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The Claw: How '90s Claw Clips Took Over the 2020s — Get The Look

clawclip
Source: Getty Images

Jun. 3 2022, Published 6:26 p.m. ET

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Just like low-rise jeans, middle parts and sheer dresses, it seems the claw clip — the chunky, plastic hair accessory beloved by moms and movie stars alike throughout the '90s — is the latest throwback style to receive a much-needed rebrand. Over the past several years, the trend has gone from a bygone memory to recapturing its pre-Y2K glory, appearing on stars like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber, while serving as an integral element of TikTok's viral "clean girl" aesthetic.

"I think the big, exaggerated claw clip is on trend because fashion and hair dictate each other and we're all just reminiscing about another time right now," celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson explained to InStyle last December. "The clip can bring out a fun hairdo, and I love that it's versatile in the way that you can use it."

On a more practical level, Maddie Borish, Director of Strategy and Product Development at hair accessories company France Lux, said that the style perfectly dovetails with several existing trends.

"I think it coincided with the slicked back hair trend, which looks very good with a sleek giant clip," Borish, told Vox of the style last autumn. "A lot of major celebrities, like Bella Hadid, were going for that look," she explained.

The move to remote work, she said, only fueled this accessory's popularity. "And then with the whole work-from-home aspect, I think people gravitate to jaw clips because it stands out, and it's a fun accessory that makes you look more put together on Zoom calls," Borish added.

But unlike the other staples of pandemic era trends — the pricey bottles of Olaplex, tailored blazers, and minimalist designer bags, that are seemingly integral to the model-off-duty/"clean girl" fashion movement, — claw clips offer a unique accessibility, coming in seemingly as many price points as it does patterns.

While Balmain's take on the hair accessory will set you back $97 at Saks Fifth Avenue, retailers like Target and CVS also carry the clips, oftentimes for less than $10, affordability that has helped skyrocket the trend around the country — and even our own office.

Amid the unique mix of personal styles in OK!'s downtown Manhattan workplace— the way smiley-face-print jeans, structured sweater dresses, and Bart Simpson-clad denim jackets all effortlessly coexist at our writers' table — there is one accessory the entire staff can seemingly agree upon: Claw clips, a clear testimony to their ease and ubiquity.

"I think they are just so easy to throw in your hair," OK!'s Deputy Editor Nikki Schuster explains of the accessory. "They're perfect for on-the-go, you can wear it going out at night and it looks cute and stylish, and if you don't wanna do your hair in the morning before work, it still looks professional."

But Schuster isn't the only one of OK!'s writers in awe of their convenience.

"I think the convenience is a huge thing," Karli Poliziani, OK!'s E-Commerce Director explains. "You can just pick it up at your local drugstore, so it's very convenient. It's not really costly and I feel like it's a foolproof trend, the fact that everyone has different hair types and still uses them."

"If you see a girl with a claw clip, she has things to do," Molly Goddard, OK!'s Multimedia Producer explains. "She's got a list. She's going here, she's going there, we gotta get things done," she continues that people wear them with a "big 'ol hoop."

But whether you wear them with your favorite earrings like Goddard, a Harry Styles sweatshirt like Schuster, or sport the accessory as an everyday must-have like Poliziani — who is largely credited with launching the trend's in-office popularity — Claw Clips are officially back, and seemingly bigger than ever.

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balmain
Source: Saks Fifth Avenue

Balmain Hair Couture's Pince À Cheveux Medium Hair Claw Clip retails for $97 at saksfifthavenue.com.

scuni
Source: CVS

Scunci's Jaw Clips retail for $3.49 at cvs.com

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