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Hair Chopsticks | How to Put Up Your Hair

Hair chopsticks, also called hairsticks, can make a cute accessory for your hair. That’s right. It may sound strange having a stick through your hair, but it is a hairstyle that has been used for thousands of years. Besides, these hairsticks are usually elegant, decorative, and fun. You can use it as an accessory and as a way to hold up your hair. Here are some ways to diversify your hair styles.


What You Will Need for Hair Chopsticks

  1. Hair ties: There are many different ways to style your bun and depending on your chosen style, different types of hair ties will come into play. This also depends on your hair type. Since I have thick hair, I usually use scrunchies or regularly thick bands, but you can use rubber ties if your hair is thinner. Having a diverse set of hair ties will help you achieve many different looks.
  2. Bobby pins: These are my go to when I have flyaway hairs or if I want to pin down my baby hairs. I primarily like to use them to have a strong hold in my hair bun and to make it last throughout the entire day.
  3. A hairstick: The hairstick is the reason we are here. Maybe you got inspired to try a new style after finding a beautiful set of sticks. I will discuss more on the different types of sticks you can find as some are better suited for different types of looks. Keep reading for our list of favorite hair chopsticks below.
  4. Hairspray (optional): I have baby hairs and I love my little hairs, but sometimes I want to try hairstyles that involve me tucking them back. Hairspray is also great if you have layered hair that produces flyaways. Again, this is optional and helps you achieve a certain look.
  5. Gel (optional): I only use gel if I am doing a tight bun, but everyone’s hair is different. Use this to your advantage if you want a sleek look. 


chinese pink flower hair chopsticks


Things to consider when using hair sticks

So now that we went over the materials needed, we should go over factors that need to be taken into consideration to make it easier to achieve various types of looks. Depending on the texture of your hair, the length of your hair, and the hairstick, you may or may not be able to complete the style. After we go over several points, we will go over different hairstyles and how to create them.

What is Your Hair Type?

It is actually pretty useful to identify your hair type first, and then consider what type of hair stick would best fit you. For example, if you have thick hair, then you can be a bit more flexible with your choices, whereas thin or fine hair may want a hairstick with some ridges to make it easier to keep in place. If you have many baby hairs like I do, getting gel or bobby pins is a good way to pin back your hair for a sleek ponytail look. Although, I sometimes like to wear this look with some hair down in the front. Bottomline, those with thinner or more fine hair should consider a hairstick that will not slip off and I will go over material next to help you understand which is better for getting a grip.

Hair Chopstick Materials

Traditionally, they come in wood or bamboo, but they can come in several different types of material. More recently, I have noticed the elegant look of a silver hair stick. Again, knowing your hair type can help you determine which material hairstick you should use. Though I like the metal sleek look, they tend to be slippier, hence, I would recommend this to people with thick hair or to those who don’t mind using some product to keep it together. For thinner hair, I like the sticks made of wood because they tend to have a better grip when holding hair. Bamboo and wooden sticks are also much lighter than those made from metal. They work better with thin hair because they will not weigh down your bun. You want to be able to wear your hairstyle all day, so adding some product and having an appropriate material hairstick works better. That is not to say that thin hair cannot wear silver sticks, but you may have to make sure you make a very snug bun and possibly some product. It is just the same as people with straight hair trying to maintain curls, you will need some product to keep it together for the day. Again, you should have determined your hair type to help you find which material stick makes it easier to keep  in your hair.You will find they come in materials such as: plastic, wood, metal, melamine bamboo and silver.

Types of Hair Chopstick Designs

Since this trend has become popular, you will notice that hairsticks now come with several designs. Though I like the classic wooden sticks, they are now sold in various designs such as metal sticks with flowers, or with dragons. Of course, with different cultures, there come different designs. Let’s go over a couple of them.

In Japanese culture, they tend to use smaller chopsticks with pointy ends. This design helps with picking up foods like sticky rice or fish. It helps tremendously when picking bones from fish. Also, because food is usually served in smaller individual bowls, the length doesn’t matter too much. It’s short so you can hold the bowl closer to your mouth.

Chinese chopsticks are different from Japanese chopsticks because they are longer and wider. Their tips are not as pointy but are wider and more blunt. Typically, meals are all set out at the dinner table and everyone grabs from the dish to put on their own plate. They are also bigger because they are used for more utility. You can cook with these types of chopsticks. They are more ideal for cooking because the length keeps you from getting too close to the heat or from jumping oil.   

As for Korean chopsticks, they are usually made from metal or silver material. Their size falls somewhere between Japanese and Chinese style chopsticks. They are hard to hold and to grab food with because they are slippier. This material was used as a way to distinguish people in different social classes with those in higher standing owning gold chopsticks.

korean japanese silver chopsticks with pearl

So when you decide to buy a hairstick, you will be able to tell where different designs got their inspiration from. Though they can date as far back as the Shang dynasty in China, the popularity spread and other cultures adapted their own styles. 


Our Favorite Hair Chopsticks

Length of Your Hair for Chopsticks

To properly complete this look, you would want your hair to be mid to long in length. Preferably your hair should be pass shoulder level. This is due to the fact that most of these hairstyles are worn in a bun. You may be like me and have layered hair and that can affect the neatness of your bun, but bobby pins make for an easy fix. If your hair is on the shorter side, you can do a half bun with the hairstick, and it will look just as nice. You probably want to opt for a small hairstick for shorter hair so it does not weigh down the bun, otherwise, you just end up having your hair bun fall apart.

Length of the Hair Chopstick

Before I touch upon different styles you can choose from, I wanted to go over one last thing… the length of the stick. Depending on the texture, length, and look you want, the length can have an impact on your overall look. For example, there are some days where I want the stick to show that it crossed my bun as opposed to only having only one end exposed. So, I would want a longer stick. I see that many shorter hair sticks are a lot more decorative whereas longer sticks are meant for a better grip and utility. I own multiple types of sticks ranging from material, size, and decorations. So ultimately, it is up to your preference, but keep in mind that some help achieve a specific look more than others.

Types of Hair Buns:

So this is the most typical way one would wear their hair when attempting this style, but there are many ways to do buns. Let us start with the regular “cinnamon bun looks.”

Cinnamon Bun - Good for Mid-Long Hair

To achieve this bun, you must grab your hair in a ponytail and twist your hair continuously in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Once you twist it, you again twist it in a clockwise motion into a bun, creating several coils or layers as you go. Have your hair ite ready, because once you have that bun set in stone, you are going to want to tie the whole thing up. Lastly, you add in the hair sticks. For personal preference, I like inserting it in the coils near my scalp than on the actual bun itself. I use two shorter sticks with only one side of the stick sticking out on the top side of the bun.

Half Bun - Good for Shorter Hair or Layers

This is one of my favorite looks because I like leaving my hair down and it works for when I have short hair. The half bun can be done in multiple ways, but for simplicity sake, I will use the same method as the cinnamon bun method. You part your hair into two layers, the top half and the bottom half. You can choose to leave your bangs out, or tie it back as well with the bun we are going to make. You do the same thing to the top layer and twist it first, then twist into a bun, creating several coils. Lastly you tie your hair up and insert the stick. I use 1 long stick to make it stand out a bit more and make sure both ends are visible.

Hair Knot Bun - Good for Long Hair

The last style I want to go through is the hair knot. Your hair needs to be on the longer side for this one. Grab all your hair at the crown like a ponytail and twist it like you would with the cinnamon bun hairstyle. Once you finish twisting it, bring it around like you would coil, and then literally tie your hair like a knot. It is like the first step in tying your shoe. Some hair should be left stick out and you can either leave it be or braid it. I like to leave it be and insert a stick through where you made the knot. A short of long stick works for this look

Now that I shared my favorite three looks, I think it is time we talk about...

Is wearing this style a form of cultural appropriation? Hair sticks vs Chopsticks Explained

Celebrities have faced backlash for wearing this look, others have commented that it does not count as cultural appropriation. So first, let us define what cultural appropriation is. 

Cultural appropriation refers to people using elements of another culture that either reinforces stereotypes or discredits the original meaning of said element. For example, a huge backlash came when Victoria Secret’s model came out the runway wearing a native American headdress that would have represented respect and was worn by warriors or war chiefs. So is wearing chopsticks in your hair cultural appropriation? Usually it is if you are using a chopstick, and less so when using a hairstick. Even deeper than that, you should ask yourself: what is your intention with using chopsticks in hair? Are you appreciating and respecting a culture or making a mockery of it? The difference is that chopsticks made for eating were not worn in the hair. Instead, decorative “hair sticks” were used. Bottomline, wearing chopsticks in your hair is appropriation when it is worn in reinforcing stereotypes while misrepresenting hairstyles traditionally worn in East Asian cultures. If you like the look and respect the culture, there is nothing wrong with celebrating and admiring its beauty, but just be mindful of why you are wearing it in the first place.

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