Chains are fickle creatures. One day they are lying there so innocent, looking sparkly and perfect, and the next they are a tangled ball, all kinked-up, broken, and tarnished. They get tangled in your hair, get dirty, and darn, if you can’t get them on in the morning when you are rushing out the door! Jerks. There are a few things you can do, though, to making living with and loving your chains a little easier.

Look how much jewelry can be hung up! It looks awesome and no tangled messes! Organizers by The Hope Stack.

1.     Find a place to hang those suckers.

It really is the easiest way to keep them untangled—hands down. However, if you do this, make sure to remove any really heavy pendants that may stretch the chain out prematurely.


 2.     Get a jewelry roll.

Jewelry rolls are great for traveling or storing chains if you don’t want to hang them. Plus, there’s no need to remove heavier pendants when using a jewelry roll, since no weight will be put on the chain while inside the roll.


A jewelry roll will keep your necklaces organized and safe at home or when you travel! Jewelry roll by Dig Under Rocks.

3.     Clean your chains.

If you wear a chain, it needs to be cleaned. (Yes, even if you shower with it.) Chains get a lot of dirt and oil stuck inside and between links, especially chains that are tightly woven or have hollow areas like rope chains, so make sure to take them to your jeweler for a quick cleaning once in a while. Most of the time, it won’t cost you a thing to have them cleaned!


4.     Keep an eye out for weak spots.

If your chain is weakening, you want to get it dealt with ASAP. So make sure to do regular checks. Look at where the links come together on your chain to see if the ends look like they are pulled and/or thinner in those areas. If so, then it might be time to replace your chain or at least have it inspected by a jeweler. For a chain with no individual links, like a snake chain, look for areas that look thinner than others or for gapping—those are signs it’s getting weak.


5.     Use two pointy objects to untangle a knot.

When untangling a chain, use tacks to help pull it apart!

This is a trick of the trade: First, get two tacks, needles, or even pairs of tweezers—whatever super pointy things you have handy! Then lay the chain on a flat, hard surface, though avoid wood unless you don’t care about poking holes in it. Use the points to prod at the knotted area until it starts to loosen, then start pulling the knot outward. Use one pointy object to steady the area while the other frees the chain. It takes some time, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than holding a chain up in the air and trying to pull the knots out with your fingers!


6.     Have a two-in-one chain made.

A chain extender, like this one, can be added to an existing chain to make it longer and give you length options.

Can’t decide what length chain you want? Buy the longer length and then have your jeweler add a second jump ring, or loop, at an interval of your choosing. That way you can purchase just one chain but have two lengths to choose from whenever you wear it! Alternately, this could be done to an existing chain or an extender could be added to a shorter chain to give it more length.


7.     Watch for the sweet spots.

The most common places for a chain to break is near the clasp and in the center of the chain if it is usually worn with a pendant. Keep a special eye out for weakness in those spots.


8.     Use a mirror.

Have a hard time putting a chain on? Then don’t try to put it on with the clasp behind your head, silly! Instead, stand looking at a mirror and move the clasp around to the front so you can see what you’re doing! Once attached, move the clasp to the back of your neck.


Have your jeweler install a magnetic clasp if you have a lot of trouble opening traditional style clasps like spring rings and lobster claws.

 9.     Try a new clasp style.

Still struggling to get your chain on and off? Take the chain to your jeweler and have the clasp changed! There are lots of clasps that are easy to operate like lobster claw clasps, s-hooks, and magnetic clasps. Magnetic clasps are particularly good for people who suffer from arthritis, plus the super strong magnets used to make them are very secure!


10.  Wear the right type of chain for your hair.

As most of us know, chains can easily get tangled in our hair, especially in long hair. If the chain has a rougher feel to the outside, it’s not the right type of chain to wear to avoid tangles. Try something smoother like a rolo or cable chain. Additionally, if a chain is very thin, it will easily roll together with your hair. Try replacing it with something thicker. Also note that tightly or intricately woven chains, like a snake or rope chain, may seem smooth but actually have lots of little gaps that can grab hair as it moves. A link-style chain is best if you want to keep it out of your hair.



Jess the Jeweler


Read on: A Link-by-Link Guide to Chains

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