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World of Hair Clips: From Ancient Elegance to Modern Styles


woman with a head band sitting on the floor

Are you tired of the same old hairstyles and looking for a way to switch things up? Well, look no further than the humble hair clip! From its ancient origins to the vast array of types available today, hair clips have played a significant role in both fashion and functionality. In this blog post, we'll take a journey through time to explore the history of hairpins, the evolution of hair ties and scrunchies, and the different types of hair clips that can transform your look. Get ready to unravel the secrets behind butterfly hair clips, claw hair clips, flower hair clips, and many more!

History of Hair Pins: From Prehistoric Times to Modern Elegance

Let's kick things off by delving into the fascinating history of hairpins. Did you know that even in prehistoric times, people used one-pronged sticks and clip-like rocks to keep their hair in place? Natural materials like leaves and flowers were also used for decorative purposes. Fast forward to the discovery of the Clonycavan Man in Ireland, and we find a perfectly preserved mohawk hairstyle held together with a mixture of vegetable oil and resin from Spanish/French pine trees – a testament to the early trade in luxury items.

Ancient cultures worldwide had their unique approaches to hair accessories. The Ancient Greeks and Romans adorned their hair with crowns made from twigs, foliage, and flowers, while Native Americans used headdresses made from animal bones and feathers. In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, women covered their hair for modesty, and hairstyles became culturally and politically significant. Fast forward to the Tudor period in England, and Anne Boleyn's fashionable French hood marked a shift in hair coverings.

From the Aigrette in the 18th century to the Victorian era's vital hair pins, the evolution continued. Men in 1600s France wore "bobbing pins" to enhance wig placement, while Chinese women celebrated a cultural milestone with a hairpin ceremony at the age of 15. The 1920s saw the rise of bobby pins, leading to the popularity of barrettes worldwide. Mexican women became known for their vibrant and decorative barrettes, similar to the diverse options available today.

Chinese women ancient bone hair clip
source Wikipedia

History of Hair Ties and Scrunchies: Elasticity Takes Center Stage

Hair ties, a timeless and essential accessory, date back to 10,000-8,000 BC. In Ancient Europe, the wealthy flaunted hair rings made of precious metals, while Ancient Egyptians used pottery, alabaster, or jasper to display social status. The 20th century witnessed a revolution with the commercial production of rubber and elastic fibers, giving rise to the hair ties and scrunchies we know today. Say goodbye to inflexible hair rings and hello to the flexibility and lightness of modern hair elastics and bun accessories.

Different Types of Hair Clips: A Stylish Revolution

Now, let's explore the diverse world of hair clips, each serving a unique purpose and catering to various hair types and styles.

Butterfly Hair Clips: Butterfly hair clips were usually used to gather hair from the top of the head, keeping it away from your eyes. These small clips are great for thicker hair because they can hold a lot, including a full braid. The anti-slip design of the butterfly claw clip ensures that it holds your hair securely and doesn't slide off. It's similar to the jaw or claw clip, often called mini clips. These smaller butterfly hair clips are ideal for thicker hair, holding more hair or even a whole braid in place.

Example:
Ondder Black Butterfly Hair Clips


Alligator Hair Clips: Ideal for securing large sections of hair, these clips provide a firm hold without causing damage. A hairstylist's best friend for efficient styling. Alligator hair clips are like helpful assistants when it comes to styling your hair. They're designed to securely divide your hair into sections, providing a strong grip without causing any damage. The bend in the clip ensures a firm hold, especially on larger sections of hair, making it easier to style without tearing. These clips are most useful when you need to style a big chunk of hair.

When you're working with curly hair and styling it section by section, the alligator clip becomes your go-to tool. It acts as a handy helper, keeping each section neatly separated. Whether you're using a round brush, flat iron, curling iron, or a root brush, relying on the alligator clip makes the whole process of styling your hair much simpler and more effective.


Alligator Styling Sectioning Clips of Professional Hair Salon Quality

AIMIKE Alligator Hair clip 6pcs Professional Hair Clips for Styling Sectioning

Pastel Alligator Hair Clips



Claw Hair Clips: Claw hair clips are handy and simple to use. They have prongs that close together like fingers clasping. They are a better choice than hair elastics, especially popular in the '90s. These clips have prongs on both sides that join like fingers, held by a straightforward spring mechanism, making them one of the easiest and most versatile hair clips available. Choosing claw clips over hair elastics is healthier for your hair because elastics can pull and snag. 

Example:

Octopus claw hair clips

Auto Clasp Barrette: Auto clasp barrettes are typically larger clips with a clasp that you can open and close to secure your hair. The word 'barrette' comes from French and means 'small bar,' describing a clip or bar for keeping your hair in place. Even today, barrettes remain popular and are often worn as a discreet accessory to add a bit of elegance to your hairstyle. You can find them in various styles, ranging from simple and classic to bold and colorful options.


Scunci No-slip Grip Auto Clasp Barrettes



Snap Hair Clips: Snap hair clips, also known as bendy hair clips, are crafted from a single piece of metal that can open up for your hair to be put in. To open it, lift both ends simultaneously. Once your hair is inside, push the two ends back down, causing the middle of the clip to snap and hold your hair securely in place. These snap clips are great for holding either a lot of hair or just a few strands. They're versatile and perfect for pulling your hair away from your face.

Example:

Colorful Bendy Hair Clips or Snap Hair Clip


Bow Barrette: Bow barrettes, like the Satin Bow Barrette, work well for any hair type. You can wear them above a ponytail, with half-up hairstyles, and more. These stylish hair accessories serve two main purposes: they decorate your hair and keep it in place.

Example:
Silky Satin Hair Bows

Comb Hair Clip: Comb hair clips come in various types to suit different styles and needs. You can find tiara-style hair combs for a touch of elegance, small hair combs perfect for creating and securing a bun, wig clips designed to hold hair extensions in place, twist clamp hair clips for added versatility, and stretch combs for a comfortable fit. These clips are versatile and cater to various hair styling preferences.

Example:
Grip-Tuth Combs Comb Hair Clip

French Barrette Hair Clip: A French barrette hair clip is a metal clip designed with a sturdy, secure, and smooth base, including a tension bar to keep your hair in place. The clasp has two prongs that latch onto the arm, securing your hair between the tension bar and the arm. Unlike barrettes, which are typically larger and have a clasp closure that opens and shuts, clips are smaller and use a spring-like mechanism to hold the hair in place.

Example:

French Barrette Hair Clips

Ponytail Barrette Hair Clip: The ponytail barrette hair clip is a curved metal or plastic clip made to hold all of your hair together in a ponytail. It has a clasp similar to a regular French barrette, but the tension bar is on the arm, not the base of the clip. This design ensures that your hair looks full and voluminous. The ponytail hairstyle is trendy on red carpets and fashion shows because it elongates the silhouette and gives a confident look. You can wear it in a high half-tail for a fuller effect or in a low ponytail for an elegant and stylish hairstyle.

Example:

Ponytail barrette hair clip


Tortoise-Shell Barrette Hair Clip: The tortoise-shell barrette hair clip is a timeless accessory made from acetic acid, resembling the look of real tortoise shell pieces. It's important to note that some craftsmen use hawksbill turtle shells for jewelry items like earrings, bracelets, combs, hairpins, and hair combs, which I find unethical. It's crucial to ensure that tortoise-shell barrette hair clips are crafted from acetic acid and not real tortoise shell to contribute to saving and protecting turtles.

Example:


French Hair Barrette Tortoise Shell Automatic Hair Clips












Updo Barrette: The updo barrette is crafted from metal and is available in gold or silver. A basic hair barrette is a must-have accessory for any hairstyle. An updo barrette is a specific hair accessory created to secure and embellish updo hairstyles. An "updo" hairstyle involves arranging and styling the hair upward, typically away from the neck and shoulders. Updo hairstyles can feature buns, twists, braids, and other intricate designs.

Example:

Goody Womens Hair Updo Barrettes

Flower Hair Clips: Flower hair clips are hair accessories adorned with either fake or real flowers, meant to be worn as decorative pieces in the hair. These clips come in various styles, sizes, and materials, letting people add a bit of nature-inspired beauty to their hairstyles. Flower hair clips are versatile and can be worn in different ways, like holding a portion of hair, enhancing a bun or updo, or just decorating loose locks.

These clips are popular for different occasions, such as weddings, parties, festivals, and special events, as they can bring a romantic, bohemian, or whimsical touch to a hairstyle. Flower hair clips may have silk or fabric flowers for a realistic and durable appearance, or they might use artificial materials for a more playful or artistic look. Some individuals even choose real flowers in their hair for a fresh and natural feel, especially for outdoor weddings.

In essence, flower hair clips offer a charming and feminine accessory choice, allowing people to showcase their style and elevate their overall appearance with a hint of floral elegance.

Example:
Sisiaipu Hawaiian Flower Hair Clips

Braided Hair Clips: Braided hair clips are accessories specifically crafted to style your hair into braids. These clips are decorated with braids made from materials like fabric, leather, or synthetic fibers, adding texture and detail for an intricate and stylish appearance.

These clips may vary in styles, such as barrettes, hairpins, or clips with jaw mechanisms. The braided sections can be small embellishments on the clip or play a more significant role in the design, depending on the specific product.

Versatile in use, braided hair clips can enhance various hairstyles, ranging from casual to more formal looks. They are popular for adding a bohemian or chic touch to braided hairstyles, updos, or even simple ponytails. The combination of braids with the practicality of a hair clip offers an attractive and useful accessory for those seeking to enhance their hairstyling options.

Example:

Pearl Rhinestone Braided Hair Clips

Banana Hair Clips: A banana hair clip is a basic hair accessory used to gather and secure your hair at the back of your head. It's a healthier and eco-friendly option compared to using elastics for ponytail styles. These clips have gained significant popularity in recent years, and it's easy to understand why. Banana hair clips were a common accessory in the 90s. These versatile hair accessories can be worn in different ways, making them a favored choice among fashion enthusiasts. They are perfect for quickly creating easy hairstyles.

Example:

Camila Paris MP78 French Small Banana Clip Hair Comb

Camila Paris MP78 French Small Banana Clip Hair Comb

Kitsch Banana Hair Clips

Kitsch Banana Hair Clips

Metal Hair Clips: Metal hair clips are hair accessories primarily made of metal, aiming to keep your hair in place. These clips vary in shapes, sizes, and designs, commonly used to secure hair sections or create different hairstyles. They are durable and often come with teeth or prongs to grip the hair securely.

These clips can be simple and practical for everyday use or more decorative for special occasions. Common types include bobby pins, barrettes, hair claws, and jaw clips. They are versatile, allowing for various hairstyles, from simple ponytails and buns to more intricate updos.

Metal hair clips can be crafted from metals like stainless steel, aluminum, or alloys. Some may have coatings like enamel or paint for added aesthetics. The metal and design choice depends on personal style and the intended use of the hair accessory.

While metal clips are more durable, they can be heavy and potentially cause hair damage due to sharp edges. On the other hand, plastic clips are lightweight and affordable but may not hold up well over time.

Example:


Silver Metal Duck Billed Hair Clips


Large Metal Hair Claw Clips


RED by Kiss Slide-In Hair Clips


Choosing the Right Hair Clips for Your Hair Type

Hair Clips for Thick Hair:

For those with thick locks, larger hair clips with substantial grip are essential. Hair claws, especially wide-toothed ones, are excellent for creating a classic and stylish look without weighing down your hair. Claw clips hold thick hair securely, offering both style and functionality.

Example:

ZYTJ Extra Large Claw Clips for Thick Hair and Long Hair

ZYTJ Extra Large Claw Clips for Thick Hair and Long Hair

AIBEE Large Hair Clips for Thick Hair

AIBEE Large Hair Clips for Thick Hair

Hair Clips for Thin Hair:

Individuals with thin hair require specially designed clips that are smaller, lightweight, and gentle. Look for non-slip grips or teeth in the design to ensure a secure hold without causing breakage. Teleties' small and medium clips, along with jaw clip hair clips, are great options for fine, thin hair.

Example:

TELETIES jaw clip hair clips  

TELETIES jaw clip hair clips

In conclusion, the world of hair clips is vast and varied, offering something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a classic barrette, a whimsical flower clip, or a functional claw clip, there's a hair accessory to suit your style and needs. From ancient civilizations to modern fashion, hair clips have stood the test of time, evolving and adapting to the diverse hairstyles and preferences of people worldwide. So, the next time you want to add a touch of flair to your look or keep your hair neatly in place, reach for a hair clip and embrace the fascinating history and styles they bring to your tresses.

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