Tips & Tricks: How to Make a Topsy Tail Tool

January 17, 2011

Since quite a few of my hairstyles use flips, many followers have been asking where they can purchase a Topsy Tail tool. It can be purchased online at Amazon (via the link), on Ebay, or locally at your Claire’s, Wal-Mart, Target, or Sally Beauty supply.

As we all know, things are not made as sturdy as they used to be years ago… in fact, many of the Topsy Tail manufacturers today make them out of cheap plastic. The problem is that if you do not loosen the ponytail enough before you use the tool, the tension while pulling the hair through causes the tool to break.

The Topsy Tail tool that I have been using is very sturdy, because it was one of the originals my mom bought back when I was a little girl. But, you simply do not have to spend $2-5 (not including shipping) online or spend hours hunting through the stores trying to find a Topsy Tail tool. We are going to show you how to make one with stuff you might already have at home!

Homemade Topsy Tail Tool

As you can see, the one we made in the photo above is not pretty by any means… but is is very functional and will last you for forever! You can make on any size you would like, but this one is particularly for large ponytail flips. (You will need to use smaller wire to make a Topsy Tail tool for small pigtail flips on your younger daughters.)

Topsy Tail: Tools Needed

Items Needed: Wire cutters, electrician’s tape, and a dry cleaner’s wire hanger.

Time Requirement: 5 minutes

Not only do we show you how to make the Topsy Tail tool, but we show you how easily the homemade one works on a basic ponytail flip!

If you like this tip… be sure to let us know!

Happy Hairdoing!

* Note from Mindy: Don’t forget to follow us on BlogLovin, a new easy-to-use blog reader!

62 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks: How to Make a Topsy Tail Tool

  1. For those of you with babies and toddlers with super-fine hair, the loop-tools for flossing with braces work great. Walmarts near my house don’t seem to sell these any longer, but the drug stores still sell them with the other braces and flossing tools.

  2. hey Mindy,
    if you want a good topsy tail go on con airs website and look up topsy tail it is the real one very sturdy.

  3. Oh my goodness. I will never forget my experience with the Topsy Tail in 7th grade. I saw the commercial and loved it instantly but my mom wouldn’t buy it. So I decided to make my own from a rubber band and a twisted length of florist wire. Let’s just say that I had to have a sizable chunk of hair cut off after getting it stuck in my hair so badly. Fun stuff!

  4. I tried making this, and while it worked great for the flipped ponytails, the coat hanger doesn’t bend enough for wrapped ponytails. It pulls the ponytail apart.

  5. Thank You So Much! The plastic ponyflip I’d been using for years cracked and was pulling my hair out when I used it. I couldn’t find one to buy on amazon. I found your sight on how to make one. Thank you again! This is one of my favorite hairstyles even though I am in my 50’s !

  6. I showed my husband your “how to make a topsy tail” and he went to the garage and grabbed some coated electrical wire (thin), electrical tape, and wire cutters. A few minutes and I have a topsy tail =)

  7. In a pinch I raid our craft box and make a topsy tail with a pipe cleaner! They don’t last forever but I can use them on big or little ponys.

  8. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I could not think of the name of the product I had back in the early 90’s! And, this worked GREAT!!! Thank you for sparing me the expense of buying one! It works perfectly! Now, my 14 year old daughter wants to use it!!

  9. also, if you make a pipe cleaner one, and find it hard to slide it through hair easily, you can bye a bright roll of duck tape( for about $1 and you can use it for soooooo many other things) and make a new one bywraping thepipecleaner in duct tape so that its smooth! works like a charm!!

  10. Make one out of pipe cleaners!
    its much easier and you can just bye a bag of pipe cleaners for like a $1 and then make lots of different sizes with that bag!plus, your daughter can choose pretty colors!

  11. What a great idea! Thank you! This inspired me to use an elongated bubble blower that are at Walmart for $1. It comes in a long tube of bubbles. I broke off the plastic bubble wand from the handle and it works like a charm!!!

  12. Thanks I have been looking for a topsy tail for awhile I just made one I can’t wait to use it. I also found one on ebay for $1.59 with free shipping! I ordered one I am gonna see which one I like best.

  13. topsy tail tools are very easy to find here in the philippines..my mom always use that on my hair but it always break..good thing i could make my own..thanks a ton mrs.mindy ;D
    i’ll ask my mom to help me with this one haha XD

  14. HOLA SOY ECUATORIANA ME ENCANTA TU PAGINA ES UNA PENA QUE NO SEA EN ESPAÑOL , PERO IGUAL ME ENCANTA ME GUSTA TODA LA EXPLICACIÓN DETALLADA QUE HACES Y LAS TOMAS DE CADA PASO DE TODOS LOS PEINADOS QUE HASTA AHORA HE VISTO EXCELENTE

    GOODBYE AND THANKS A LOT

  15. Just discovered your site and just discovered I CAN style my daughter’s hair (you get most of the credit for that). Thank you! My husband watched your husband’s video and just made us one of these and I’m sporting a flip. Thank you for making this so easy!

  16. I loved your idea for making a Topsy Tail tool, however, I didn’t have a wire coat hanger. So, I improvised with a wire fly swatter. After the swatter part broke off I kept the handle, just in case. Well, I cut off the end, taped it up and YES, it worked….

  17. Oh my gosh! I made a Topsy Tail with just clear tape instead of electrical tape (because I didn’t have any) and it worked perfectly! I can do flips on myself! Thank you so much! Your website AND hairstyles are AMAZING! Thanks!!!

  18. I made a blue one!!:):) I had a topsy tail already but It didn’t work on big pony tails. This is an awesome idea! Thankyou.

  19. Another thing I found that works and is more flexible is coated wire for hanging photos ($1.19 at Wal-Mart). I may try to make a mini one with a small zip-tie though! Thanks!

  20. After watching your ingenious homemade idea, I thought about what one could make it out of that might be a bit more flexible than hanger wire, more like the plastic of the original Topsy Tail. I, too, thought a zip tie would be perfect, but didn’t have one on hand, so I went to the garage and found that .080 weed trimmer line had the flexibility I wanted. I taped the ends together just like you showed in your video, which made that part stiff like it needs to be, and then put one of those little rubber caps that you sometimes find on metal hanger tips on the end. Both tips of of weed trimmer line fit into just one little rubber hanger cap. These little caps are also found on the tips of the wires that are inside of kites sometimes. That way, it won’t snag on my daughter’s hair at all when I push it through the pony tail. I never would have even thought of any of this without your helpful video. Thank you for sharing all of you ideas with such unselfishness and humility!

  21. Thank you so much for showing me how to make a topsy tail. The demo was fantastic and having such sharing people like your family is great! Keep up the great work.

    Lila
    Australia

  22. Awesome!!! Thanks for this DIY version. I love your blog!!! All your tutorials helps me do my daughter’s hair so much easier and fun!!!

  23. I had one of these when I was a growing up and unfortunately I managed to break it. I have been contemplating buy one for my little girl, but this is a much better option. Thank you for the tip.

  24. This is so great idea! I was trying to find topsy tail, but Japan doesn’t have that- even Amazon.jp! I will make it right away and try your tutorials that use topsy tail. Thank you so much! Also, I am always looking forward to seeing your blog from Japan!

  25. I love this! thank you. I will be making one soon. I have a weird question. Why was your husband wearing his wedding ring on the wrong hand?

  26. Gotta tell ya…I got the ‘need for one’ after reading your blog about a year ago. I MADE ONE WITH A PIPE CLEANER….works wonferfully! ;) and much easier than working with a hanger! ;)

  27. I loved your idea! I had a TT and it broke after a few uses. My hair is really thin so I used your idea but with wire you would use to hang a picture with. It is wonderful. It doesn’t catch on my hair and is bendy which is a nice feature. I love your website!

  28. We made one using a pipe cleaner! It was sooo fast and simple. And when it broke a few months later, we just grabbed another pipe cleaner! I’m sure yours would hold up better in the long run, but if anyone is needing a super quick, no-tool way to make one, grab a pipe cleaner! :)

  29. This is great!! I cannot find a topsy turvy tail anywhere so I will be trying this tomorrow for school! Thanks for the great tip!

  30. What a great tip. I made mine this morning and will be using it not only on my daughters hair, but mine also. I also had a go at making my own hair ornaments by using a hot glue gun and attaching large buttons to bobby pins, it looks great and co-ordinates with my daughters school uniform.

    Keep up the good ideas, we love them!!!

    S xx

  31. So I had one of those from way back in the day…til it broke. The one I had snapped together so I could make the opening as small or as big as I wanted. I LOVED that! The new ones are set to one size and it doesn’t seem to make as nice of a flip as the other one did. We have already been through one of the new ones (it broke, had to buy another one). I’m excited to make your version. I have made one from pipe cleaners that seems to work pretty well too. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Awesome instructions! That’s a great idea. I have the book by the original inventor, and that’s similar to some of the prototypes she made before the final design.

    I would suggest, if you are looking to buy one, get the actual Scuncii brand from the Hair Flair Boutique. (hairflairboutique.com). It’s much sturdier than the one from Claire’s and the ones from eBay. (Don’t ask me how I know… LOL.)

  33. Thank you so much for the tip! I have been doing the flip by hand and causing more tears than it’s worth. I will be making one of these tonight. My daughter will thrilled.

  34. OOOOO! I love this tip! I’ve been trying to find a topsy tail for months – ever since I started following your blog. Thanks!!!!

  35. Great tip! Thanks a bunch! I have looked at Walmart several times for one, but can’t ever find one. And I’m too cheap to pay shipping for one! So, I’m going to have to go with the homemade style. You guys are a great team! Thanks for sharing!

  36. I love your blog! So much fun for me and my girls to follow. I have a question that I’ve been wanting to ask for a while now: What kind of hair elastics do you like the best? I feel like I’ve tried everything out there but can’t seem to find anything that I totally love. From the videos it seems that you usually use a black elastic, not the clear “plastic” ones that are so popular right now. Suggestions?? Thanks so much!
    Molly

    • i think the idea is grat and all but it might hurt your daughters hair with the tape, because when you put it through the hair the tape might get stuck in the hair and it would make a huge knot and i don’t want to deal with my daughters hair because i am horrible with knots!

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What do you get when you cross 34 yrs of living, 14 yrs of marriage, one HOT husband, five adorable daughters, one handsome son, and tons of great family and friends? Pretty much the sum total of who I am!!



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