Skip to main content

10th May 2021

Why are we so obsessed with claw clips?

The claw clip has become 2021’s go-to hairstyle, so we decided to explore the resurgence of this new trend
Why are we so obsessed with claw clips?
Photo: ImageParty @Pixabay

Forbes magazine dubbed the iconic 90s claw clip THE hair accessory of 2021, so it’s about time we explored the resurgence of this new trend.

Is it, like the rise of athleisure and the comeback of crocs, a trend born out of our post-lockdown lives? With the world becoming more casual in its dress sense, attending uni meetings in pyjamas, or, if you’re a bit more professional, in trackies, it makes sense that ‘the hair accessory of 2021‘ is grounded in comfort rather than formality.

Thinking about it, the claw clip pretty much ticks every box.

Firstly, it indirectly jumps on the wave of sustainability

There’s nothing worse than buying a 100-pack of hairbands only to be magically left with two a few weeks later. Instead, by wearing a claw clip you’re essentially buying a reusable hair band – one which is less likely to go walkabout at concerts, girls’ toilets at nightclubs, and wherever else those things wind up.

Secondly, the clip is better for your barnet

A tight elastic band can cause damage and break your hair. Or, they inevitably get so tangled that you either rip it out (along with a clump of hair) or Edward-Scissorhands yourself free. We’ve all been there.

Claw clips are a gentle alternative to the infamous Tumblr-worthy messy bun. I guess we’ve all grown up and moved on from American Apparel’s velvet scrunchies now.

Thirdly, it’s a bit more sophisticated

Unlike the more childish accessories and styles that have previously popped up following our new obsession with fashion nostalgia, such as space buns and butterfly clips, the claw clip breathes an air of maturity. Something about it looks put together without trying too hard. Hair in your face? Claw clip! Greasy hair? Claw clip! Can’t be arsed? Claw clip!

Photo: Ina Hall @Pixabay

I previously associated the accessory with mums or protagonists from awkward mid-2000’s rom-coms. The clips were purely functional when I was a kid. I remember seeing my mum throw up her locks in one speedy action as she was balancing a phone on her shoulder and shopping bags in her hand. But now, figureheads of this revived trend include the likes of Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Devon Lee Carlson. It’s no longer purely utilitarian. There is something so effortless about this style, and I guess that’s where its popularity lies – in its versatility.

I remember when you could get a pack of six for a quid in any pharmacy, Boots, or Superdrug. They were right next to the cough sweets and blister plasters as if they were just as functional. But now, a singular claw clip can go for anything from a tenner to over £50!

The latest claw clips have completely revamped the plain black style I used to associate with my mum in the 90’s. From a messy Bridgette Bardot-style updo, to a sleek and spiky bun similar to Bella Hadid’s, there are many ways to adapt this piece to whichever aesthetic you’re into.

From tortoise-shell to tacky rhinestones, muted block colours to bright patterns, the claw clip has fast become a go-to in a lot of people’s tote bags and accessory stashes.

If you’re yet to buy this clip, or you simply want to keep adding to your collection, opt for smaller businesses, independent boutiques, or secondhand outlets instead of big chains. Think Etsy, charity shops, and (of course) your mum’s dressing table.

More Coverage

Hair, makeup and costume design nominees at the 2024 Academy Awards

Who has been celebrated for exceptional hair, makeup and costume design at the Academy Awards 2024… and who was snubbed?

Devils wear Prada: A retrospective look at the iconic F/W 2012 menswear collection

With the 2024 fashion calendar now in full swing and the hype of the BAFTA’s still present, we reflect on one of the most cinematic catwalks in fashion history

Men’s fashion is finally having its moment during the 2024 awards season

Are we finally seeing some creativity in men’s award show fashion? The experimental cuts and colour on show at the latest BAFTAs and Golden Globes red carpets suggest so

2016 makeup is back, and so is creativity

With 2016 makeup trending on social media, we’re looking back to a simpler time and re-injecting creativity into today’s ‘clean girl’ era