Is it possible that we’ve all been using bobby pins wrong our whole lives? The Cut faced this unnerving thought experiment yesterday after news editor Jessica Roy posed a simple question in the group Slack: When you’re using a bobby pin, which side should face up and which side should face down?
The answers were mixed. Some of us were absolutely certain the bumpy side should go down. Some of us argued that the other side works better. Some of us wondered if bobby pins actually worked for anyone. Our answers revealed that when it comes to bobby pins, maybe no one knows anything at all.
Jessica Roy, News Editor: Informal poll — when you are using a bobby pin, which side goes head-down? The bumpy side or the straight side?
Gabriella Paiella, Senior Writer: Straight.
Lisa Ryan, Staff Writer: The bumpy side is supposed to go down.
Diana Tsui, Senior Market Editor: It’s supposed to be the bumpy side. I learned that and I was like, whaaat?
Lisa: But I do the other side.
Jessica: SAME, LISA.
Lisa: I am aware I use them wrong but I will never change my ways.
Cari Romm, Associate Editor, Science of Us: The bumpy side down is supposed to hold hair better, or something.
Melissa Dahl, Editor, Science of Us: I read the bumpy side down thing somewhere but I was, like, 30 by the time I read that. Much too late to change my ways.
Lisa: I thought the bumpy side down is just for appearances but I guess that makes sense.
Stella Bugbee, Editor-in-Chief, the Cut: Wait, I thought that it was bumpy on one side for curly hair and straight on one side for straight hair …
Jessica: WHAT! Is that true?
Ashley Weatherford, Senior Beauty Editor: No, the bumpy side should be face down! It’s meant to create traction. I remember learning that back in high school and my mind was blown.
[Several minutes pass.]
Molly Fischer, Senior Editor: I feel like I’ve missed so much here.
Jessica: Yeah Molly, we solved bobby pins.
Molly: I had literally no idea and feel ashamed.
Madeleine Aggeler, Staff Writer: I think it should be noted that bobby pins never work and only stay in your hair for like, ten minutes, no matter what side you use.
Ashley: That’s the truth. Most hairstylists will tell you to spray the pins with hairspray to help with traction, but even still …
Lisa: The bad part is when the rubbery bit comes off the bobby pin and then it’s just like a metal weapon that you accidentally stab into your head.
Diana: I agree with Madeleine. Bobby pins don’t work on my hair!
Anna Silman, Senior Culture Writer: I don’t understand what they do, or how they work.
Lisa: Bobby pins are my life.
Ashley: Lisa, please explain.
Lisa: So my hair is often short-ish, bob-esque if you will. So if I want to work out, I have to pin back my bangs and pin up the hair under my ponytail.
Diana: And it stays?
Lisa: I have curly hair, so maybe that’s the key.
Anna: If I put a bobby pin in my hair I lose it and find it like a week later.
Diana: These work better for me.
Ashley: My issue is that bobby pins are just weak. Give me a clip or give me death.
Madeleine: Hair clips >>> other hair accessories.
Ashley: Fun fact: Mary Kate Olsen has a weird relationship with bobby pins. She restricts herself to five or less.
Emilia Petrarca, Fashion News Writer: !!!!!!! [exploding head emoji].
Madeleine: I would read 7,000 words of Mary Kate Olsen talking about bobby pins.
Lisa: Is she addicted to them?