Whether you grew your hair out, invested in weave and new wigs, or you’re styling your child’s hair, you’ve likely discovered that not all hair clips are made for long hair. This is because long hair has different needs than short or medium, and the thickness or type of hair you have counts too.
If there isn’t enough space inside the walls, the clip could snap. And if you have fine hair vs. thick, some gripping mechanisms may not hold as tightly. The same goes for the style you’re creating.
A ponytail needs less space than a hair clip French twist because there is less hair inside the clip. And that’s what this guide is here to help with.
Below you’ll find what to look for when selecting the right hair clips for long hair, the materials to consider, and the types of hair clips that may work best depending on your needs. To evaluate each we considered:
- Product materials
- Length and size
- Space in between the teeth or clasp
- Ability to grip
- Options to style
Go Nylon Over Plastic, or Choose Reinforced Plastics
Traditional and cheap plastics will snap more easily than something bendable and formulated for durability. That’s why innovative brands like us (TELETIES) create new materials that can accommodate all hair types. For example, we created a nearly indestructible and bendable nylon for our claw hair clips.
Having bendable materials vs. stiff plastics is important for long hair hair clips because long hair needs more space. Your hair puts pressure against the material holding it in place, and after the pressure has been applied over a larger amount of time, it snaps.
Bendable materials and smart design can work to distribute the pressure more evenly, or withstand the pressure for longer periods of time. This helps to extend the life of the hair clip, which is more important for people with long hair.
When choosing a claw clip for long hair, go with one that is at least four inches long and where the walls leave space for your hair to collect. Thick plastic does not mean longer life, the durability of the material does.
The teeth of the claw clip provide the grip, not the walls, and the more space your hair has to sit reduces the tension against the structure. Thicker plastics can mean less space to hold hair, and more pressure on the walls and teeth. Thinner materials leave more room, and some can be more durable than a cheap plastic.
Claw clips over four inches are perfect for long hair hairstyles like the French twist, a hair clip barbie ponytail, a hair bun, and half-up half-down styles. You can tuck the clip underneath for volume, or use an open hair clip to let your hair’s natural beauty shine through.
Bigger is better when it comes to snap clips. Unlike a claw hair clip which can expand with springs and wings, snap clips hold shut via a clasp so the amount of space available matters. And the thickness and type of hair you have does too.
A good starting point is to go with 3.5 inches or larger for most types of long hair. The most important thing when shopping is to look at the product specs on the website you’re shopping on. Look for the distance between the top and bottom of the snap and read customer reviews.
If you have fine hair you'll need less room in the clip to hold so you’re likely good to go with 3.5 inches. Thick hair takes up more and you’ll want more space between the bottom and top. Straight hair can lay flat, where wavy or curly hair takes up more space.
Still stuck? Go to a local store and try some out if you can, or ask your hairdresser to recommend some brands and sizes next time you go for a trim.
Pro-tip: Take a notepad and pen, or use your smartphone to take photos of the sizes so you have a record of what does and does not work.
The last thing to consider with snap clips is where you’re wearing them. Bangs and the front of your hair don’t change much, so go with the style and size you like. Using snap hair clips in the back for half-up half-down looks is where you’ll run into issues. This is because you have more hair in the back that needs held vs. your bangs which are likely standard lengths.
Flat Hair Clips
Snap clips aren’t always best, they’re hard to use and can take two hands. That’s where flat claw clips come in. Flat clips do not have as much space in between the wings as traditional claw hair clips, so you want to start at 4.5 inches or larger for long hair. This lets your hair expand out along the clip because it won’t be able to fill the void between the sides like they do in traditional claw clips.
If you’re doing styles like a twist, you may need two clips as your hair will need held in place both at the bottom and the top. Try angling them horizontally if you want to add some extra style, and if you plan on laying down like during a pilates or yoga class, wear them horizontal so they sit comfortably with the shape of your head as you lay back.
With bobby pins the size only matters based on how you’re using them. If they’re in a chignon bun and you’re using them to support the style, they need more space so jumbo and large sizes are vital, start at 2.5inches. If it is for bangs and straight hair, then go with the standard sizes you’d use as they don’t need to hold length or volume. It is more about your hair being able to distribute along the length vs. filling in the gap so the bobby pin can clamp your locks into place.
Picking hair clips for long hair is all about the size of the space in the clip so it can support your hair without breaking, and the durability and flexibility of the materials. If you found this guide helpful, subscribe to our blog for long hair styling guides, hair care tips, and more.