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Clawing their way back

modern golden accessories and-hair  clips envato
(Photo: Envato Elements)
Bethany Simko did not mean for claw clips to become her TikTok claim to fame. If it were not for one forgetful moment this summer, they might never have been.اضافة اعلان

Not all hair accessories are created equal. Finding a claw clip that works for your particular combination of head shape, hair texture, and length can be like searching for the Holy Grail. Less tough on hair than a typical elastic band, claw clips use a spring and teeth to hold hair up and in place. A classic style in the 1990s, the clips had fallen out of vogue until a resurgence in recent years, credited, in part, to an Alexander Wang runway show in 2018.

Simko had finally found the perfect clip. Just the right size and grip to hold all her hair in place. So when she left it at her date’s place in July, she did everything in her power to retrieve it.

“He ended up blocking me,” said Simko, 20, who lives in Austin, Texas. “I was so upset about my claw clip. I was like, ‘I don’t care if you block me, I just want my claw clip back.’”



But it was gone for good. Simko, an influencer who also runs her own social media management agency, then began documenting her search for an even holier grail of a clip on TikTok at the end of July.

Like an internet Goldilocks, Simko set out to find a clip that was just right. A day later, she posted the fourth TikTok video in her search series. In this particular TikTok video, Simko filmed herself visiting several stores, including discount chain Five Below, trying and failing at each location to replace her beloved clip.

The TikTok video, Simko said, quickly broke 1 million views. “I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, OK, we’re going; we’re doing the claw clip thing. This is my thing now.’” That view count is now up to 1.8 million.

Since then, Simko has tested dozens of clips, giving each one a shake test, whipping her hair back-and-forth to determine a clip’s staying power. She tracks each clip in a public spreadsheet, noting how well a particular accessory worked — or did not work — for a bun or ponytail.

She has gained 100,000 followers on TikTok since she began her claw clip journey, more than doubling her following in just over a month. This TikTok feedback only confirmed for  Simko what influencers and trend experts have been saying for months. The Y2K staple is back and, much like one of Simko’s top-rated clips, it is not budging.

Julianne Goldmark founded Emi Jay, a hair-accessories company, as a teenager in 2009 when she began making her own hair ties out of underwear elastic and selling them to her friends at school. The company that specializes in hair accessories is now popular with the likes of Swedish influencer Matilda Djerf and Hailey Bieber.



She has tracked the claw clip renaissance with the precision of someone whose entire business is predicated on knowing exactly which hair accessories are stylish and which make the back of one’s head look ridiculous. “Searches for claw clips and hair accessories are up 927 percent to last year,” Goldmark said.

However, the uptick in claw clip popularity began several years ago. Just before the pandemic began, Emi Jay released a large, biodegradable acetate claw clip branded as the Big Effing Clip and available in four colors.

“I hadn’t even seen claw clips on my radar,” Goldmark said. “It was my friends and I who had been wearing them just as a convenience thing, and we couldn’t find any that were cute, so we just made our own.” The small initial run of 400 clips sold out “instantly.” Priced at $34, it now comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including the Instagram-favorite checkerboard. For $86, shoppers can get their clips customized with their name in Swarovski crystals, a model that has been sported multiple times by Bella Hadid.

For shoppers looking for something even pricier, there are also options: a tortoiseshell piece from Balmain Hair Couture for $125. Celine has a trio of mini claw clips for $450. And a sleek $285 number with a shell-shaped handle from Sophie Buhai is sold out in all but one color.



But plastic, even by a fancier and purportedly eco-friendly name, is still plastic, and many brands offer a very similar style at a fraction of the price — and the result is an identical look from the front, where hair pulled up looks the same no matter how fancy the clip might be that you are wearing in the back.

On TikTok, the Kōv Essentials’ Daily Clip in size XL frequently and dramatically demonstrates just how much hair can fit inside it.

The range of options is what drew Jennifer Charan, a hairstylist in Toronto, back to claw clips. Growing up, Charan, who is West Indian, said she and her older sister coveted the look of Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green on “Friends” but could never find clips that could sufficiently hold her sister’s thick hair.

Now, a wider range of options means more people can participate in the trend, Charan said. “You’re running errands, you just throw a claw clip, and you just leave out a few pieces at the front. It just makes you look so put together, and it’s, like, so effortless,” she said.


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