Kanzashi (Japanese hair ornament) come in various shapes and materials. It can make you cute or cool, depending on the type and the way you put it on your head; a great hair accessory to upgrade your style! You can match it with kimono of course, but wearing it with your daily clothes or a party dress would look great too.
However, there are some rules to follow when putting a kanzashi on. It also has to be used according to the purpose, or you might end up damaging/breaking it.
In this article, we introduce how to put a kanzashi correctly according to its type, as well as recommended hairstyles.
We have included information which gives you more ways to arrange your hair with a kanzashi, and which is crucial that it might embarrass you if you don’t know about it.
<Sticks of kanzashi>
1 or 2 sticks are to be put in hair normally. They would be hidden under your hair once you put a kanzashi on, but the role and the usage would greatly vary. Choose the shape which fits your purpose, and try to learn how to use it properly.
-One stick kanzashi-
You can easily make an updo with just one kanzashi. It can be used for various styles; you can twist your hair before putting it up with a kanzashi, or twist hair along with one. It can also be used as a hair ornament to decorate your updo. A one-stick kanzashi matches not only with a kimono but western clothes as well, and comes in handy when putting long hair up. Long hair tends to have more volume and is harder to make into an updo, so you should choose a kanzashi with a longer stick.
One-stick kanzashi, with which you put your hair around, might break in two all of a sudden, when you put too much load on one stick. For those with super long hair or with a lot of hair, we recommend a kanzashi with a thick and durable stick.
-Two stick kanzashi-
Two-stick kanzashi refers to a kanzashi with two legs. It can be put on two areas and looks like it could put hair up firmly, but it actually is used only as a decoration for an updo or a bun. Two-stick kanzashi usually has large and luxurious ornaments; you can just put one on a simple bun, and it makes you look gorgeous.
However, unlike one-stick kanzashi, two-stick kanzashi cannot be re-adjusted once it is put on hair. It also is more fragile and tends to break easily, for the stick is parted in two. It can fall out of hair too, so we advise you to put a pin or hair tie just in case.
<Where to put a kanzashi>
There are 5 different kanzashi types according to the area where it would be put on. “Maezashi” to put on both sides of bangs, “Tatezashi” to put on the upper bin (hair on the side of the head) standing, “Magezashi” to put on the roots of a mage(bun) on the front side, “Ichidome” to secure “hashinoke” (a long and thin hairpiece) which is placed on a mage(bun), and “Nezashi” to put on the roots on the back side of a mage(bun).
In modern times, not many people wear their hair Japanese-style; that is why Maezashi style (so that a kanzashi can be seen on the front side of the head) and Magezashi style (to put a kanzashi on a bun) have become mainstream. The type of a kanzashi more or less decides where it should be put, but you can still arrange its location according to your hairstyle or age. do find out the best position for a kanzashi to make you look even more charming.
A kanzashi to be put on both sides of bangs is called Maezashi. Smaller kanzashi such as ‘Bira kanzashi’ or small ‘Hana kanzashi’ are used for this purpose. A whole kanzashi is visible from the front, and it makes a very gorgeous yet cute impression. It does make a wearer look younger, so it is mostly used by girls or maiko. It used to go with the Japanese hair style for girls often, but there is no problem pairing it with a chick and modern updo.
You can also re-arranged or re-locate a hana kanzashi, if you put it on the side rather than on the front, it would be suitable for older women too.
A kanzashi put on the roots of a bun is called Magezashi. Hirauch kanzashi, Tama kanzashi, Himezashi, Kazari kanzashi are used for this purpose, and it is the most common way to put a kanzashi on. It is put on the roots of your bun so it cannot be seen much from the front, but it decorates your back beautifully. If it is put on the lower side of the head, it makes you look sexy and relaxed. You can change where to put it on according to your hairstyle or the occasion to enjoy it.
<Recommend hairstyles according to the kanzashi type>
-Ougi/Bachi shaped kanzashi-
Decorative and large kanzashi. It is a statement piece and goes well with a simple hairdo. It looks especially great on a French twist. One thing to keep in mind: Bachi-shaped is asymmetric and depending on the shape and the pattern, the direction in which it should be put is fixed. So decide where to put a kanzashi on before you start putting your hair up to make sure it fits.
Various materials are used for this type of kanzashi; lacquered and gold-lacquered kanzashi has a luxurious look, and are great for older women. Silver kanzashi is casual and stylish. These can be matched with daily clothes or dress.
Tama kanzashi is very common and can be worn by women of any age. From glass at cheaper price, to expensive jewelry such as jade, various materials are used. The bigger the ball is, the younger a wearer should be.
Originally it was more common to place a kanzashi horizontally from the left side, but you can put it anywhere if it is to be used in daily life. It gives out a different impression depending on where it is put on; take your age and fashion style in consideration when putting it on. If a kanzashi is put too high it would make you look childish, and if it is too low it would be dull and not fashionable.
A chic kanzashi with a round and flat object with decoration on it.
Materials include gold lacquer and lacquer, but silver openwork is best known. In the Edo period, women from a samurai family used to decorate their Kamon(family crest) on a silver Hirauchi kanzashi. Nowadays, seasonal flowers/plants or traditional and classical patterns are more common as decoration. Hirauchi kanzashi is usually put horizontally from the right side, but like Tama kanzashi, it looks great on any part of your head.
It looks better with a tight and simple bun rather than a loose one with volume.
Flower-shaped kanzashi created by pinching a small cloth. This is the type of kanzashi worn by maiko in Kyoto.
It is also worn by girls and young women along with kimono, for shichi-go-san (a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three and five-year-old boys, held on November 15 ), coming of age day, graduation ceremony, wedding ceremony and such.
It has three-dimensional volume and decorates hair gorgeously. It goes well with a high updo or curly do. When you make a side updo, a kanzashi can be seen from the front too. It is youthful and cute; older women can opt for a smaller one.
Kanzashi used to be utilized by women with long hair when they put their hair up, but has been cherished as a fashion item by many for years.
No need to worry even if you wear your hair short. if you have a bob cut, you can make a half-updo or twist your hair up and put a kanzashi on it. If your hair is short, you can braid your hair and put a kanzashi.
Not only the design but also the location of a kanzashi create a different impression, and it is what makes a kanzashi so appealing.
Why not wear a kanzashi in your daily life, as a chic fashion item?
Find the perfect one for you at Japanese Kimono Online Store!