Posted on by Catherine Omondi

hair tinsel finishes. how to tie hair tinsel 

Hair tinsel extensions are an accessory that weaves glints of glamour into daily hairstyles. Whether you’re looking to add a subtle shimmer for a romantic date night or seeking that radiant pop for the festival season, understanding the finishes available can transform your hair game. This comprehensive guide delves into the various types of finishes, demystifying when and how to use them, along with essential tips and considerations. The following is a list of the different hair tinsel finishes we’ll discuss:

  1. Classic metallic finish
  2. Holographic finish
  3. Iridescent finish
  4. Glitter finish
  5. Matte finish
  6. Rainbow finish
  7. Luminous glow-in-the-dark finish
  8. UV-reactive finish

Classic metallic finish

When the term hair tinsel is mentioned, the image most people think about is that of the classic metallic finish. This finish catches and reflects light, giving it a luminescent quality. The manufacturing process involves infusing metallic elements into hair tinsel or coating the polyester hair tinsel with a metallic layer. This allows the hair tinsel to reflect light in a manner that gives it a shiny, metallic appearance. Some hair tinsels with metallic finishes are made by layering a thin metallic film over the core material. Others are made by laminating the hair tinsel with a metallic foil to achieve a metallic finish.

Distinctive features of metallic finish

  1. High reflectivity: The metallic finish reflects light more directly than other finishes, giving it a bright, mirror-like shine.
  2. Consistency: Unlike other finishes, which might have variations in their reflective properties, the metallic finish is generally uniform, offering a consistent sheen throughout the length of the hair tinsel.
  3. Simplicity: The metallic finish does not have the multi-dimensional or color-shifting properties seen in finishes like iridescent or holographic tinsels. It offers a straightforward, unambiguous shine.

When and how to use it

The beauty of a classic metallic finish is its versatility. This finish is available in several colors ranging from traditional gold and silvers to brighter hues, making it suitable for every personality and occasion. You can tie this hair tinsel to your hair for concerts, parties, or weddings. Whether intertwined in a braid or scattered delicately through a ponytail, the classic metallic finish always stands out. For daily wear, consider using just a few strands to add an element of surprise to your regular hairstyle.

Holographic finish

At its core, the holographic finish celebrates light and color. When light hits holographic tinsel, it refracts, breaking the light into a spectrum of colors, much like a prism. Instead of reflecting a single color or a simple shine, the holographic tinsel displays a rainbow of colors that shift and change depending on the angle of light and the viewer’s perspective. This play of light creates a dynamic and multi-dimensional effect, making the tinsel seem almost magical.

Distinctive features of holographic finishes

  1. Multi-color reflection: Unlike the classic metallic finish, which provides a uniform sheen, the holographic finish offers a spectrum of colors. Every movement and shift in light brings out a different hue, making it ever-changing and unpredictable.
  2. Depth and dimension: The color-shifting nature of holographic hair tinsel gives it a depth that other finishes might lack. It adds sparkle and a layer of multi-dimensional aesthetic to your hair.
  3. Distinct visual impact: There’s a ‘wow’ factor associated with the holographic finish. Its dynamic nature ensures that it stands out, making it a favorite for those looking to make a statement.

When to use the holographic finish

The holographic finish is perfect for occasions when you want to be in the spotlight. Whether it’s a music festival, a themed party, or a night out in the city, this finish ensures your hair becomes a talking point. However, its versatile nature also allows for subtler implementation. A few strands woven into a braid or mixed with other finishes can provide a touch of whimsy to everyday hairstyles.

Iridescent finish

In the enchanting world of hair tinsel finishes, the iridescent finish stands out as a sublime blend of subtlety and spectacle. Conjuring images of delicate soap bubbles, butterfly wings, and mother-of-pearl, the iridescence adds a touch of nature’s magic to your hair.

Understanding the iridescent finish

Iridescence is a captivating optical phenomenon where certain surfaces appear to shift and change color depending on the angle of light and the angle from which they are viewed. The iridescent finish in hair tinsel captures this magic, reflecting various colors often within pastel spectrums or soft, muted shades.

What gives this finish its unique look?

  1. Thin film interference: The science behind the iridescent phenomenon is the interference of light waves on thin films. When light hits the tinsel, some light reflects off the top layer, while the rest goes through and reflects off the bottom layer. These reflected light waves interfere with each other, producing various colors.
  2. Layered materials: The iridescent effect is often achieved by layering translucent materials with different refractive indices. This layering causes light to refract and reflect in various ways, producing the signature color-shifting effect.

What sets it apart?

  1. Subtle shifts: Unlike the bold color changes of the holographic finish, iridescent hair tinsel often showcases gentle transitions between colors. The changes are delicate, creating a dreamy, almost mystical effect.
  2. Natural aesthetic: Iridescent finishes mirror nature’s most breathtaking displays, such as peacock feathers or dew-laden spider webs catching morning sunlight. This connection lends an organic, natural feel to the tinsel.
  3. Versatility: The soft, muted palette or iridescent hair tinsel can easily complement various hair colors, making it adaptable and versatile.

When to use the iridescent finish

The iridescent finish is ideal for occasions when you desire a touch of whimsy without overpowering the overall look. It’s perfect for romantic events, beach parties, or sunny outings where natural light can play off the tinsel strands. Moreover, for daily wear, the iridescent finish can be a unique yet understated addition, adding a hint of wonder to everyday styles.

Glitter finish

For those who believe there’s no such thing as too much sparkle, a hair tinsel extensions kit with a glitter finish is a dream come true. This finish features thousands of tiny, twinkling points of light. This effect is achieved by embedding miniscule glitter particles into the tinsel strands or by creating a surface that has a granular, glittering texture. This finish has several sparkling points catching and reflecting light, giving the hair a sparkling effect as it moves.

Distinguishing features

  1. Granular reflection: Unlike the continuous shine of the metallic or the color-shifting of iridescent and holographic finishes, the glitter finish showcases multiple individual reflection points. This results in a “scatter” effect, where light is reflected in many directions simultaneously.
  2. Textured appearance: Due to the embedded glitter particles, tinsels with this finish often have a more textured appearance and feel. This texture is visual and can also sometimes be felt to the touch.
  3. Bold impact: The sheer number of reflective particles ensures that hair tinsel with the glitter finish stands out, making a bold and brilliant statement.

When to choose the glitter finish

The glitter finish is synonymous with celebration. It is ideal for anyone who is not afraid to shimmer, shine, and steal the show. Glitter finish is the go-to choice for events like birthdays, New Year’s parties, or any festive occasion that calls for extra sparkle. Additionally, for those looking to add a pop of brilliance to their concert or festival look, glitter tinsel is a fantastic choice. While it might be a bit much for daily office wear, don’t let that stop you if you’re the kind who believes every day is a day to shine.

Matte finish

While the world of hair tinsel is often associated with sparkle and sheen, there’s a unique finish that offers a different kind of charm: the matte finish. Celebrated for its muted elegance, the matte finish is for those who love subtlety as much as style. Matte finish doesn’t have the shiny or reflecting quality typically associated with tinsel. Instead, it offers a flat, non-reflective appearance, which stands in contrast to the more common glossy finishes.

Distinguishing features

  1. Non-reflective: Unlike other finishes that play with light, matte hair tinsel doesn’t reflect light. This absence of shine gives it a unique, soft appearance.
  2. Smooth texture: Matte tinsels typically have a smooth, even texture. The lack of embedded particles or reflective surfaces results in a uniform and consistent feel.
  3. Subtle appearance: Without the sparkle, matte tinsel blends more seamlessly into the hair, providing texture and color without the typical tinsel dazzle.

When to choose a matte finish

The matte finish is ideal for those who want to experiment with hair tinsel but prefer a more understated look. You can learn how to put in hair tinsel with matte finish for professional settings, daily wear, or occasions where a more natural or minimalist aesthetic is desired. For events where you want the texture and dimension of tinsel without the shine, matte is the way to go.

Rainbow finish

The rainbow finish, as the name suggests, is inspired by the rainbow. Hair tinsel with this finish features a harmonious blend of multiple colors, often seamlessly transitioning from one to the next along the length of the strand. Imagine a strand of tinsel that might start with a vibrant red, fade into a sunny yellow, transition to a cool blue, and end in a deep purple. The colors flow naturally, reminiscent of how they appear in a rainbow after a rain shower.

Distinguishing features

  1. Multi-colored strands: Unlike other finishes that might be a single, consistent color or have a particular light effect, rainbow hair tinsels display multiple colors on a single strand.
  2. Seamless transitions: What makes the rainbow finish stand out is the variety of colors and how they blend seamlessly. There are no abrupt shifts. Instead, one color gracefully fades into the next.
  3. Vibrant appearance: Given the multitude of colors, hair with a rainbow tinsel finish is vibrant, lively, and instantly attention-catching.

When to use the rainbow finish

The rainbow finish is perfect for moments of celebration, creativity, and self-expression. Whether it’s a music festival, pride parade, themed parties, or just any day you want to radiate positivity and joy, rainbow tinsel is a fitting choice. For those who like a splash of color and aren’t afraid to show it, this finish is a delightful way to showcase personality and a zest for life.

Luminous glow-in-the-dark finish

The luminous glow-in-the-dark finish is a unique type of hair tinsel that, as the name suggests, glows in the dark. It has the ability to “charge” under light and then release that stored energy as visible light when in a dark environment. The glow is due to phosphorescent materials embedded in the hair tinsel. These materials absorb light energy when exposed to the light and slowly release this energy in the form of a glow when in the dark.


  1. Charging: For the hair tinsel to glow, it needs to be “charged” first. This means exposing it to a light source, like sunlight or artificial light. The longer and more intense the exposure, the brighter the subsequent glow.
  2. Glow duration: Post-charging, the hair tinsel will glow for some time, with the brightest glow immediately after turning off the lights and gradually dimming as time passes.

Distinguishing characteristics

  1. Unique luminescence: Unlike other finishes, the glow-in-the-dark hair tinsel has the ability to emit light in the absence of an external light source.
  2. Transitional appearance: While it might have a pale or slightly milky appearance under normal light, its true beauty is unveiled in the ark when it emits a serene, soft glow.

When to use the luminous glow-in-the- dark finish

This finish is a hit for nighttime events like sleepovers, concerts, evening beach parties, or Halloween festivities. It’s especially popular among those who want to add an element of surprise to their look, as the transformation from regular tinsel in the light to glowing strands in the dark is truly mesmerizing.

UV-Reactive finish

UV-reactive hair tinsel is crafted to respond vibrantly to ultraviolet or black light. While under standard lighting conditions, it may appear like regular hair tinsel, when exposed to UV light, it illuminates with intense brightness and color. The secret behind its luminosity lies in the materials used. These materials contain special pigments or dyes that become fluorescent when exposed to UV light. Essentially, these pigments absorb the UV light and then re-emit it as visible light in a process known as fluorescence.


  1. Instantaneous glow: Unlike glow-in-the-dark tinsel, which requires charging and then gradually releases light over time, the UV-reactive hair tinsel illuminates immediately upon exposure to UV or black light.
  2. Intensity: The brightness and color intensity of the hair tinsel directly correlate with the strength of the UV light source. The closer and more powerful the UV source, the more vibrant the hair tinsel appears.

Distinguishing features

  1. Vibrant under UV: Its unique ability to glow brightly under UV light sets it apart from other finishes. The change can be dramatic, turning a seemingly regular strand into a brilliant, glowing highlight.
  2. Variety of colors: While many UV-reactive items tend to glow in a bluish or purplish hue, UV-reactive hair tinsel comes in various colors, each becoming intensely vibrant under black light.

When to use UV-reactive finish

The UV-reactive finish is especially popular in environments where UV lights are prevalent. Think neon parties, raves, nightclubs, and some theatrical performances. For those attending such events, intertwining UV-reactive tinsel in the hair ensures they become a living, moving light show, adding to the ambiance and energy of the setting.


Tinsel hair extensions finishes offer a diverse array of styles, ranging from the timeless elegance of the classic metallic sheen to the intricate dance of light seen in the holographic strands. These finishes provide endless opportunities for self-expression, allowing individuals to tailor their look to any occasion, mood, or setting. Whether seeking a subtle shimmer or an attention-grabbing glow, there’s a hair tinsel finish to fit every aesthetic desire.