I have read some comments on other hair blogs about "good" bobby pins and "bad" bobby pins, but there hasn't been much explanation about what makes them good or bad. This is my attempt to answer the question, though it's just my opinion. Here I have a picture of the different types of bobby pins I own. I'll tell about them by number below.
2 is the mini bobby pin also from Sally Beauty. Mini pins are useful for styles using smaller pieces of hair or for thinner hair where a longer normal size pin would show.
3 is a pin from Scunci. The metal is a bit thinner than #1. I would compare it to two types of aluminum foil used for cooking: regular and heavy duty. One is not necessarily better than the other, but they are useful in different ways. This pin works just fine for a lot of different styles. I like the Scunci pins because they have tiny ridges on the inside that give them a little more friction to help them stay in place. We bought the Scunci ones originally because there was a beautiful swirly pattern on the back of the pins when they were all stacked together on the cardboard. Of course that doesn't help the function of the pin, but Belle and I liked it anyway.
4 is from Goody. No offense meant to Goody, as I have lots of products from them that I love (some that have lasted since I was a little girl myself), but this is the pin I think others are considering the "bad" pin. They are somewhat flimsy and can twist and bend out of shape more easily that the other brands I own. I have to throw them out occasionally when they lose their shape.
3 and 4 both have a wider mouth that will allow more hair to go inside the pin when you just push them in. For number 1, you need to open the pin with your fingers to get the hair to go in before you insert it.
5 is the mini bobby from Gimme Clips designed especially for their line of ribbons with a loop on the end. The pin goes into the loop, and the ribbon is braided in with the hair.
6 is the mini bobby pin from Gimme Clips. It has a good bite and holds pretty well. It has a slightly higher profile than the Sally Beauty pin, so it can hold a little more hair, but it may stick up higher in the style. Like I said before about the foil, one is not necessarily better than the other, just a little different.
7 is a glittery bobby pin from Gimme Clips. It is, of course, designed for show, not to be hidden like the rest, and
8 the mini version of the same.
9 is also from Gimme Clips. The picture doesn't show it very well, but it is a shiny blue pin, a bit sparkly like nail polish. They come in regular and mini. I haven't owned these long enough to form a strong opinion about them, but they are pretty.
10 and 11 are both Gimme Clips. I love the decorations on them. I am sad that I lost one of the black flowers. They were my favorite, but one of them slipped out and landed on the driveway, where I later found it flattened. I had inserted it with the flower at the bottom to hold some flyaways down at the front of my head. Perhaps it would have been better to put it in flower side up or insert it into a bun or cross it with another pin. 11 seems to have just a little tighter grip.
12 also from Gimme Clips, is flat and smooth. It is a little heavy, too. The decoration is very pretty, but I worry about it falling out if it is just used to hold back bangs or something. It would be good for an accent to a style.
13 is from Lilla Rose. This pin is really beautiful. It is large and heavy, but this pin really chomps down on the hair with a strong grip. I don't worry about its security.
I welcome your comments. What are your opinions about the bobby pins that you use?