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9 Different Types of Clips for Hair

Here are the various different types of clips for your beautiful hair showcasing the many ways that they can hold your hair in place and give you styling freedom.

A close look at a woman wearing multiple hair clips.

Hair clips (also known as hair barrettes in American English) are an essential part of the hair accessory world! Social media is where you have probably seen them make their way all over the latest trends. So, what types of hair clips are there?

There are many different types of hair clips on the market. They are used as accessories like banana clips, French, spiral pins, and bobby pins. However, hair clips can also be used for sectioning the hair like alligator barrettes or for setting the hair, such as double prong clips.

A hair clip obsession is a real thing! It’s almost as if they’re just a thing you slide into your hair, and it’s like they have a unique personality. Whether you’re looking to add some new hair clips to your collection or just exploring the world of hair accessories, this article has something for you.

What is a hair clip?

These are various different hair clips.

A hair clip/barrette consists of a single plastic piece that folds and snaps together or a flat clip that consists of a small strip of metal formed into it. Depending on the type you buy, hair barrettes are used to keep hair in place, worn as a trendy ornamental hair accessory, make sectioning hair for blow-drys/cutting easier, and are used to style buns/updos.

The beauty behind modern hair clips is that they are ageless! For you to love them, pick a style that best fits your style and mood because the options are endless.

Different Types of Hair Clips/Barrettes

Say goodbye to dull hair days because you are about to get to know all the different types of hair clips! Not only will it help you to diversify your styling routine, but it will also make every hairdo unique and stand out. There are numerous clips available, each of which is intended to achieve a specific result. 

We’ve put together the most popular and iconic barrettes that you NEED to know because they will help you add a special touch of personality to your hairstyle! Whether you call them hair clips or hair barrettes, one thing is for sure they may be small accessories, but oh, how they say so much! Let us slide into the world of hair clips!

Banana clip

6 Pieces Clincher Combs Banana Combs Banana Clip Grip Comb Fishtail Fish Hair Lady Fish Shape Ponytail Banana Clip Girls Long Women Clamp Accessory (Brown, White, Black)

Looking for a clip that adds volume, enhances hair length, and doesn’t damage your hair? Then look no further than a banana clip! If you were rocking them in the 1980s, you probably know all about the banana clip, but modern beauty fanatics, you NEED to know of them too!

The banana clip is a hair accessory with two comb-like sides that meet to secure your hair. They are typically 5-6 inches long with an inward curve meant to support the back of your head curve and help create an iconic ponytail lengthening hairstyle.

Modern-day banana clips offer far more style variations than the ones from the 80s. You will especially love them if you have long and thick hair as it does not tighten the scalp when clipping all the hair out of the way, unlike regular hair ties.

Remember that banana clips work great with thick hair, so the banana clip will not be your favorite option if you have thin locks.

Claw clip

TOCESS Big Hair Claw Clips 4 Inch Nonslip Large Claw Clip for Women Thin Hair, 90's Strong Hold Hair Clips for Thick Hair, 4 Colors Available (4 Packs)

Oh, the iconic claw clip! You have probably owned hundreds of them in your lifetime, and maybe they were the first clip you were introduced to growing up. Claw clips are so popular because they are comfortable and straightforward to use that typically sit at the back of the head. Smaller versions can be used to secure a low ponytail.

You can wear a claw clip in many ways, so try out pinback bangs, a  faux bob, or a half-up style. To top it all off, unlike traditional hair ties, they do not dent or crease hair-you’ve got to love them!

Bobby pin

Deoot 120 PCS 2 Inches Bobby Pins Non Slip Hair Pins Black & Blonde for Women Hair Accessories with Storage Box

Bobby pins, used and loved by all ages! The simplest and smallest clip on this list can be used alone to pin up a section of hair casually or in conjunction with dozens of others to create elaborate couture styles like gorgeous updos for wedding days or prom nights.

They are usually made of plastic or metal and help hold your hair in place, almost like a styling gel while camouflaging itself. Bobby pins, which have one straight side and one grooved side, provide the most secure hold of any hair clips.

Their narrow pin turn ensures that hair is tightly secured. Blonde, brunette tones, or classic black, you decide what color you want for your hair because the options are endless! Match them to your locks or let them stand out; that’s the beauty of these clips as they’re so versatile and powerful.

Alligator/crocodile clip

Framar Pastel Alligator Hair Clips 10 Pack – Professional Alligator Clips For Hair, Hair Clips For Styling, Hair Styling Clips, Aligator Clips, Salon Hair Clips, Plastic Hair Clips, Gator Clips

Have you been to your hairdresser lately? Then you have probably seen alligator/crocodile clips in full action because these clips are your hairstylist’s favorite! As their name ‘Alligator hair clips’ say, they have teeth on the lower half of the clip just like the animal!

This shape enables all long hair wearers to secure their hair well, keeping hair out of the way for extended periods. Suppose you want to section your hair while styling; these are excellent options. They are also helpful for putting your hair up in a bun, almost like an alligator roll!

These barrettes are mostly made of metals or plastic. They make processes like detangling, straightening, and blow-drying easier. They typically have long bills that aid in sectioning large sections of hair, like textured hair, which is notoriously difficult to manage.

So, see for yourself: why your hairdresser obsesses over them and, just like the animal, has significant strength to hold your hair!

Comb/ slide clips

6 Pieces French Twist Comb,Plastic Side Hair Combs with 23 Teeth Hair Comb Hair Clip Combs for Fine Hair Accessory for Women- Black

You are HIGHLY missing out if you have not heard of or used a comb/ slide clip before! Whether you want to create a sleek updo or simply just want to control those aggravating flyaways, comb clips are the way to go. Although mature ladies seem to love these clips most, modern fashionistas should join in on it too!

They are available as comb pins and thus provide a secure hold on hairstyles by keeping the hair in place and minimizing the disruption of falling on a specific area. These barrettes are accessories that are both decorative and functional which are typically made of plastic.

Use by turning the side comb upside down so that the curve points up, then pull the section of hair back into the position where you want to pin it; after that, with one hand, hold your hair in one place and insert the comb’s teeth along that section with the other.

Modern versions of these barrettes offer a wide selection for any occasion you wish to attend, such as bump it volume boosting or even bridal style comb clips. ‘Get sliding’ because these trendy accessories will become a total fave of yours!

French barrettes

France Luxe Classic Rectangle Hair Barrette, Black - Classic French Design for Everyday Wear

Bonjour-the invention of the French barrette is in the name France! They are small, metal clips with a fastener underneath that pop into place to secure them.  You will see these barrettes have a clasp with two prongs that latch onto the arm.

The tension bar and the arm hold your hair in place to give you a smooth, secure look.

These clips come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors, and you can choose one best suited to the volume and thickness of your hair. The classic style consists of two simple metal lines on top, but many different materials are now fastened to this top portion for vibrant styling. Barretts can be small and worn over the ear, or they can be large and worn on the back of the head.

If you were alive during the noughties, you probably have distinct memories of these clips, but don’t forget about them as they are so fashionable today! Instead, look at the 2000s stars for inspiration for your trendy modern look.

Snap clips

minihope snap hair clips for women, .snap clips for grils,Surface metal flash powder,5cm,24 Count (Pack of 1)…

Remember the snap clips you used to wear at school? They are all the rage in hair accessories these days, so it’s time to bring them back from memory lane! These girly model hairpins are popularly used to keep small hair strands from falling on the face and tighten puffs carried regularly.

They are typically made of metals and have an endless variety of designs, sizes, and varieties for you to choose from.  These simple, versatile, and simple-to-use hair accessories make life easier while also helping to elevate the look.

They have recently gained popularity as statement hair accessories, with people wearing snap clips embellished with pearls, rhinestones, and metallic designs larger than standard snap clips. Join in with your favorite celebs as you rock snap clips!

Spin Pins

Hawwwy Spiral Bobby Pins 8 Pack Spin Pins, Easy & Fast Bun Maker Twist Hair Pins for Women Kids, Updo Hair Accessories, Messy Bun Tool, Perfect Small Bun Bobbypins Bobbie Fashion (Black 2 Inches)

Did you know that spin pins are as effective as twenty hairpins put together? Spiral pins have curly hair color and texture, making these pins easy to wear and almost invisible to others. They also allow the curly hair bun to last longer without becoming tangled.

They aid in the creation of effortless, quick updos and French twists too. Metal is used to make these hair clips and come in various colors and sizes and because they bend easily are long-lasting too. Simply twist them clockwise and watch the magic happen as you place them into your favorite do!

Double prong curl clip

AxeSickle 30 Pcs Hairdressing Double Prong Curl Clips 1.8" Curl Setting Section Hair Clips for Hair Bow Great Pin Curl Clip, Styling Clips for Hair Salon, Barber, Silver.

While most barrettes are intended to hold and accessorize hairstyles, the double prong curl is intended to be used during the styling process. Most women will wear them all around their heads to set the curls or hold hair rollers in place and then take them out at the last moment to be brushed out.

These little guys are essential for curls or finger waves: they hold the sections in place.  The double prong curl clip, like wave setting and sectioning clips, is only used for styling. They are usually wrapped around a freshly heated curl to secure and hold their shape.

In the roaring 1920s, they were all over the popular hairstyle trends; now it’s your turn to rock these styling clips hairstyles in the 2020s! What are you waiting for? Get yourself some or ask your hairdresser to give you this trendy look.

Slogan barrette

20 Pcs Macaron Hair Clips for Women-Acrylic Pearl Hair Clip Handmade Pearl Hair Pins Gifts for Girls Hair Barettes for Women Fashion Hair Accessories for Party Wedding

If you have scrolled through your Instagram feed or your Tik Tok FYP (for your page), you will know all about these statement slips! Modern Fashionistas have redefined laying your heart on your sleeve, but in this instance, it is laying your heart on your hair because these eye-catching pieces sure make a personality statement!

History behind clips

12 Pieces Vintage Metal Hair Clips Retro French Hair Barrettes Minimalist Hair Clip Geometric Hollow Hair Pins for Women Girls (Style Set 1)

Did you know hair clips were the very first styling inventions with a long and illustrious history? Women used to tie their hair with pins made of sticks and stones in early human culture, in addition to hand-made tool kits. The pins were then passed down through generations to become bobby pins, an essential styling accessory during the Victorian era.

Then fast forward to the 1900s, hair clips evolved in western society to a simplistic and accessible hair accessory that made a statement for any occasion. Bobby pins and hair combs were the most popular of the time. However, it wasn’t until the 80s, 90s, and 2000s that hair clips significantly impacted popular culture.

These hair accessories have genuinely impacted throughout the years, from Allissa Miliano’s infamous banana clip hairstyle in the 80s, Drew Barrymore’s iconic butterfly clips in the 90s, and Mariah Carey’s bold rhinestone of the early 2000s.  Isn’t it extraordinary to think that a simple everyday barrette you wear in your hair has such a rich history!

Today hair barrettes come in a variety of unique styles and types suited to your needs. Many of the hair clips from the past are still relevant today! You NEED to keep reading on to capture the essence of the types of clips most popular today.

How to Style Hair Clips

As we know, hair barrettes have taken the hair world by storm! It is no wonder that in 2021, the question on Pinterest “how to style hair clips” increased by 105%-WOW! Besides ladies, it’s not every day we come across a style trend: fun to use adds that POP of style, suits everyone, is affordable and comes in a wide variety of options and colors!

With the knowledge you now have from this article of the types of hair clips you get, here are ways for you to style them:

Chic side do

A close look at a woman sporting a side do hairstyle.

Comb clips can present you with a wide variety of different styles to choose from; a personal favorite of many people is the chic” slide” do! Take your luscious lock and put them all to do the side, then take your comb clip and firmly grip your barrette into place. Need some TLC in terms of securing the clip in place?

Simply use a mousse beforehand like Schwarzkopf’s Silhouette Super Hold Mousse.

Half Up Half Down Hairdo

This is a woman sporting a half up hairstyle.

Are you going on a date night or brunch with your girlfriends? This look is also simple to replicate yet is trendy! Horizontally section the top half of your hair and pull out a few of the face-framing pieces. Twist the top section and secure it with your snap clip suited for your event/occasion.

A light spray of hairspray like Paul Mitchell Firm Style Freeze & Shine Super Spray will do the trick and VOILA!

Try the same look with your favorite banana clip and Paul Mitchell’s hairspray, or use bobby pins. Start by tying your desired hair amount with a hair elastic, then place the banana clip underneath the hair elastic from there; simply remove the pony and watch the beauty of the barrette happen! If you want a bit of extra volume, tease the ponytail, and there you have a modernized 80s classic look.

Multiple Barrette Braid

This is a woman sporting a multiple barrette braid hairstyle.

One, two? No multiples will do! The best part of the look is that you can rock the “unfinished and messy look” and make it still presentable as well as all you need are mini claw clips. Vary the size of the sections you work with, and you will love the results.

Start by taking a small section of hair and then secure it loosely with a mini claw clip on each side of your head. Rep with another pair of hair sections, just below the first pair. You are now moving on to the most fun part of all: the braid!

Make a loose, messy braid from the nape of your neck to the ends of your hair and secure with a mini claw clip under the second clipped section of hair.

Place the remaining clips throughout the braid, making sure to alternate sides and maintain a balanced look, and now all you have to do is go out and embrace your new do!

Personality Ponytail

This is a woman sporting a personality ponytail hairstyle.

Have you woken up only to realize, “oh no, I forgot to wash my hair” or just lack time to do it? We have all been there. Maybe you even just want to hide the fact your bangs need to be cut again. Whatever the case may be, ponytails are a great look for concealing the hair and making it look beautiful.

Make a deep part with your tail comb(between the middle of your brows) and insert two hairpins into the larger section. Don’t worry if your bangs are stubborn or if prone to flyaways; try using a super hold hairspray like Redken’s Triple Take 32 Hairspray to lock those little pieces of hairs into place, then secure the ponytail with a claw clip or banana clip.

Finally, add as many statement barrettes of your choice depending on your mood; of course, snap a selfie, add it to your Instagram feed and watch your followers love it as much as you do!

Double prong clip curls style

AxeSickle 60 Pcs Hairdressing Double Prong Curl Clips 1.8" Curl Setting Section Hair Clips for Hair Bow Great Pin Curl Clip, Styling Clips for Hair Salon, Barber, Silver.

If you have achieved the super glammed-up style of the double prong hair clip curls, add a magic modern touch to it with bobby pins. Something that has become HIGHLY popularized within the world of hair is multiple bobby pins at the same part of your hair. Just add them to any part of your hair that you feel needs a bit of VA VA VOOM added to it. What a unique and beautiful style, enjoy!

Do Hair Clips Damage Your Hair?

This is a woman wearing multiple hair clips on her hair.

You have probably heard many people say to avoid hair clips because they cause breakage, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! To all hair barrette lovers and loyal clip wearers, you can now wear them with a sigh of relief, knowing that they DO NOT DAMAGE YOUR HAIR; however, there are a few tips you need to follow first.

Some hair clips are more firm than others, but that does not always mean they break the hair. It all depends on how the hair clips are made, and remember, it’s all about the clips’ quality. Say it with us: “gentle, gentle, and gentle!” because the breakage only occurs when the clips are pulled too tightly or used on hair that is already too fragile for such styling accessories.

So always remember for your next hair clip shopping spree and when using them the key tips: the higher the quality of the clip, the better, look out for how they are made, do not put them on already fragile hair, and always go gentle when placing them in your hair.

Where to Buy Hair Clips?

As fabulous hair clips are super trendy at the moment, so finding them is not a problem at all! Just pick a store online or in-person that meets your budget, and then there you go, you have officially become an owner of an amazing hair accessory. Here are nine options of places to buy hair clips/barrettes:

  • Etsy
  • Claire’s
  • France Luxe
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Nihao Jewelry
  • Icing
  • Instagram barrette/thrift stores

 So, say goodbye to the days of boring hair elastics and hello to gorgeous and funky hair barrette days!