When you want to take your hair game up a notch in an instant and on the cheap, you can’t beat the versatility of a hair clip. Even better, right now in the world of beauty, hair clips are having a moment again, so they’re an on-trend solution for dealing with anything from pesky bangs to lifeless locks — and everything in between. “As with much of the Y2K fashion coming back in style, hair clips are no different,” says Gregory Patterson, celebrity stylist and DIY expert for Sally Beauty.”They’re easy, effortless, and can still make the wearer look polished from day to night.”
Part of the reason clips are so popular right now lies in their versatility and user-friendliness for creating a salon-worthy style at home or on the go. “Using a clip is an easy but stylish way to look put together with tons of room to play — perfect for the hair pro or hair novice,” adds Patterson. Clips can even be helpful for sectioning off your hair to blow dry, straighten, or curl it, even if you don’t intend to include the clip in your finished look.
All clips aren’t created equally, and certain designs and materials are better suited for particular lengths and types of hair. In general though, it’s best to select something made of metal or a sturdy plastic with a tight point of closure, be that by spring, snap, pin, or clamp. You can find clips in a variety of finishes and colors — with and without embellishments like rhinestones, beads, and even bows— so there’s something out there that’ll appeal to just about every aesthetic.
If you haven’t been using hair clips lately, you probably just haven’t found the right one. Use this guide to hone in on your perfect match and stock up, so you can have a clip in every bag to change up your look on a whim.
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DCNL Metal Snap Clip
Every beauty kit should have a few metal snap clips in it. These have a patented comb teeth design for extra holding power, whether you’re dealing with bangs you want to keep out of your face or are trying to secure a French twist. Though suitable for all kinds of hair, Patterson likes these for baby-fine, wispy strands in particular. “Whether you want to style your hair up or down, this clip will get the job done, and its neutral colors are super easy to wear with any look you throw together,” says Patterson.
Goody Bio-Plastic Mini Butterfly Clips
Embrace your inner late ‘90s/early 2000’s kid with this set of mini butterfly clips that mark Goody’s first foray into sustainable, plant-based plastic hair accessories. They’re great for tucking small sections of hair behind your ears or securing the small ponytail in the back center of your head if you’re rocking a half-up, half-down style. You can also go full on flower child by stacking a couple instead of using just one at a time. Their petite size makes them great for shorter hair, too.
Leandro Limited Tokyo Tort Styling Clips
These hard-working clips are the perfect size and shape for sectioning off hair, whether blowing it out or styling it with a hot brush. Their faux tortoiseshell finish provides a trendy touch that more basic models don’t have though, meaning they’ll also up the ante on securing a messy bun, should you want to use them outside of the house.
PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross Hair Clip
If you have thick, curly, or wavy hair, Pattern’s octopus-style clip will be your styling BFF, whether your hair’s wet or dry. Reviewers rave about the sturdy, strong spring construction of the clip, which holds a lot of hair, and how curl-friendly its design is: because the finger press tabs are so prominent and far away from the clip’s teeth, zero snagging happens when you take it out of your tresses.
RC ROCHE ORNAMENT Womens French Concord Curved Hair Clip
These curved clip-claw hybrids have serious holding power, thanks to their comb-like jaw teeth, no-slip spring hinges, and flat silhouettes, which lie flush to your head. Just twist your hair up and slide the accessory comfortably into place. Three sizes and multiple color options are available, so something should work for you, whether you have shoulder length locks or longer tresses, straight or a thicker, wavy or curly mane. This brand also makes banana clips, too, should you not want this version to leave a dent in your hair or disrupt your curl pattern.
Madewell Chunky Circle Hair Clip
Looking for a minimalist clip you can use to change up your hairstyle on the go? Then this metal gold circle style from Madewell will be right up your alley. Gather your hair into the open circle design and snap the clip into place, allowing your strands to extend out from the circle as much or as little as you want. There’s a smaller size for thinner hair types, and reviewers have noted that it’s possible to fit a whole or half-pony into this piece depending on the look you’re going for and the length and thickness of your mane.
Luxe & Lace “X” Clip
With its glass beads and gold finish, this bejeweled x-shaped clip may look dainty. Make no mistake about it though — the barrette-style clasp is sturdy enough to secure a half-up style with ease.
Radiant Velvet Bow Hair Clips
These cute velvet bows, which are attached to gold snap clips, may be made for littles, but they’ll add a feminine, festive touch to any adult hairstyle, too. Use one or two to hold back flyaways on the sides of your hair when its up in a high pony, or thread one through the clear elastic tying off your braid for an easy, dressy touch. You get all eight colors in this pack, so one is bound to coordinate with your outfit.
Hill House Home Hair Slides
Add a touch of whimsy to your strands with these pastel daisy slides. While the bobby-pin-like accessory won’t hold too much hair, it quickly adds a chic update to your style.
Tasha 2-Pack Resin Hair Clips
Create a side swept look by gathering some of your hair and using one of these geometric resin clips to pin it back. If your tresses are a little bit on the thinner side, you can also try it to secure a full ponytail.
Emi Jay Big Effing Clip in Honeycomb
At four inches long and made of sturdy biodegradable acetate, these splurge-worthy classic claw clips from Emi Jay are essentially wearable sculptures for putting up your hair. Choose from a variety of colorways and patterns.
GSQ by GLAMSQUAD Pearl Hair Clips, 3CT
Embellished barrettes, clips, and pins are the perfect way to distract from hair that maybe needs to be washed or touched up in terms of color. This trio of pearl-adorned clips will keep your hair out of your face and add a little shimmer and shine to your next Zoom call or IRL meeting.
Patterson loves using the clamp-style PuffCuff on his curly and textured hair clients, and it’s great for locs, twists, and braids, too. “They come in multiple sizes and can gently accommodate so much hair with incredible hold,” says Patterson. To find the right size, measure the diameter of the base of your ponytail — ideally, it should be approximately the same size as your PuffCuff.
Nina Ginnie Hair Pin
This brass- and rhodium-plated barrette features overlapping rows of glitzy crystals in a stylish, swirly shape. Use it to fancy up a simple low pony or as a festive touch to crown a chignon that’s reinforced with bobby pins.
Wide Custom Hair Clip
Spell out your name, a short favorite phrase, or your initials with these personalized barrettes that also make great gifts. Choose from 11 different base colors and 16 font colors for a wide variety of combinations.
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