Britt’s Pick: Pearl Hair Accessories by Donni

Is anyone else’s hair a complete and total disaster right now? One of the many side effects of life at home has been the lack of beauty maintenance, and many of us are obligated to, quite literally, revisit our roots.

My hair, in lackluster shape these last few years, is becoming a wild mane to rival Carole Baskin’s (if you don’t know who that is, why haven’t you watched Tiger King on Netflix yet?). I’m consistently plucking out grays (at least it gives me something to do?), and no amount of revitalizing masks and treatments is going to fix the split ends I’m rocking. I can only imagine the yearlong waiting list my hairstylist is going to have once this is all over, assuming the salon has been one of the lucky ones to endure the financial hardships so many business are experiencing right now.

Please don’t misunderstand—the state of my hair is a nonproblem. Considering the issues that are affecting our world and its people, this one—which is nothing that can’t be remedied with a bejeweled bandage of sorts—is relatively silly. But it’s precisely because hair adornments of the jewelry variety are available that I bring it up—and an excuse to wear more jewelry is always good. So let’s do that.

Over the past few seasons, hair jewelry has been cropping up on runways, red carpets, and in jewelers’ collections. It’s been a joy to see—the coif another vehicle for displaying gemstones and diamonds. But that’s also been its setback for many jewelers, I wonder—how could they think to invest in stocking hair jewelry, particularly those made of precious materials? Such items feel suited only to high-dollar spenders, which not every customer can be. And I think there’s some demand—it’s a great look!—but at a more easily digestible price point (much of it costume), which just doesn’t suit the inventory of some fine jewelry stores.

Donni baroque pearl bobby pin
Bobby pin with freshwater baroque pearl, $48

Alyssa Wasko’s Los Angeles brand Donni offers a fair compromise, pairing freshwater pearls with base metal for remarkably affordable (and oh so chic!) hair accessories. Pearls decorate barrettes and bobby pins in all sizes, with prices ranging from $33 for the smallest, most basic bobby to $104 for larger comb-style pieces, decorated with keshi or coin pearls (the brand also offers turquoise and pink agate pieces).

They’re just what is needed to dress up the messy buns, the loose pigtails, and whatever else my hair has been doing that I can’t seem to give a name.

I came for the pearl barrettes, but I got lost perusing Donni’s other attire, many featuring pearls as well—waffled track jackets with pearl-adorned zippers, pearl buttons on cozy cardigans, pearl anklets that absolutely belong with bare feet on the beach.

Named in memory of her father, Donald, Donni got its start in 2009 when word got out about Wasko’s scarves, which she had been creating as comfort to cope with her father’s passing. The brand grew into a full clothing and accessory line, which is now sold through stores all over the world and online. Each season, Donni partners with a different charity in which to donate a portion of its sales. Its current spring/summer cause is the Bail Project, a nonprofit organization that works to combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system and to prevent incarceration.

So, fair warning—if you, like me, visit Donni’s website in search of a hair remedy, you might leave with a few other cozy things too. It’s dressing for comfort, but it looks fabulous, too.

Top: Mini pearl two-tone barrette in base metal with freshwater pearls, $73; Donni

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JCK Contributing Editor

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