The Dos And Don'ts Of Wearing Flowers In Your Hair

I promise you won't look like a C-list celebrity at Coachella if you follow these steps.
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Publish date:
July 23, 2014
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updos, hair accessories, flowers, summer beauty, hairstyle, coachella, ponytail

I've been really into wearing flowers in my hair lately. Whether it's making a ponytail fancier or distracting from how much sangria I've consumed, fake flowers are a summertime hairstyle staple.

But how do you wear them without looking like a child or a faux-hemian reject escaped from a music festival? Can you wear flowers like a grown-up? OF COURSE you can! Here's how I do it.

Pick The Right Flowers

If you don’t want to look like a kid playing dress up, skip the little girls’ hair section and head to the craft store. You want flowers that look like FLOWERS, not cartoon simplifications. And ignore anything encrusted with glitter or rhinestones--I know, I can't believe I said that, either.

Before you spend a hundred dollars on silk flora, you should figure out how you’re going to use them. Where do you want them to go in your hair? Are you going to be wearing them with a particular outfit? Do you want the colors to harmonize with the rest of your clothes or stand out? Is your style more Billie Holiday than Rockabilly Babe? Questions like this will help you narrow the field and pick flowers that work for you.

Also, pick something unexpected. Roses have been done, but what about a cluster of pink ranunculus? Maybe some peonies or a chrysanthemum behind an ear? There are so many more options than just lilies or daisies!

Preparation Is Everything

So now you have your flowers--how do you get them off of them stem and into your hair?

There are a lot of ways to do this. If you’re going to be wearing the flower in a hair-tie or behind your ear, cut the stem to about two inches. This will be long enough to tuck into ponytails or to pin behind your ear, but not so long that it sticks out and looks weird.

If your hair is shorter or very fine and you’re worried that the stem will show regardless, paint it with some nail polish in a shade that's close to your hair color.

If you’d rather attach the flower onto a bobby pin for ease of fastening, you can do that, too. First, trim the flower very close to the plastic peduncle (or pedicel, depending on the type of flower) so that it’s totally separated from the stem.

Now take a wide, sharp needle and some thread in the same color as the flower petals and stitch it through the plastic, through the rounded end of the bobby pin, then back through the plastic flower butt again. Be careful when you’re doing this--giving blood is great, but not in service of flower hairpins.


Oh, and remember: bobby pins go in your hair with the wibbly side down and the straight side up.

Placement Dos And Don'ts

This is going to depend a lot on the length of your hair and how you like to wear it, but in general: keep the flowers low, at or around your ears. Up and around the crown of your hair can look a little too C-list celebrity at Coachella.

Don’t get too hung up on needing them to “match” on each side, because that can be overkill. Pick one side for flowers and stick to it.

Keep flowers limited to where you have pins or ties, rather than floating loose in your hair. This way the flowers act like a punctuation mark at the end of a hairstyle-sentence, rather than a random capital letter thrown in the middle of a word.

If you are going to wear a flower atop a high ponytail, don’t place it totally straight. Pin it over to one side instead.

Finally, if you have a fancy updo, try placing some flowers at the base of it or underneath. I love how this looks, especially if it undoes some of the stuffiness that formal hairstyles can create.

My favorite way to wear flowers is with a section of my hair pinned to the side around ear-height, then with one or two flowers tucked into it. It’s classic but fun, and definitely grown up.


Proportion, Proportion, Proportion

Your flowers shouldn’t overwhelm your face. And they DEFINITELY shouldn’t be bigger than your head.

I have a small head, so I stick to small to medium flowers. That way I get all the benefit of floral decoration without looking like I’m being attacked by a Triffid.

Because I think we can all agree that flowers are awesome--being eaten alive by monster plants is definitely NOT.

And I now I turn the floor over to you--are you a flowers-in-your-hair type of person? What type of flowers are your favorites to wear and how do you style them? Did anyone else read Day of the Triffids at a young age and end up TOTALLY TRAUMATIZED?