Skip to Content

How To Use Hair Sticks: Japanese, Wax, Wooden, and More

Hair Sticks - The Only Guide You'll Ever Need for Hair Sticks

For centuries, women worldwide have been using hair sticks to style their hair, and there’s no wonder why they continue to increase in popularity across the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries around the world!

Hair sticks are one of the easiest ways to create elegant styles that last all day long. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about hair sticks, including how to prep your hair, the best hair sticks, and how to use hair sticks to create different hairstyles.

Jump to:

Tips Before Using Hair Sticks

Below are a few tips to keep in mind before you begin the styling process. Following these tips will not only make styling much easier, but it’ll also ensure that your hair sticks stay in until you’re ready to remove them. 

  • Don’t saturate your hair with slippery products – they will make it difficult to secure your hair sticks.
  • If you have wavy or curly hair, it will probably be best to leave your hair in its natural state rather than completely straightening it, as the curls will give the hair sticks something to grip on to.
  • Styling your hair with hair sticks may work best on days between wash days. This is because the sticks stay in place better in slightly dirty hair, rather than clean hair, which tends to be slicker. 
  • Ensure that your hair is completely detangled before beginning the styling process. This will make inserting and removing the sticks much easier and allow you to avoid damage to your hair. 
  • Ensure that your hair is 100% dry when styling with hair sticks. This is because if you are using wooden hair sticks, the moisture may ruin them completely. Additionally, securing your hair in place while it is wet can cause breakage and damage. 

Different Types of Hair Sticks

There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to hair sticks. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Continue reading to determine what hair stick length and shape will be best for your hair type and styling preference. 

If you’re looking for an easier and more cost-effective option, you can use basic wooden chopsticks. These utensils are commonly provided with Chinese take-out, alternatively they can be purchased inexpensively at most online retailers. Just make sure that they appear sturdy and that the wood is smooth. 

How Long Should a Hair Stick Be?

Hair sticks are usually no more than 8 inches long. This length is sufficient for most hair lengths, but you can purchase hair sticks that are longer than 8 inches if you have extremely long or thick hair. 

Different Shapes of Hair Sticks 

Hair sticks come in many different shapes. Some are curved, some are wavy or curly, and some are straight. Some find that curved or curly sticks are easier to secure than straight ones, while others prefer straight ones. 

Hair sticks come in different weights, as well. If you have thin hair, you should make sure that you choose a lightweight hair stick. Conversely, if you have thick or very long hair, you should choose a heavier or denser hair stick. 

Hair Sticks vs. Hair Forks 

You might stumble upon a very similar hair accessory called the hair fork when searching for hair sticks. These hair pieces are both typically made of wood and serve the purpose of holding your hair in place without elastics.

The primary difference between a hair stick and a hair fork is that a hair stick is one straight piece, while a hair fork will typically contain two or more prongs. Feel free to try both to find out which one works best for your hair!

Different Materials of Hair Sticks

Traditionally, hair sticks are made of wood. Wooden hair sticks are highly recommended, as they are natural and cause little to no damage to your hair. However, you can also find sticks made of metal or plastic. 

Some prefer metal or plastic hair sticks because they are humidity resistant. In addition, metal hair sticks are often smaller and have a dainty appearance. They may be a better option if you have short or thin hair or are looking for a less bulky hair accessory. 

Where to Find the Best Hair Sticks

A wide variety of companies manufacture high-quality hair sticks. You can find handcrafted sticks from various shops on Etsy. Alternatively, you can check out SAYA Designs, a company that produces high-quality wooden sticks for affordable prices.

You can also find hair sticks with interesting design accents: 

  • This stick includes a flower on the top. 
  • These sticks come in a pack of 6 and include unique printed designs on the wood. 
  • These sticks come in a pack of 6 and include carved designs at the top. 

If you prefer to shop for hair sticks in person, stop by your local beauty supply store to browse their selection. Some large department stores may also carry hair sticks. 

How to Use Hair Sticks

Now, it’s time to learn how to use hair sticks. These hairstyles work best for individuals with longer hair but can be adapted for slightly shorter lengths. Just be prepared to make slight adjustments depending on the length of your hair.

How to Do a Basic Bun

Top knot bun/ninja bun | with chopsticks | two different ways
  1. Gather all of your hair at the back of your head. Use a brush or comb as needed to get your hair sleek. You can also use gel or edge control around your edges as needed but refrain from getting it on the rest of your hair.
  2. Brush your hair toward the back of your head. 
  3. Use your hands to twirl your hair into a circular bun towards the nape of your neck. 
  4. Hold the bun in place with one hand and use your other hand to push one hair stick through the bun, gently wiggling it as you go. Push it through until the stick comes out on the other side of the bun, and the bun feels securely held in place. 
  5. If needed, you can insert another stick for added security. Stick it into the bun from the opposite direction.

You can use this same technique to create a top knot, messy bun, or high bun! 

How to Do a French Twist

[Hairstyle] 1 minute french twist with a stick
  1. Use gel or edge control to lay down your edges as needed. Refrain from getting the products on the rest of your hair.
  2. Brush all of your hair towards the nape of your neck. `
  3. Hold your hair at the root with your left hand in the crease between your thumb and index finger. Use your right hand to wrap your hair upward around the front of your left hand. You should now be holding all of your hair in a loop in your right hand. If you have thinner or shorter hair, you may need to use only two fingers rather than your entire hand. 
  4. Rotate your right hand counterclockwise toward your right wrist, twisting the hair upward toward the crown of your head. Twist until the end of your hair is at the nape of your neck. 
  5. You should now have a loop at the top of your twist. Pull this loop down over the top of your twist, insert a hair stick down into the loop, and then turn it horizontally and push it through the top of the twist to secure the style in place. 

How to Do a French Braid into a Bun

How to: French Braid Into a Bun
  1. Style your edges with edge control or gel and a toothbrush. 
  2. French braid your hair down to the back of your head – braid all the way to the ends. If you’re not sure how to french braid your hair, this is a great tutorial to follow. This may take some practice if you’re a beginner, but the linked YouTube video is easy to follow.
  3. Insert a hair stick horizontally underneath your french braid along the hairline at the nape of your neck. 
  4. Twist the end of the braid around the hair stick, going under and over the hair stick as you wrap. Continue twisting until you reach the ends of your hair.
  5. Insert a second stick diagonally to secure your bun in place. 

How to Do a Ponytail

  1. Tame your edges with edge control and a toothbrush. 
  2. Brush your hair towards the back of your head for a low ponytail, or towards the top of your head for a high ponytail. 
  3. Remove a small section of hair from the bottom of your ponytail. 
  4. Wrap that piece of hair around the base of your ponytail. It will act as your hair elastic. Continue wrapping it around your ponytail until you reach your ends. If your hair is not long enough to be used as a hair elastic, use an actual hair elastic for this part. 
  5. Insert your hair stick through the base of your ponytail. For added security, wiggle the stick as you insert it. 

Tip: A thinner or small hair stick will work best for this style. 

While hair sticks can be used alone, if you are going for a sleek, put-together look, you can use bobby pins (or hair pins) to pin down stray hairs. Bobby pins can also be used to make the style more secure, especially if your hair is short. 

Pros and Cons

If you’re not sure whether you’re up for the challenge of switching up your hairstyling routine with hair sticks, then you should weigh the pros and cons. The list below will help you decide whether the hair accessory is the right styling tool for you. 


  • Hairstyles that use hair sticks rather than a traditional hair tie can distribute the weight of your hair more evenly across your head, which can be especially helpful for individuals with very long or heavy hair. 
  • Hair sticks do not leave creases in your hair, so your hair will still look great when you take it down. 
  • Hair sticks are a fashion statement, adding a chic accent to your overall look. They also take basic, easy hairstyles to the next level. 


  • Hairstyles using hair sticks may require some practice, especially for beginners. 
  • Styles with hair sticks are usually more geared towards longer hair. So, if you have very short hair, you might want to allow your hair to grow out some before experimenting with hair sticks.
  • Some individuals may find it annoying to have a stick in their hair. 

Dos and Don’ts

Be sure to review this list of “Dos and Don’ts” before styling your hair with hair sticks. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a pro at styling with hair sticks in no time! 


  • Have patience when learning to use hair sticks and keep trying until you get the hang of it. Some women have a lot of trouble getting used to securing the sticks. 
  • Experiment with hair sticks and try out different hairstyles. There are many different ways to style your hair and this accessory makes it fun! 
  • Try different hair stick weights and lengths, especially if your sticks seem to be slipping out of place often. Hair sticks should stay in place all day effortlessly. 
  • Reach for hair sticks that are made with natural ingredients. This way, you’ll avoid exposing yourself and your hair to harsh chemicals.


  • Although it may be challenging to do at first, don’t pull your hair too tight or scrape your scalp with the hair stick when styling. Doing this could cause damage to your hair and scalp. 
  • Don’t use wooden hair sticks that contain splinters or appear rough, as these could cause frizz and damage to your hair. They will also be more challenging to use. 

If you follow these dos and don’ts, we guarantee you’ll have a smooth-sailing styling process. 


Hair sticks are nothing new. They’ve been around for ages and are a simple and easy way to style your hair once you get the hang of it!

If you’re tired of the average ponytail and bun hairstyles, then you should consider spicing up your hairstyle with a chic hair stick accessory.