Am I Allergic to Bobby Pins?

I love updos. They are my favorite hairstyle to rock.  My stylist has sculpted some pretty amazing looks for me including twisted updo + rod set curls and twist with scallop bang.  One key tool to achieving a great updo are bobby pins. Dakota will have your hair pinned into a unique form that will have you setting off metal detectors in order to make sure your style shall not be moved [no really we almost had an incident at the airport, but that is another story for another day].


However the last couple times I got my hair done I noticed my scalp has very irritated, itchy and sore.  I can normally wear a good twisted or braided updo for weeks at a time, but lately after just a few days the itching becomes uncomfortable.  I tried treating my scalp with the usual suspects but with no relief, so I end up taking the style down and blaming it on my scalp’s fickle behavior.

A few days ago I gave myself an easy style to help accommodate the frigid temps.  I twisted my hair back into 5 chunky flat then pinned them into a flat bun, a loose interpretation on this style.  Well after only a day my scalp was really itchy in the back where my bun was.  I took down the bobby pins grabbed a ink pen to scratch my scalp gently and told myself I would rub it down with some acv later.  I never actually got around to treating my scalp and the next day I noticed I didn’t itch at all. That made me think: what if it was the bobby pins that were irritating my hair? I used a plastic clip to make a bun and three days later I have yet to have any additional itch or irritation.

The bobby pins I use are holdovers from twisted updos past done at the salon. These are just regular bobby pins from a BSS, nothing special about them. I don’t know if it is the metal, paint or the coating but something about them is irritating my scalp.  I am going to look into better quality of bobby pins and I will let you know how that goes.  In the mean time I will be using Goody Ouchless Barrettes which are plastic.  You can also looking into sewing your hair for updo styles, it is the same thread used for sew-in weaves and is a popular technique used when creating updos on locs.


12 thoughts on “Am I Allergic to Bobby Pins?

  1. I’m going thru the same thing. If the pins touch my scalp, my scalp gets itchy. I’ve had to take styles down an reposition the pins so they don’t touch my scalp.

  2. I go through the same exact thing! I believe it must be the paint or the metal. Even on freshly cleansed hair, the irritation occurs the very next day. I have found some plastic bobby pins called Good Hair Days which are sold at Sally’s. I have yet to try the plastic pins and I doubt they will cause me any irritation.

  3. I never thought I was allergic to Bobby pins. But after reading this, I’ve noticed that I too experience some of the same symptoms. But I realized that sometimes my styles are too tight as the pins are digging into my scalp. But I’ve also noticed that the costing comes of the pins easily. Wonder if the coating causes some of the irritation???

  4. I never thought I was allergic to Bobby pins, but after reading this I don’t know. I too experience some of the same symptoms…especially the itchy and irritated scalp.

  5. This is good to know. I found my bobby pins again and have been experimenting with up dos and such, but I can’t wear it longer than a few hours until I get a headache. I’ve always known about my nickel allergy but didn’t think the ions would have this kind of effect in me. So glad to hear there are plastic ones! Thanks!

  6. I know this is a post from quite a while back, but had to respond. I had similar experiences for many years. Initially, I thought the pressure from the pins had been bothering my scalp. However, it would take about 2 days until I felt better. Fast forward to August last year. I had just started my 4th year of med school rotating at an allergist’s office. One day, almost 3/4 of my scalp was itching and burning, especially where the pins were. He was willing to write me a prescription for a medium strength steroid solution, but I declined figuring it would pass like it had in the past. Unfortunately, it was worse than before and took a whole week to subside. Within the first couple of days, the cause finally clicked. Almost 10 years ago I was patched tested by my dermatologist because of my hand eczema. The only positive reaction I had was to nickel, which is a pretty common contact metal allergen. Nickel is found in a lot of bobby pins. I haven’t used them since then. I am looking into brass bobby pins with hopes that they will be adequate. Some people may be allergic to the coating, but a nickel allergy is pretty common.

Say Something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s