Health Is Beauty

Hairdo Perfection: Accessories for Summer Updos (Get That Hair Off Your Neck!)

woman with flower updo

I have had exactly one short haircut my entire life; when I was 9 years old I chopped it all off and had a cute bob for the summer. And I was miserable.

I don’t know why, but I don’t feel myself without a bunch of hair to deal with—and it’s practical too (at least in the winter, when it keeps my ears and neck warm and cozy). But in the summer, it mostly gets piled up on top of my head in a topknot, high ponytail, or my fave—a days-long messy thing that just contains way too many bobby pins and hairbands (it looks a little crazy and a lot messy and I love it).

Dealing with long (curly, unruly, and generally psychotically voluminous) hair my whole life means I love me some hair accessories. I’m literally always on the lookout for my new favorites, and because they always (so sad) inevitably get lost, they always need replacement. I dream of the day I have a proper hoard of hair clips, bands and pins in all kinds of fun patterns and colors.

french barrettes

Made in France (I have had several clips over the years made in Europe and they always last forever), these hairclips in checkers or shell prints turn an updo into something just a bit more interesting.

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You want to wear your hair up, but it’s a mess at the roots or you don’t have time. Enter the turban! Pickup Stitch offers them in wool and alpaca, and also cotton for warmer weather; all made in the USA by Elly DuFault, and dyed with natural colors.


Bobby pins that have a little somethin’ somethin’ are my first choice for those that I use on the outside of my updos. These are made from recycled vintage musical scores—sweet!


J. Crew can always be relied on for great hair accessories. While they don’t use eco materials and are not locally made, I will vouch for the fact that their clips and headbands last forever and ever (which is eco in its own way). I have clips of theirs I have been wearing for close to a decade!


If you want to go totally over-the-top (and why the heck not?) a handmade, one-of-a-kind KadyBloom fascinator is your ticket. Perfect paired with jeans and a nice tee-shirt for a summer dinner out, a brunch party, or a garden wedding. Available at Anthropologie.


Me (Starre Vartan) and one of my crazy updos!

Main Photo Credit: Flооd

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.