter, so I didn’t need as many (it’s never gotten much past my waist), but I am never using normal pins again. These things are amazing…

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