20 Hair Clip Types for Different Hairstyles and Uses

Last Updated on April 23, 2022 by Olivia Herlihy RN

This post contains twenty different hair clip types which could be used for hair styling, for everyday wear or for special occasions. Im in the U.K., so when researching the hair accessories for this post I looked at the different types of hair clips available in Boots, Superdrug, Claire’s Accessories and Accessorize. I hope this post helps you find the right hair accessory for you.

hair clip types and names

Video of Different Hair Clip Types & Their Names

In this post you will find photographs of every type of hair clip along with details about which hair type they suit best. The video below however provides a quick summary of some of the most popular types of hair clip and their names.

20 Different Hair Clip Types and their Names

1. Plain Bobby Pins

Best Hair Clip for Fine Hair

Bobby pins are the smallest and most simple type of hair clip. They are good for pinning back fine hair as they are able to easily grip small amounts of hair. I have quite thin hair and have found bobby pins useful for pinning back flyaway strands, or wispy bits of hair near your temples.

If you are looking for some plain and simple bobble pins, I found some in both Claire’s and Superdrug, and they were available in both brown and black (shown in the photographs below). They are great for many hairstyles including a French twist!

A photograph of the black bobby pins available in Claire's
A photograph of the thick brown hair grips available in Superdrug

Useful articles on Bobby Pins

2. Sparkly or Metallic Hair Grips

If you’re looking for a small hair clip like a bobby pin, you don’t have to settle for plain colours. There is a wide variety of thin hair grips available from sparkly hair grips to metallic hair grips, to hair grips containing shapes, patterns and coloured stones!

I found various bright colors available, and bobby pins made from different materials. You may prefer to secure your hair with these options if you want to create a more unique look.

The sparkly hair grips below are from Superdrug. They come in different pastel shades that all have a shimmer!

A photograph of the sparkly hair grips available in Superdrug

The metallic hair grips in the photograph below are from Boots.

A photograph of the metal hair grips available in boots.

I found that Accessorize had the most interesting hair clips when I was doing my research. The hair grips below are from Accessorize and have interesting designs and contain a mixture of pearls and coloured stones.

A photograph of the hair grips available in Accessorize.
A photograph of the metal hair clips from Accessorize.

The hair clips in the photograph below are from Studio London by Superdrug. They make a large selection of small hair grips with different patterns and stones.

A photograph of the small hair clips from Studio london in Superdrug.

Boots make some of the best hair clips around, in my opinion. The two options below are available in Boots.

A photograph of the star shaped hair grips from Boots.
A photograph of the metal hair clips by Muse which are available in Boots.

3. Banana Clips

Banana hair clips are usually about 5-6 inches long and are curved in shape. They are made up of two sides that have teeth in between that help to pull the hair strands together and hold them in place.

Banana clips were popular in the 1908s and are best suited to thick, textured or curly hair. They are quick and easy to use and can help to create side buns or pony tails. One great thing about banana clips is that your hair won’t get caught in any metal hinges!

When I was looking for banana clips I found one in Claire’s and one in Superdrug. Both are pictured below. They are good alternatives to hair ties!

A photograph of the Banana hair clips from Claire's.
A photograph of the banana hair clip from Superdrug.

Useful Articles on Banana Clips

4. Snap Clips

Snap clips are also called contour clips. This type of clip can be used by all hair types including thick hair and long hair. They are great for keeping the hair off the face and come in different sizes which can hold either a few fine strands, or larger chunks of hair.

Snap clips often come in bright colours or with different patterns. When I was researching snap clips I found that Claire’s had the largest variety of snap clips with various colours and designs. Since this hair clip type is popular among young kids, you can often find snap clips specifically designed for children.

The photograph below shows some of the snap clip designs available in Claire’s.

The snap clips available in Claire's.

The metallic and patterned snap clips below are available at Accessorize.

Metallic snap clips from Accessorize.
Patterned snap clips from Accessorize.

If you want some simple and basic snap clips, the ones below from Superdrug and Boots are a bit more discreet.

Black snap hair clips from Superdrug
Snap clips from boots
Snap clips from Boots
Snap clips from Muse in Boots.

5. Claw Clips

Claw clips are often mixed up with jaw clips. With claw clips the teeth come together but with jaw clips the teeth often overlap. Jaw clips are also usually much longer than claw clips.

Claw clips are one of the most popular types of hair clip available, and you can find them in lots of different colors and sizes. They are practical clips for keeping your hair off your face, and are able to hold large sections of hair.

Claw clips are a great choice for both long and short hair, and can be used to create a number of different hairstyles. The photographs below are just a selection of the claw clips I found in Claire’s, Accessorize, Boots and Superdrug.

A photograph of a black claw clip
Claw clip with flowers
Four different claw hair clip types
Black claw hair clip
Patterned claw hair clip
Small claw hair clip types
Basic claw hair clips
Brown non slip claw clip for the hair
Metallic claw hair clip
Beautiful green coloured claw clip
Black velvet square shaped claw clip

Useful Articles on Claw Clips

6. Jaw Clips

The selection of clips below are all jaw clips. These are longer than claw clips and usually have teeth that cross over. They are better suited to thicker hair types than claw clips. They would also be the best option for longer hair.

Long jaw hair clip
Shiny jaw hair clip
Jaw hair clip
Jaw hair clip for thicker longer hair
Clear plastic jaw hair clip
Oval jaw hair clip

7. Alligator Clips

Alligator hair clips are one of my favourite types of hair clip as they are great for keeping fine hair off your face. They can hold a lot of hair and one time and are very easy to use. The two options below are great if you just want a simple design. The first one is available in Claire’s, and the second is from Boots.

A selection of alligator hair clips
Alligator hair clips from Boots

8. French Barrette

Hair barrettes were my favourite type of hair clip when I was a teenager! They are great for creating half ponytail hairstyles, or even a sleek updo. They come in various different shapes and have a single piece of metal at the back on a hinge to secure the hair into place.

I used to use hair barrettes a lot when I was younger but as I’ve got older and my hair has become thinner I’ve found this type of clip tends to slide down my hair. I would recommend French barrettes for long or thick hair, but if you have thinner hair like me, these clips are not good at holding small, fine pieces of hair.

The four photographs below show the hair barrettes I found in Claire’s, Accessorize, and Superdrug.

French barrette hair clip with black and white flower design
Hair barrette
Brown hair barrette
Barette hair clips

9. Butterfly Clips

Butterfly hair clips were really popular back in the 90s. They only hold a small amount of hair, but they are great for holding small sections of braided or twisted hair. You can create a subtle twist with just one butterfly clip, or create a butterfly braid where you put several butterflies down the whole length of your hair.

Butterfly hair clips

Useful Articles on Butterfly Clips

10. Comb Hair Pins

Comb hair pins are good if you want to secure the top portion of your hair. I used to use them a lot when I was younger but, like with butterfly clips, found they were better suited to thicker hair. There are small comb pins available for fine hair types, or shorter hair. I’ve found that most of them are tortoiseshell coloured which might suit different brunette tones.

Comb hair pin

11. Pearl Hair Clips

Since hair clips with pearl designs are so popular I thought they deserved their own category! You can get pearl hair clips as snap clips, hair grips or on French barrettes. They are popular for brides, special occasions, or just for everyday use.

The photographs below show some of the types of clips I found which had pearl designs.

Pearl Hair Clips
Types of pearl hair clips

12. Duckbill Clips or Beak Clips

Duckbill clips or beak clips are shaped like a bird’s beak! This type of clip is often used by hairdressers to section off pieces of hair while styling or colouring. Duckbill clips are perfect for sectioning of small pieces of hair since they have a pointed end. This sharp point makes them good at precisely grasping thin or fine pieces of hair.

Duckbill clips can also be used to secure small sections of hair while you are applying products at home, or using hair straighteners. Personally I find that duckbill clips are really practical clips for providing a secure hold and keeping hair away from the face.

Duckbill or beak hair clip types
Duckbill hair clip
Beak hair clip
Duckbill hair clip

13. Geometric Shapes

Over the years I’ve tried out several different clips that were in geometric shapes. They tended to be metallic and minimalist with a simple pattern. They always secure at the back with a simple metal bar. I’ve found these types of clip don’t hold much hair but are good for creating a smart hairstyle for an important event.

Metal hair clips suit all hair textures and colours and can be found in a variety of shapes. The photograph below shows one of the geometric shaped hair clips I found in Claire’s.

Geometric shaped hair clip in star shape

14. Bow Hair Clip

Bow hair clips are sometimes called hair ribbon clips. They were really popular in the 90s, and are still popular today among young girls today. If you are looking to create more of a statement hairstyle, you might want to try a bow hair clip. You can them in various sizes and colours. The photograph below shows some beautiful sparkly bow clips that I found in Claire’s.

bow hair clips

15. Flower Hair Clip

Since flowers designs are so popular on hair clips, I thought they deserved their own category too! Hairstyles with flowers were popular in the 1960s. You can find a large variety of different hair clips with flower styles including claw clips and barrettes. The photograph below shows a flower hair clip I found in Accessorize.

Flower hair clips

16. Square Clips

I’ve noticed that square shaped hair clips are becoming more and more popular. They can be used to create a variety of styles and often come a claw clip design. The small square clips shown in the photograph below could be used to create a half ponytail. You can also get larger square clips which are good for creating a low ponytail.

Square hair clips

17. Heart Clip

Heart shaped hair clips come in many different designs. When I was researching hair clips I discovered some beautiful heart shaped hair clips in Accessorize that were in the same design as a butterfly clips (see the photograph below). These heart clips could be used to secure hair that has been braided or twisted, or to pin back bangs if you have thin or fine hair.

Heart hair clips

18. Mini Jaw Clip

If you have thin or fine hair like me, you might want to try mini jaw clips. They are good for pulling small portions of hair away from the face, or even for creating a messy bun. I found a few different types available including metallic designs and classic black (shown in the photographs below).

Mini jaw clip
Mini jaw hair clips
Small jaw clips

19. Tortoiseshell Clips

Tortoiseshell designs are very popular on hair clips, especially comb clips or barrettes. The photograph below shows a tortoiseshell barrette design. They suit all hair colours but as especially popular among brunettes.

Tortoiseshell Clip

20. Styling Clips

The clips shown in the photograph below are styling clips that a hair dresser might use when applying a product or styling sections of the hair. These clips are not designed to be used to create a hairstyle. Styling clips are good if you regularly use hair straighteners, or separate sections of the hair to apply products or hair dye.

The styling clips available in Boots are a non slip design so they will hold sections of hair securely in place. I found that they were quite large clips and think they would be better suited to thick or long hair. If you have fine hair like me, you can use small duckbill clips for styling as they work just as well.

styling clips

Further Reading on Hair Clip Types

This post covered the twenty most common types of hair clip that you can find in the shops. There are of course many other different types of hair accessory depending on the occasion or type of look you want to create. The following articles contain a selection of other hair clips that would suit specific occasions or hair types.

This post was all about Different Hair Clip Types

Thank you for reading my post on different hair clip types and their names. Please let me know in the comments which one is your favourite, or if you have found a different type of hair clip that I haven’t mentioned here.

Olivia Herlihy RN

Olivia is a hair and skincare enthusiast with over 10 years experience working in healthcare and over 5 years as a Registered Nurse. She gained an online following after creating a natural haircare routine which completely transformed her hair. Olivia has since written an eBook on Ayurvedic hair care to help others use the same formula to improve their own hair.

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