How to Incorporate Pearls, The Season's Hottest Hair Accessory, Into Your Own Look

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Here's a little pearl of wisdom: Jewelry always looks about 10 times as chic when it's woven through the hair. And when that jewelry is a few strands of what could be a family heirloom, the look is both an homage to the past and an irreverent wink at it.

For Khaite's spring 2020 show, hairstylist Eugene Souleiman gave models a demure center part, then braided thin sections of hair and attached a strand of pearls to each. The effect was feminine and dreamy, but hardly pure — it was the look of a woman who had taken Grandmother's pearls for a night on the town. Other designers, like Alice & Olivia and Jonathan Gn, studded models' hair with pearls, both with uniform sizing and spacing and with whimsical randomness and varying circumferences.

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Wearing pearls in one's hair doesn't require an all-or-nothing approach, however. Lucy Boynton wore a simple line of pearls in her part for the Oscars. Meanwhile, Paul & Joe's spring 2020 presentation proved a simple pearl barrette or headband makes a mighty impact — and brands are happy to provide the hair accessories that will allow you to turn runway inspiration into a real-life look.

Swept Away

As seen at Paul & Joe's Spring/Summer 2020 Paris Fashion Week runway show, even the simplest style can be a showstopper when you slide in a bold pearl barrette.

Kitsch Pearl Bobby Pins

There's nothing quite as classic as simple row of pearls on a barrette or a bobby pin, like this one from Kitsch, which comes in a two-piece set. Whether stacked, worn on either side of a center part, or worn solo, the design adds an instant sweetness to any look.

Bejeweled

At Alice + Olivia’s Spring 2020 presentation at New York Fashion Week, basic braids became breathtaking with the use of self-adhesive pearls sprinkled throughout like confetti.

Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Surprise Barrettes

For strong and hydrated hair

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Add some interest to your pearl-enhanced hairstyle by using asymmetrical barrettes. The tiny, evenly spaced pearls give the clips uniformity, but the juxtaposition of the rectangular and triangular shape give the look a bit of an edge. (Prefer to match? Don't worry. This Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Surprise set comes with two of each shape.)

Dripping With Pearls

Backstage at Khaite's Spring 2020 New York Fashion Week show, pearls were threaded by hand into models' hair. They dangled from the center parts in different-length strands and loops for an artistically royal feel.

Jennifer Behr Zayna Pearly Beaded Headband

For a similarly head-spanning look that feels a little less fanciful yet just as glamorous, consider a pearl-covered headband. This one of us handmade by Jennifer Behr with different-sized glass pearls, but there are plenty of budget- friendly options out there as well.

& Other Stories Three Pack Pearl Hairpins

With this trio of pins, you can take the tiniest step into the pearl- wearing waters — or you can stock up on several sets and cover your head in sporadically-placed pearls.

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