Straight from 2000s: latest fashion ‘it’ piece is the £3 claw clip

Celebrities, TikTok and working from home bring hair accessory back to the fore

Fashion’s latest “it” accessory doesn’t come with a three-figure price tag, and it isn’t sold at exclusive boutiques. In fact, the claw clip can be found in most pharmacies nationwide and costs about £3.

The springed hair grip, with teeth to hold hair in place, is familiar to most women as a way to pin long hair up out of their face. But it isn’t usually perceived as glamorous or as part of a fashion trend. That changed when models including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber started wearing the clip, and after it became the subject of hair tutorials on TikTok.

Videos with the hashtag #clawclip have been viewed 242.6m times on the app. Asos reports that in the past five months they have sold 240,000 claw clips, with sales up 57% since the autumn of 2020.

The website Refinery29 featured an article this week about ways to wear the claw clip, partly based on tips found on social media.

The site’s beauty editor, Jacqueline Kilikita, says the popularity of the clip comes from various factors. Because claw clips were popular in the early 2000s, they are part of the wider Y2K trend – which also saw scrunchies make a comeback – but more people working from home was also a factor. “The majority of us were – and still are – looking for easy, low-maintenance hairstyles that look chic, and take mere seconds to achieve at home without the need for heat styling or various hair products.”

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in Friends.
David Schwimmer as Ross Geller and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in Friends. Photograph: NBC/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

While Kilikita acknowledges the impact of celebrities wearing the claw clip, she says the fact it is so “everyday” means it will be adopted by many more women. “You don’t need to be an expert to achieve the accidentally perfect look,” she says.

This easiness of the claw clip may be why it’s so popular on TikTok, where videos frequently go viral without a famous name attached to them. “It’s equally as wearable for us mere mortals, as TikTok’s beauty content creators have demonstrated,” says Kilikita.

She points to the variety of videos on the app, from French twists to low buns, and the tutorials across demographics: “There’s a claw clip for all styles, whether the twist or bun, as well as all hair types and textures.”


Lauren Cochrane

The GuardianTramp

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