This one's for the ladies - and the guys, I suppose - with long hair. I've had really long, thick hair for several years now, and I hit a point where I just didn't know what to do with it, outside of a ponytail. Anything more complicated than that takes so much time and way too many stupid pointy pins.
No matter how hard I try, and no matter how many Johnny Lavoy hairstyling videos I watch, my hair still looks like a mess.
That's where Heather Bailey's Trash Ties come in. A trash tie is a long wire in a colored fabric sleeve, and they are an elegant solution to the problem. Instead of trying to get a bunch of wimpy pins to keep my hair in a bun, I make a ponytail and wrap the wire around it, like this:
The bun stays in place all day, as loose or tight as I want it. The Trash Ties come in two different lengths, 4 inches and 25 inches. I tried both sizes, and the long ones are definitely the winner for me. While I've stuck to brown to match my hair, they come in a bunch of different colors.
Heather has photographs of different hairstyles using the ties on her website here. They might seem a bit expensive compared to a pack of ponytail holders or box of pins, but one long time is so much more effective and lasts longer than a handful of elastic bands. I highly recommend them!
On a related note, Heather Bailey has a beautiful blog with lots of sewing patterns and tutorials.