Different Types of Hair Clips, Explained

There seems to be a plethora of options when it comes to hair clips. Which ones should you choose for certain occasions but not others? Are there hair clips that are more versatile and multi-purpose than others? In this article, we’ll break down the most common types of hair clips into categories.

Alligator Clips

You often see alligator clips being used by hairstylists to hold extra hair out of the way during a haircut or styling session. These clips are great for keeping the hair pinned back from the face with little effort. They are a pinch clip with a spring on one end. One half of the clip is flat, so it can fit against the head comfortably, and has teeth that match the top half of the clip.

Some alligator clips come in plain solid colours, while others are fancier with intricate patterns, designs, and decorative elements. They come in a variety of different sizes, styles, and colours. Some alligator clips for children come with large bows on them, making it easy to dress up a child’s outfit without having to worry about pinning a bow separately in their hair. Check out the variety of alligator clips available for sale here.

Banana Clips

Banana clips are usually quite long – typically at least 5 to 6 inches in length. These are ideal for long hair, and can be used as a substitute for hair tie at the back. They are good securing the hair because they have teeth on both sides of the clip, and will lock in place so the hair is held in place at the base of the neck. In terms of styling, they can give the illusion of your hair being longer than it actually is, which is the visual that many people try to achieve by wearing banana clips.

Banana clips are more ideal for thick hair, as they can be harder to use on thinner hair. This is why they are not as commonly used on younger children who have finer and thinner hair. 

Banana clips can come in simple designs and patterns such as the tortoise shell, or more intricate designs with decorative edges and embellishments that would suit a fancy outfit. Browse our selection of banana clips here!


Barrette hair clips are available in so many varieties, shapes, and colours that they can be used to style your hair for a variety of events. Some barrettes are embedded with jewels or rhinestones that would add to the dazzle of your evening wear. In general, barrettes are made from a single piece of plastic with a hinge in the middle. The hinge allows them to fold in half. The bottom part of the barrette that goes against the head has a small hole in it on the end, into which a bag on the top half of the barrette snaps to hold it close. 

Although barrettes are beautiful additions to wear to special events, they are not the most ideal for doing sports or anything active. They have small plastic teeth to help hold hair strands in place, but not strong enough to keep the hair from slipping and falling out if subjected to a lot of movements such as jumping. That being said, the variety and eye-candy property of barrettes still make them worthwhile to have in your accessories drawer – so you can quickly accessorize and get ready for an event or function. Check out how beautiful some of these barrette designs and styles are!

Bobby Pins 

Unlike most other types of hair clips, bobby pins do not have a mechanism that allows you to actually clip them into your hair. However, that actually makes bobby pins one of the most popular and versatile ‘hair clips’ out there. They are flat, smooth, light, and are helpful in styling your hair in many different ways. They are akin to “one of the most helpful humble helpers” for accomplishing any hair styling objective.

Bobby pins have one side that is flat and smooth, while the other side usually has grooves that are designed to help hold your hair in place. These grooves help keep the hair in its place without the pin falling out. There are small plastic balls on the two ends, so you can easily slip them into your hair. Some bobby pins have ornaments instead of the plastic balls, and they can vary in shape and size (such as animals or flowers). 

Bobby pins come in many different colours, including natural hair colours and brighter ones. You can easily find bobby pins that blend with your hair colour, such as these Small Black Kirby Grips (if you have black hair) and Blond Kirby Grips (if you have blonde hair). Click here to see more varieties of pins available for sale. Bobby pins are very inexpensive, so you can easily buy a lot of them without breaking the bank. Most sellers offer packs of multiple pins in a bundle.

Claw Hair Clips

Claw clips, sometimes also referred to as clamps or butterfly clips, have evolved over the years from the big and flashy options during the 1980s to more subdued clips that are popular today. These clips have two combs with large teeth that are attached in the middle with a powerful spring. The spring allows the two combs to open up. When the spring is release, the clip snaps shut to hold your hair in place.

Claw hair clips are great for pinning the hair back. These are often used by hairdressers while cutting or styling your hair. They can also be used as hair accessory for everyday activities, such as holding your bun in place or creating a modified ponytail. It is best to have a few different-sized claw clips handy, so you can easily style your hair in different ways. Check out the variety of claw / clamp clips that we offer here.

Snap Hair Clips

Snap clips also go by the name ‘contour clips’. They made out of a single piece of metal that can snap open for the hair to be inserted. It opens up when the ends are lifted up at the same time. Once the hair is inside the clip, push the two ends back down to force the middle of the clip to snap, holding the hair in place.

Snap clips can easily hold a lot of hair or just a few strands, making them versatile and ideal for pulling the hair away from the face. These clips often come in bright colours and fun patterns, and are popular with all ages, especially children. Larger sized snap clips can be used to hold back a lot of hair, while smaller ones can blend in more with the hairstyle. Click here to find snap hair clips that would match your style and needs.

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