I don’t need to tell you that throwback hairstyles are having a moment. Every time you open Instagram, you’re probably bombarded with prom-style tendrils, tiny hair clips, and oversized headbands—I know I am. But recently I’ve been seeing a hair accessory that’s led me to abandon all my sparkly pins, fancy scrunchies, and pearl-encrusted everything: the humble claw clip.
To me, claw clips have always been utilitarian. My mom has worn a plain tortoiseshell one when she’s cooking for as long as I can remember, and I used to wear one to keep my hair out of my face in elementary school. It wasn’t something I ever expected I’d want to wear again until last spring when I was walking through a dollar store during a trip to Tokyo. There it was: the cutest pink clip. I bought it on a whim, thinking I’d use it to hold back my hair during my nighttime routine.
At first my new claw clip didn’t make it out of the house, but then I suddenly began seeing them everywhere I looked. Overnight, it seemed every Insta-girl was wearing candy-colored Seoul Import clips, and more sleek versions were popping up in celebrity pap shots left and right. And then it hit me: Claw clips are officially chic.
Since then I haven’t left the house without a claw clip in my hair or tucked in my purse (or sometimes clipped on my purse strap). While, yes, it’s amazing at its main job—holding up a lot of hair with minimal effort—what I love most about the clip is its versatility.
My first venture into wearing a claw clip out of the house is a look comedian and host of the Glowing Up podcast Caroline Goldfarb dubbed the Brigitte Broke-dot. Essentially, it’s piling a bunch of hair into a half-up, clipping it, and leaving your front tendrils or bangs out. It’s romantic, easy, and insanely flattering—the half-up with some pieces around the front frames your face in such a pretty way. The look somehow fixes any bad hair day and makes every outfit a little more pulled together.
Me, with my favorite claw clip of the moment
On the other hand, the look of choice for celeb models like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Bieber is a slicked-back bun with the clip holding it all together. It’s a very ’90s supermodel look that manages to feel fresh and modern. The sleekness of the bun looks put-together, but a claw clip lends it some “oh, this old thing?” charm and effortlessness. I’ve never been into slick hair, but the ease of a clip makes it feel…