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Glimmer And Shine: The Ultimate Guide To Hair Tinsel 

By  Emily Konatella

LAST UPDATED - March 24, 2023

The iconic Beyonce-approved hair trend is making a resurgence on TikTok — and we're so here for it! Whether you are following the trend or looking for a fun way to add some sparkle to your hair, you can easily add some shimmer to your locks with tinsel hair extensions.

Hair tinsel adds a dimension to your crown and an aspect of playfulness to your strands without committing to week-long bleaching sessions at the hairstylist. 

Here's a quick guide that'll familiarize you with everything you need to know about this gorgeous hair trend. 

What is Hair Tinsel?

Also called "fairy hair" by the it-girls of the fashion world, hair tinsel are tiny threads of tinsel you secure to your real strands. They are available in various iridescent hues of silver, pink, black, and even multicolored strands, allowing you to experiment with different looks without making permanent changes or damaging your hair with extensive procedures. 

So, whether you're looking for a vibrant look or want to create a color contrast wherever you go, hair tinsel will be a great way to upgrade your luscious locks. With the help of a hair tinsel kit, you can apply and remove these tinsel hair extensions at home.

What are some of the types of hair tinsel?

Metallic Hair Tinsel - Made from thin, shiny metallic strips, this type of tinsel is perfect for adding a pop of sparkle to your hair.

Synthetic Hair Tinsel - Made from synthetic fibers, this type of tinsel comes in a variety of colors and can be styled with heat tools.

Glitter Hair Tinsel - Similar to metallic tinsel, this type of tinsel is made from thin, shiny strips but is coated with glitter for extra sparkle.

Feather Hair Tinsel - Made from natural or synthetic feathers, this type of tinsel adds a bohemian touch to your hair.

Beaded Hair Tinsel - Made from small beads, this type of tinsel can be strung onto a string or wire and then attached to your hair for fun, whimsical look.

How to Apply Hair Tinsel at Home?

Applying hair tinsel may seem like a complicated process, but it's quite easy to apply at home. There are two methods to install. Just make sure you start with only a few strands to see whether they suit you. 

How to Install Hair Tinsel With a Slip Knot 

  1. Wash and blow dry/air dry your hair first. This will give you a clean slate to work with and ensure that the tinsel won't slide out of your hair. Then, brush your hair and clip up the top section so the knots can be hidden underneath.

  2. Fold a strand of hair tinsel in half so that the ends meet. Ensure that the length of the tinsel is at least twice as long as your hair.

  3. Create a slip knot using the looped end of the tinsel by pinching the folded end to form a loop. Next, place your thumb and index finger through the loop, and then use these fingers to pinch the tinsel strands and pull back, forming the slip knot.

  4. Insert your thumb and index finger through the slip knot loop, then take a few strands of hair close to your part and separate them with your other hand. Afterward, hold the slip knot close to the hair strands and pull them through the loop. Lastly, pull the ends of the tinsel until the knot tightens near your scalp.

  5. To secure the tinsel in your hair, locate the two ends and overlap them. Next, take one end and pass it through the loop you created. Finally, pull the ends in opposite directions to form a knot near the base of your scalp. 

How to Install Hair Tinsel With Microbeads

  1. Wash and blow dry/air dry your hair first. Brush your hair and clip up the top section to hide the microbeads.

  2. Use a flat clip to secure the hair tinsel above your part after separating the top section of the hair. This will make the application process easier and more precise.

  3. With the hook tool from your hair tinsel kit, take a small section of hair beneath the clipped tinsel and use it to pull both the tinsel and hair through the microbead.

  4. After threading your hair and tinsel through the microbead, slide the bead up to your scalp and use pliers to clamp it securely in place. Leave about 1/4 inch of gap between the bead and the scalp. Repeat until it's to your liking, then trim the ends to match your hair's length.

Experts recommend that you trim the tinsels after application to match your desired length while creating a more uniform and seamless look.

However, if you're not confident about DIYing your way through this hair trend, we suggest hiring a professional. It's the best way to protect the hair roots and keep the extensions in place for as long as possible.

How to Remove Hair Tinsel

How to remove hair tinsel using single strand step by step

  1. Take a pair of pliers and gently squeeze the micro link that is holding the tinsel in place.

  2. Slide the micro link down the hair shaft towards the scalp.

  3. Once the micro link is close to the scalp, use the pliers to gently bend the link open and remove it from the hair.

  4. Slide the tinsel out of the hair.

  5. Repeat the process for all the tinsel strands.

Remember to be gentle when pulling it out, as too much tugging and pulling can damage your hair roots and cause your natural hair to be pulled out. This can typically happen when you've been wearing the tinsel for too long — say, 6-8 weeks. 

However, if you want to reduce the risk of breakage, we suggest visiting your stylist for the removal. Depending on the method used to insert them, they will remove the tinsels, which can help preserve the integrity of your real strands. 

How to remove hair tinsel using micro link step by step

Here are the steps on how to remove hair tinsel using the micro link method:

  1. Use a pair of pliers to open the micro link bead that's holding the hair tinsel.

  2. Gently slide the bead down to the end of the hair tinsel. To remove it, hold the hair tinsel securely and gently pull it out of your hair in the opposite direction to open it up.

  3. Repeat the steps for each micro link bead holding the tinsel in place.

  4. Once all the tinsel is removed, use a fine-toothed comb to remove any remaining residue or tangles.

  5. After removing the hair tinsel, cleanse your hair with a clarifying shampoo to eliminate any adhesive or buildup residue. Condition your hair thoroughly to restore moisture and prevent any damage caused by the removal process.

Tip: Remember to always be gentle when removing hair tinsel to avoid damaging your hair or causing unnecessary breakage.

After Care of Using Hair Tinsel

The sparkly tinsel hair strand is resilient and is known for being low-maintenance, so you can care for it as you would natural hair. 

To make it look better and last longer, take extra care when you're shampooing or deep conditioning your hair. Massage the roots gently to keep the rings intact, and if you're detangling your hair when wet, use a wide-toothed comb to prevent breakage. 

If you feel the tinsel slipping, hold it at the root right at the knot and gently brush your hair with the other hand to keep it from falling out. 

It's also best to avoid styling as it may damage the tinsels (and natural hair). But if you must, keep the tools at a lower temperature setting and only pass through each hair section only once. Use a primer or a heat protectant to prevent frizz and make your hair look soft and smooth. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does hair tinsel last?

When applied using the single-strand method, hair tinsel typically lasts 1-2 weeks. But if you use the micro-link installation method and ensure proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy beautiful results for up to 6 weeks.

Can hair tinsel be washed or styled with heat tools?

You can wash your hair as usual even if you have hair tinsels. As for styling, it depends on what type of tinsel you use. If your hair tinsel is heat-resistant, you can use heat tools like a flat iron or a curling wand to style them. But make sure you use a heat protectant to prevent any damage.

Can hair tinsel be used on all hair types and textures?

Yes, hair tinsel strands have a micro ring application process, which means they adapt to different hair types and textures. That said, you may notice that it doesn't blend as well with curly hair types, but you can solve this problem by curling the hair tinsel before installation. 

Is hair tinsel safe for children to use?

Hair tinsel was initially seen as a fashion trend for teenagers, so children can wear it, too. And they can do so safely if the tinsels are applied, maintained, and removed correctly to prevent causing damage to natural hair strands. 

Can hair tinsel cause damage to the hair?

If properly applied, tinsel strands will not cause any real damage to real strands. Just make sure to brush at least twice a day to prevent knotting and tangling.

Can you use a curling iron or flat iron on hair tinsel?

Using a curling iron with hair tinsel is not advised unless the tinsel is specifically labeled as heat safe. The tinsel is made of synthetic or metallic material and may melt or burn when exposed to high heat.

If your hair tinsel is heat safe, then it is best to apply the tinsel before styling your hair with heat tools. You can also try braiding the tinsel into your hair for a fun and unique look without risking damage to the tinsel or your hair.


About the author

Emily is a fashion consultant, designer and creative director with more than 15 years experience creating, designing and developing clothing & jewelry. From managing pageant shows to turning concepts into actual designs, she has experience with almost all fabric types and jewelry designs and is in touch with the latest fashion trends.

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