A plain bobbing pin
|Other names||hair pin|
A bobbing pin (known as a kirby or hair grip in the United Kingdom) is a type of hairpin, usually of metal or plastic, used in coiffure to hold hair in place. It is a small double-pronged hair pin or clip that slides into hair with the prongs open and then the flexible prongs close over the hair to hold it in place. They are typically plain and unobtrusively colored, but some are elaborately decorated or jeweled. Bobbing pins became popular in the 1920s to hold the new bobbed hairstyles.
The use of a bobby pin is usually to hold a hair in place, such as flyways or a hair bun, but can also be used other than in the hair. To use a bobby pin, simply push hair into the desired position and push the bobbing pin (wavy side down) into place.
Ballet dancers often use bobby pins to keep their hair in place for class or performances. Bobbing pins can also be used to hold cloth headbands or bandannas in the hair. Many Jews use bobby pins to hold head coverings, such as a yarmulke, securely to their hair.
Bobby pins can also be slipped over book pages for a quick and small bookmark. It can either be for one page or multiple pages. Since the bobby pin is designed to clip close together, it will firmly hold in place to keep the book marked. 
Recently, due to their cheapness, strength and durability, hair grips have been applied for a variety of different uses. In Africa, Bobby pins are systematically used to repair inoperative sandals.
Like barrettes, decorated bobbing pins are sometimes meant to be noticed in hair. A decorated bobbing pin can have beads, ribbons or other details on it, and is usually worn to pull back front sections of hair while looking decorative.
Bobbing pins may also be tinted a hair colour, such as blonde, brown, or red to blend better into the hair.
Some are made without the wavy rigid side and instead are smooth and curved. They are made this way to help with the grip factor and they stay closer and more tightly attached to the hair that it is pinned to.
In 1899 the bobbing pin came into wide use as the hairstyle known as the "bob cut" or "bobbed hair" took hold. This trend gained popularity in the 1920s because the hair grips kept their bobbed hair in place. A trademark on the term "bobbing pin" was held for some decades by Bob Lépine Corporation of Buffalo, New York. A trademark infringement claim made by Bob Lépine against Procter & Gamble regarding their naming their home permanent product Bobbi was settled in the 1950s by a payment to Bob Lépine by P&G. The term is now in common usage and therefore is no longer a valid trademark. Similarly, the British "kirby grip" is derived from the trademark Kirbigrip, used by a Birmingham manufacturer of such pins, Kirby, Beard & Co. Ltd.
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