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What are Jaw Hair Clips?

By G. Melanson
Updated May 21, 2024
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Also known as butterfly clips or clutch clips, jaw hair clips feature plastic “teeth” which secure the hair firmly in place without tangling it. Jaw hair clips have gone in and out of style periodically since the 1980s, and can be used to create a wide variety of both semi-formal and casual women’s hairstyles. In addition to being worn as a hair accessory, the jaw hair clip is also used as a hairstyling tool to separate sections of the hair while cutting and curling.

A semi-formal up-do can be created with a jaw hair clip by twisting the hair upwards from the nape of the neck and securing the tips of the hair to the back of the head with the clip. This hairstyle can be made more formal by smoothing stray strands with a finishing spray and curling the tips of the hair. For a less formal style, the tips of the hair can be pulled through the jaw clip to create a more tousled look. As children’s hair is often finer than adult hair, mini jaw clips, which are sold in packs of four or more, are best used in lieu of larger clips. To style a little girl’s hair with mini jaw clips, twist small sections of the hair toward the crown of the head and secure each section with a clip.

Jaw hair clips sometimes feature a design at the top of the clip, such as a bow, butterfly or heart. Another variation on the meshed “teeth” design of the jaw hair clip is the alligator clip or banana clip, which was popular during the 1980s. Banana clips have a long, thin bow with smaller teeth, and can add the illusion of length to the hair.

Jaw hair clips are often preferred over metal spring latch clips and other types of hair accessories because they are less likely to pull the hair and can get a firmer grasp on strands of varying lengths. Jaw hair clips come in natural colors which blend into the hair, such as black, brown and blond. They are also available in bright colors, metallics, and pastels to create a style that stands out.

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