Learn More About Barrettes & Clips
Barrettes and hair clips are often used interchangeably in reference to hair accessories, but there are slight differences. A barrette is usually more ornamental with less gripping power, while a hair clip can typically hold large amounts of hair for a long period of time. Both barrettes and hair clips can be functionable and fashionable. They may be understated and barely visible, or ornate and statement-making.
From open snaps to buckle closures, barrettes are designed to pin back small to medium sections of hair. Different kinds of these compact clips can sweep your fringe out of your eyes, dress up a simple ponytail, or create an instantly polished look, whether you’re walking the dog or getting ready for date night.
Here are some of the most popular barrette types:
- Bow barrettes: These are accented with a silk or fabric bow to give the appearance of the hair being held back with a ribbon.
- Sectioning barrettes: Sectioning barrettes are used by stylists to portion parts of hair for cutting or dyeing.
- French barrettes: These keep hair securely in place with a folding lock, that’s released by squeezing two buttons.
- Ponytail barrettes: These have a similar folding lock, but have a rounded top bar to hold back an entire head of hair in a ponytail.
Hair clips can be small, medium, or large—designed to hold back some or all of your mane. Even the smallest clips can still offer major style and staying power. For example, butterfly clips are famously compact but accent any half-up hairstyle. Clips for thick hair have a wider jaw to grip coarse strands, while clips for thin hair have more compact jaws to grasp delicate locks.
Claw clips are one of the most popular accessories, and use a simple spring design to compress and keep hair in its hold. Buns, twists, sprays, and sections pair perfectly with claws and other clips of various shapes and sizes.
Popular types of hair clips include:
- Alligator hair clips: These long tapered clips have jagged teeth for a secure grip.
- Banana hair clips: Curved to fit the shape of your head, these long clips pull back a whole head of hair in a gentle cascade.
- Butterfly clips: The wings of the butterfly shape to open and close to secure small sections of hair.
- Claw hair clips: These have a hinge system and secure grip, used to twist up large amounts of hair.
- Comb clips: This type of clip pulls hair back and can be elegant, jeweled accessories.
- Minimalist clips: These are designed to be tucked in buns and ponytails.
- Setting clips: These clips hold hair in place while it dries or cools after styling.
- Snap clips: Made of either metal or plastic, these secure hair when clamped shut.
Barrettes and hair clips elevate your everyday style or dress up your locks for a special occasion. For instance, you can use barrettes to hold back the front pieces of your hair and a tie or elastic to pull back the rest for an easy everyday look. Or, use a claw clip or hair pin to create an elegant updo that keeps your tresses neatly tucked in place.
Some sellers on Etsy make elaborate hair clips. Glam up your look with a pearl hair accessory like an embellished barrette or clip, perfect for wedding hairstyles. Rhinestone hair clips add sparkle to any outfit. Gold or silver metal hair clips can be dressed up or down, holding your bangs back for a quick grocery run or providing the finishing touch to a sleek formal look.