accessories for very VERY thick hair?

My hair is now past my shoulders and I am ready to get a little fancy. This is the problem though: my hair breaks barrettes. Last time my hair was long - high school - it was just a matter of time before even the mightiest, French-made barrette would snap and go winging across math class to hit someone in the eye. And that was holding only 1/3 of my hair.

So you can see I am a little nervous.

When Goody was making its "Thick Hair" accessories I got all excited, discovering little jaw clips that actually could reach my scalp. But they are now hard to find, of course, because we all stopped having thick hair, right?

So here is the question, thick-haired ladies: what works for you when you want to get your hair up or back or otherwise not-down? I am intrigued by hair sticks, but have a feeling the sheer weight of the mane would rip 'em out at the scalp before long. Do you rely on jaw clips, concorde clips, covered elastics? Hair sticks? French made barrettes or Walgreens? Tying the darn stuff in a knot and crying softly at night? Help!
2c...turned 3a since starting CG!
Devacurl, Jessicurl, and Creme of Nature
CG since 10/15/03
I have mondo thick hair too and have busted more clips than I can count. I found some of the Goody thick hair clips recently, so they still make them. I like to use about 6-8 of the tiny jaw clips for thick hair to pull back small sections of the front of my hair to keep it out of my face, without it looking like I have it back in an obvious clip. I also use giant jaw clips to do a half-up. I use hair sticks sometimes to do a bun. I have some extra long sticks and they do a good job. I recently bought a France Luxe barrette from CurlMart, and it holds half my hair for a half-up hairdo. It's pretty strong:

Oh, and I like to do a "chignon" with a Ficcare beak clip. They are REALLY strong. They are expensive, but you can find them on eBay for less sometimes. I think Ficcare are the strongest clips out there, and they come in several different styles, small to extra-large sizes, and many colors.
I just got around to reading this - thanks for the great recommendations! I had no idea there were extra long hair sticks. Can't wait to check out everything! And thanks for letting me know someone else has had the barrette-snapping experience....
2c...turned 3a since starting CG!
Devacurl, Jessicurl, and Creme of Nature
CG since 10/15/03

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