natalie live styling hair 

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Live

In order to achieve certain styles, you have to incorporate products and tools. People often pay close attention to the products and not the tools, but they are equally important. An important tool that aids in the washing and styling process are hair clips.

Hair clips are used to ease the process of washing and styling by holding the hair in workable parts. The density and shrinkage of natural hair can be frustrating to manage without using hair clips to organize it. Below is a list of hair clips that can be used to help organize your hair while washing and styling.

prong clips

Prong clips

These shiny silver clips are commonly used during the installation and maintenance process of locs by helping to secure the roots while they are drying after being re-twisted. They are also used for pin curls. Once someone straightens and curls their hair, it is not necessary to apply more heat in order to maintain curls. Pin curls help the hair to set the hair without heat. Double prong clips are great for holding roller sets, as they secure the hair on the rollers and prevent it from unraveling.

Use prong clips when:

  • re-twisting locs
  • creating pin curls
  • setting roller sets

croc hair clips

Croc hair clips

These clips are great for sectioning large amounts of hair. Sectioning with these clips will help to expedite the process of detangling and styling, especially when trying to achieve a blow out. Since these clips have a longer bill, they are great for gripping large sections of hair. These types of clips are recommended for highly dense or coarse hair.

Use these clips to section hair when:

  • detangling
  • styling
  • blowouts

butterfly clamps

Butterfly clamps

These clips serve the same purpose of croc clips. They are excellent for keeping the hair divided by sections, but they lack the long bill in order to grip a large section of hair. Butterfly clips offer a stronger hold than duckbill clips because the clips have small teeth, enabling it to better grip the hair. This clip is best used on medium to small sections. If you are tender-headed, then butterfly clips may put too much tension on the scalp. To avoid this make sure to not secure them on the roots.

Use these for:

  • medium to small sections

duckbill clips

Duckbill clips

These clips are used to hold small pieces of hair out of the way. They are often used in a subsection. For example, if you have divided a section in half and then into a quarters. Duckbill clips can be used to divide that one section into smaller, workable sections.

Duckbill clips are best for:

  • small sections and subsections

wave clamps

Wave clamps

These clamps serve the same purpose as duckbill clips, however, they have additional purposes and a different structure. These clips are small with perforations. This design was created to help achieve finger waves and body waves.

Best used for:

  • small sections
  • finger waves & body waves
Wave clamp tutorial

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There you have it! You no longer have to wonder why certain clips don’t work for you. Which are your favorites? 

Deidre Mathis


I've been natural for 3 and a half years now. My hair type is 4a/4b. I usually see the glass half full and have a passion for writing. I love natural hair and love researching ways to care or add to the life changing experience of embracing natural hair.

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