'90s-Inspired Hair Clips Are Back—Here's How to Style Them

Stylists give pro tips on wearing these nostalgic hair accessories.

<p>Antoine Rouleau/Getty Images</p>

Antoine Rouleau/Getty Images

From fashion to interior decor to beauty, you’re apt to get a dose of the ‘90s in pretty much every direction you look right now. The hair department is one of the most notable places the decade’s made a resurgence both in terms of hairstyles and accessorizing. In fact, butterfly clips and banana claws and scrunchies were hallmarks of the ‘90s, and that same affection for playful ornamentation is alive and well today. For best practice tips, We asked hairstylists to share their best advice on how to style ‘90s-inspired hair clips.

RELATED: The Midi Flick Haircut Is Your Favorite '90s Hair Trend Reincarnated

4 Ways to Style Butterfly Clips

Butterfly clips get their name because they’re shaped like, you guessed it, little butterflies. These small accessories are considered decorative, but they also have some utility.

“You can get them in different colors and designs, and they are a great and fun way of elevating your hairstyle being playful, fun, and on-trend if you’re looking for ways of styling your hair over spring summer,” says celebrity stylist Kieron Justin.

You can use butterfly clips many different ways, but here are a few faves to try:

  • Tiny Twists: Pull three to seven small sections of hair from the hairline and then secure at the crown with a butterfly clip. “They should look uniform and in running order,” notes Justin.

  • Updo Decor: Channel Pamela Anderson and use your butterfly clips to dress up an updo. This look’s been replayed recently by Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, and Hailey Bieber.

  • Single Butterfly: Gently twist a section of hair on one side of the face and pull it back and up just beyond your ear, then secure with the butterfly clip.

  • Festival Hair: “Butterfly clips can be attached to festival hair like pigtails, space buns, braids, hair knots, ponies, and sleek side partings,” says Justin.

Opt for retro-tastic options like the Scunci Butterfly Bright Colors Mini Jaw Clips ($5; Target) or go more modern with something like The Hair Edit Mini Butterfly Claw Clips ($10; Ulta).

4 Ways to Style Snap Clips

Snap clips were another staple hair accessory in the ‘90s that are enjoying a reprise. Glenn Ellis, a Los Angeles based celebrity hair stylist, says they’re basically barrettes, only they have a bit more staying power and tend to hold smaller sections of hair.

Like butterfly clips, they come in a ton of different options ranging from simple silver and gold to statement-making clips with lots of pizazz. They’re also equal parts stylish and practical, which makes them a pretty versatile must-have.

For styling tips, try these techniques:

  • Fasten Fringe: “They are super cute when styled in the front of the hair to clip back your fringe,” says Ellis. In addition to keeping hair out of your face, it can also help tame flyaways!

  • Slick Back: Part your hair in the center, then slick pieces of hair back on either side of your face and secure with a clip.

  • Stacked: For a more editorial look, Ellis recommends stacking a series of clips on top of each other at the side of your head. You can do this with your hair down or in a low bun or ponytail.

  • Asymmetrical: “Snap clips can also be used to clip one side back,” says Justin.

Keep it simple with the Kitsch Matte Enamel Snap Clips ($8; Ulta), or try something more festive a la Free People’s Sixties Mod Barrettes ($16; Free People).

4 Ways to Style a Claw Hair Clip

The claw clip was mainstay in the ‘90s and all the way through the 2000s. It didn’t really fade out of favor too much after that, but has enjoyed a notable reprise in the last year or so.

There are so many ways you can wear this clip depending on your preference, Justin adds, but effortless and cool is a must. The more low key, the better. Here are a handful of techniques the pass the vibe check:

  • Banana French Twist: This style was a classic ‘90s go-to. Simply pull your hair back as if creating a low pony and then twist at the nape. Continue twisting while pulling your hair up the back of your head to create a sort of French twist. Cinch the hair in the clip. Justin says, “Let the ends fall over the clip to create a soft, playful drape that looks cool, effortless, and classy.”

  • Half-Up Twist: Same idea as before, only just pull back the upper half of your hair and secure. “Try pulling soft little tendril pieces out around the face to give a cool girl feel,” says Justin. For the half-up option, choose a smaller size hair claw.

If you prefer subdued designs, the Kitsch Neutrals Recycled Plastic Chain Claw Clip ($9; Ulta) is a good option. To make more of a splash, check out A New Day’s Cloud Shaped Iridescent Claw Hair Clip ($5, Target), which comes in lime green, light blue, and orange.

How to Style a Banana Clip

Not to be confused with a hair claw, the banana clip is a C-shaped clip that’s more discreet, lays flat, and can help make a ponytail look fuller and longer. Check out the Kitsch Banana Clips ($10; Ulta) to get a better feel for the difference.

“It helps to discreetly gather the hair and secure it away from the face. Once placed, you can then create a style off the secured foundation. ” explains Justin. “For example, you could work an updo and pin areas, or you can leave the hair down from the secured clip and it will give a loose pretty pony effect.” 

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