Are Claw Clips Bad for Your Hair?

woman wearing a claw clip

No, your imagination isn’t deceiving you, claw clips are definitely enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment.

Whether it’s the TikTok or Instagram effect, or whether it’s just a sign of circular fashion trends, claw clips are fast becoming one of the most popular hair accessories of 2024.

But in spite of their popularity, there are some questions around how claw clips can affect your hair and whether they can, in fact, cause damage to your hair.

In this article, we’ll tackle the big questions around claw clips being bad for your hair, provide some actionable tips to get the most out of your claw clips, and find out more about the types of hair that are most suitable for clips.

What are claw clips?

Claw clips, butterfly clips or jaw clips as some people prefer to call them, are hair clips that have two sides that come together to form that instantly recognisable shape that resembles two hands clasping together.

Claw clips are an essential hair accessory for on-the-go hairstyles. Because they are so easy to use and provide plenty of versatility with styling, they have become somewhat synonymous with effortless style. 

Depending on their quality and purpose, claw clips can be made out of acetate (plastic), metal, or even other slightly more exotic materials like wood or ceramic.

Just like any hair accessory, there are boujee claw clips that keep your hair look amazing on your brunch escapades, and then there are utilitarian hair clips that you can use to throw your hair into a messy knot and get to work around the house (so to speak). Whether you’re going for fashion or function, the basic design of claw clips is more or less the same.


Can claw clips damage your hair?

So, claw clip essentials out of the way, let’s get to the question at hand. Can claw clips damage your hair and is there any risk of lasting effects from continued use?

In a word, no.

Let’s put an end to this myth of claw clips causing damage to your hair here and now.

Hair claw clips are, in most cases, an easy way to style or pull back your hair without any risk of causing damage.

Not only are claw clips a great way to secure your hair, but they are also arguably much gentler than using a hair tie which can pull back your hair, cause snags, and even cause tension headaches.

Sure, we get it, you get a mini facelift if you’re willing to put your hair in some temporary agony, but in most cases, hair ties are the culprit of damaged hair.

Think of claw clips as a way of keeping your hair where it’s supposed to be – not a way of forcing your scalp into an unnatural position to accommodate your hair.


Tips to avoid damaging your hair with hair clips

 Ok, so hair claw clips do not cause damage to your hair. But what are some things that you can do to ensure that you’re not damaging your hair?

So glad you asked! Let’s go through it.

First off, hair clips will either have a gentle, non-sharp edge like you get in cellulose acetate, or, alternatively they will have a rubber coating. Both have their pros and cons, and unlike when you spec jewellery, you don’t really get to choose.

The way that the hair clip is made and the materials that are used will determine whether or not rubber is used in the claw or it’s simply a continuation of the material that you find in the clip. In any case, the material is there for a reason.

If, for whatever reason, the rubber disappears or the acetate that holds then hair becomes sharp or worn, then that’s where you may run into some problems. We can’t stress this enough – the material that holds the hair can cause damage if it becomes worn or does not have a gentle coating, so just make sure that this is the case.

Another tip to keep claw clips from damaging your hair is the same tip that you can use for just about every hair accessory – never go too tight. Like we said, the mini-facelift temptation is real, but it’s a big no-no for healthy hair and scalp.

Going too tight with hair accessories, especially claw clips, can cause tension headaches, hair breakage, and even hair loss or a receding hairline from constant pulling. The same goes for any hair accessory, if you can feel it actively pulling your scalp or hair to a degree that your skin is being pulled back, then it’s time to reassess.


Are claw clips suitable for all hair types?

 Claw clips are, pretty much without exception, one of the best hair accessories for all hair types. Whether you have thick curly locks or straight hair (naturally or otherwise) hair clips are an essential hair styling accessory.

For those with thin or fine hair, claw clips are a perfect way to add volume and texture. Claw clips let you tease the hair at the crown of the head before securing it in place for all-day comfort and effortless volume and texture.

When you’re styling your hair with a claw clip, it’s important to make sure that your hair is dry. Wet hair can be vulnerable to damage as it stretches more easily, so just make sure that your hair is completely dry before applying a claw clip to avoid damaged strands or weakened roots.

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