15 Ingenious Places To Look For Lost Bobby Pins & Elastic Hair Bands

Avoid paying the 'pink tax' again, because you already spent more than enough on those suckers.

15 Ingenious Places To Look For Lost Bobby Pins & Elastic Hair Bands Averie Woodard on Unsplash

If you are either a woman or a person who buys beauty and hygiene products designed for women, you're probably familiar with what's known as the "Pink Tax."

"No, Becca," you may say. "What is the 'Pink Tax' you speak of?"

According to USA Today: "The Pink Tax, so named because of the color of products directly marketed to girls and women, refers to the price difference for female-specific products compared with the gender-neutral goods or those marketed to men."


Personally, it feels as though every other week I pour more and more money down the drain on stuff most civilized human beings used but that doesn't cost men nearly as much as it does once it's tagged "for women" and packaged in some hue of pinks or pastels.

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There is so much disposable stuff I buy regularly as a woman who wants to meet our society's beauty, hygiene and appearance standards that when I find treasured items in these categories that are actually made to be re-usable, I swear to myself that I will hold onto them forever. But alas, without fail, I soon find myself back at Rite-Aide or CVS, buying these Houdini-like, quickly lost items again and again.

This is because, while they may be reusable, elastic hair bands (or hair ties or rubber bands or ponytail holders or whatever you choose to call them) and bobby pins are designed to disappear.

That statement may seem extreme and paranoid, but face it, they just are. It's like every pair of socks ever sold in the history of hosiery. You buy them well aware that at some point in the near future, you will lose one, as though it vanished into thin air. This is the way of the world, and we universally accept it as such.

For years, I have theorized about where exactly my dainty beauty supplies go. I've taken copious notes and proposed clearly scientific theories about where every last one of the bobby pins and hair ties I have lost over the decades have wandering off to.


At last, as most of us are stuck at home social distancing and self-quarantining anyway, the time has come for me to share my work with the rest of the world.

In no particular order, here are 15 places to look for your lost elastic hair bands and bobby pins (so you can avoid paying the 'Pink Tax' all over again).

1. At the bottom of your bag

If you have lost your hair ties or bobby pins, there is a very strong likelihood you can manage to scrounge up somewhere roughly between two to eight hundred of each at the bottom of whichever purse you happen to be carrying with you at present.

Of course, you're more likely to find them within the copious number of bags shoved in the back of your closet than in your everyday bag(s). Chances are, you will also find a lovely red lipstick you'd forgotten about as you wonder aloud, "Why don't I ever use this bag?"


And then you will put it down and not touch it again for seven years.

2. Underneath your carpet

I'm a huge proponent of a nice, fluffy carpet. I am not, however, a proponent of somehow losing every single hair tie or bobby pin I buy underneath said nice fluffy carpet, and yet ... that is what happens.

What does the carpet want? Is it hungry? Is it mad that I have cats?

The answers are: "Probably a thorough vacuuming", "Yes", and "Wouldn't you be?"

3. In the pockets of your coat or jacket

Every woman wearing a coat or jacket wields the exact same super power — the ability to produce as many hair ties and bobby pins from the unknown depths of her pockets as another woman passing by might need.


However, as with any super power, there is a dark trade off. The aforementioned beauty supplies can only be found in those pockets when she herself has no need of one.

This is a law. It cannot be broken.

4. Inside of your washing machine

When I got a washing machine after years of not having one, I promptly began hurling every piece of clothing I owned inside of it as soon I took said item off, to later be cleaned by the magical, water-filled soak beast.

Did I check my pockets before doing so? No.

Will I ever check my pockets before doing so in the future? Let's be honest, probably not.

If you are even remotely like me and find yourself in need of an elastic hair band or a bobby pin, run to your washing machine and feel around! You will find at least one of each, even if they are now slightly rusty.


Bonus: You may also find stuff like a very clean penny, or something all balled up you think could be a dollar, but winds up being, like, a receipt or something.

5. In the lairs of water nymphs

There is an old story that I have made up just now that goes like this:

Every night when you go to sleep, a water nymph visits you in your dreams and asks for an offering. Because you are asleep, you don't really know what it is that she might want. Being a decent member of the female tribe, you decide to give her some extra hair ties and bobby pins.

In order to retrieve them, you must dive into the inner oceans of your own soul. Or just, like, go to CVS and buy more? Come on. The Pink Tax is a bummer, but sometimes there's just no fighting it.


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6. Buried within your home-baked goods

I love doing crazy things with my hair and I love making baked goods. While I do not have conclusive evidence that my ponytail holders and bobby pins have ever fallen into the batter, the crossing guard I pass when I leave the house every day does give me this look that makes me feel like, unbeknownst to me, I may actually be a criminal eager to break someone out of jail via the some clever handiwork with my hair supplies.

And if you're worried about this, your life is far, far more exciting than mine may be.

7. In the bowels of your toilet


"What's that at the bottom of my toilet? Oh my god! Is that some weird kind of water bug?"

No. It never is. It is almost always a hair accessory of some kind, and whether or not you're willing to dive for it not only says a lot about who you are as a person, but also about your housekeeping skills.

Also, this one sounds as though it could be the water nymph returning for more. Probably best to just let that one swim away to her!

8. In the bellies, I mean, nests of cats

Look, I have two cats. They are both precious monsters. One of their preferred activities is the making of nests. This means they will gather small objects from around my bedroom and the rest of the house with which to build small piles under my bed to later roost upon.


The foundation of this bedding is usually hair ties and bobby pins.

It's cute that they want to feel close to me: but also, ew.

9. At Nancy Drew's house

Sometimes when you lose all of your hair ties and all of your bobby pins, the problem isn't you at all! Rather, it is the fault of the teenaged detective named Nancy Drew!

She's plucky, she's clever, and I'll be darned if she doesn't know how to pick any lock under the sun, provided she's got the right tools at hand.

The right tools are literally anything you might use to tame your mane. Enough said.

10. The bottom of a dark chasm.

This one seems pretty self-explanatory, to be honest.

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11. Lurking somewhere within your hair

Nine times out of ten, when I am whining and moaning about not having any bobby pins or elastics around, it turns out I have as many as a girl could possibly need and then some up in the mess that is my hair. And it's not like I have a huge amount of hair on my noggin.

When in doubt, pat those tresses down and see what shakes out.

12. In the sweaty grasp of any 3-year-old

If you ever entertain a 3-year-old child at your home and you are not the parent of that 3-three-year old, you will inevitably find yourself frantically looking for something to keep them away from your personal "toy" drawer. Chances are good that as a result, this child is now possession of every last one of your hair accessories.


The child will never simply give them back to you, so be prepared to make a solid trade.

Candy will usually suffice. Or perhaps a cheap Batman toy from the pharmacy. Hey, it was designed for boys, so it will still be less expensive than buying replacement hair products.

13. In your "safe spot"

"Oh, hey, I have an idea. Since I keep losing all of these bobby pins and hair elastic ties things, I will find a nice, safe spot to put all of these new ones in so I'll never lose them again."

When you find such a spot, you put all of your hair elastics and bobby pins there and feel like an adult as you do.

Unfortunately, you will never remember where this place is again.


14. In the freezer

If I lose something, I always look in the freezer first. This is because I once put my glasses there. It was just once, but now, whenever I lose anything I assume that it must be freezing. I have thereby decided that all of your own lost elastics and bobby pins will end up in your freezer, living their best life as they chill.

Of course, you won't be able to use any of them because they will have frozen inside massive blocks of ice.

15. Resting somewhere in your bed

If you are like me, your bed is a place for more than mere slumber. You eat there. You get ready there. You nap. You read. You watch far too much TV.

If I am looking for a spare bobby pin or elastic, I can almost guarantee that I will find one in my sheets.


For this, I will not apologize, and neither should you.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.