We all know and use several hair clip types, but do we all really know what each of them is called? Today’s post is a primer in hair clips, from headbands to barrettes, to jaw clips and banana clips. We’ll accompany each item on our must-try list with a styling tip dedicated to the long fun summer ahead. Enjoy it!

·        The serrated headband / stretch comb

Flexi comb in white and black

To the great surprise of many fashion experts, the serrated headband made a huge comeback on the S/S ’15 runways. What used to be a cheap alternative for keeping hair off your face is turning into a sort of statement piece this year – or at least so it seems. The stretch comb, which is basically a crossbreed between a headband and a hair comb, has come to be equated with mid-90s grunge culture, so if you’re into the rock chic revival esthetic, then, by all means, give it a go. Just don’t splurge on an item like this. Never. We mean it.

Summertime tip: Unless you’re really edgy and want to pair a serrated headband with a pair of combat boots in July, stick to using these for casual afternoons, housework, running errands, and playing sports.

·        Barrettes

Hair barrette adorned with sparkling jewels

There are so many different styles of barrettes that we won’t go into too much detail or try to recommend one. Just go with one that suits your hair length and weight. If you have long, heavy hair, stick with a large barrette. However, these tend to look great on short to medium-length hair, and all the more so when they’re subtle and nearly invisible.

Summertime tip: For a quick hair fix, especially when you’ve got short-ish hair, opt to invest in a pricier barrette that is tastefully embellished. Wear it close to the crown of your hair, to draw attention to both your hair and your facial features. It will look like a small tiara.

·        The French comb / hair comb

Strawberry blond chignon of a bride seen from the back, affixed with French comb

This elegant type of hair clip is a bit more difficult to work than the rest of the options on our list. The thing with using a hair comb the right way is that it’s completely counterintuitive. You need to put them in upside down and the other way around and then twist them up and around to secure them into place. They can get your hair pretty messed up, if it has a natural tendency to get tangled, but, on the other hand, they’re great for demure, feminine looks. If you can afford the pricier option of a hand-sawn comb, we say go for it.

Summertime tip: A hair comb is a perfect way to get all dolled up before a big date night during the summer, when you want some (but not all) of your hair framing your face. However, we do recommend that you practice using them a few times before the actual big event.

·        Jaw clips

Set of six classic hair accessories in various colors

This type of hair clip is your best option when you’ve got mid-length to long hair and you want to keep those pesky strands of hair from constantly getting in your face. They come in all shapes and sizes, from those which could keep hair that’s down to your waist pulled up, to mini clips. They’re exceptionally good to use in the shower, or when the weather is ultra-hot outside. Before you purchase one, check out how close together their teeth are. The finer your hair, the closer together you will want them to be.

Summertime tip: Pull your hair back into a ponytail and secure it with an elastic band. Then, remove all extra strands from your face with a set of well positioned mini jaw clips.

·        Snap clips

Rainbow colored snap clips arranged in semi circle

Usually, this is what we visualize when we say ‘hair clip’: the banal, but oh-so useful snap clip. You can see them worn by kids, often in great excess, in their more colorful variants. They’re a good alternative to jaw clips, in the sense that they serve much of the same purpose, because of their small size. However, they stick closer to the scalp and are hence easier to style. Don’t try to make them work with a sophisticated up-do for a special occasion – try to replace them with hair pins, which are far more subtle and hard to spot.

Summertime tip: Use snap clips when going out for a jog on those cool summer mornings or evenings. Secure loose strands of hair when going out for a casual walk, or when doing some chores. Otherwise, opt for a more adult alternative in social situations.

·        Banana clips

Calico banana hair clip, large size

The self-explanatory name of this hair clip category doesn’t leave much to be explained. They come in all sizes and colors but are always curved and open at one of their two ends. They’re a great way to snap your hair up and keep it off your neck, especially if you’ve got thick, coarse, and/or long hair. You can also use them to pull off a French twist, which makes them somewhat appropriate for a more dressy occasion. Bear in mind that you’ll need to have at least mid-length hair to fasten it with a banana clip.

Summertime tip: If you’re rushing to walk out the door, at the end of a long summer day at the office, simply hop into your favorite dress or skirt + t-shirt combo and snap your hair into a pony tail. It will look effortlessly chic – because it really is effortless! If your hair is long enough to allow it, you can also try a French twist.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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