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Not all hair clips are created equal – how to choose good quality hair accessories


hair clasp spring

Not All Hair
Clips Are Created Equal


Melissa Hill from

How to Test for the
Best Hair Accessories


Have you ever bought a
beautiful hair clip, only to have it break after a few outings? What good
is a lovely decoration if the clip won’t hold your hair? Melissa Hill
offers advice on how to select a great
quality hair accessories.

1. Test barrettes and clamp springs
before putting them in your hair. Not all clip mechanisms are the same.

Bargain clips are often made with aluminium, which is lightweight and
breaks very easily. When you put your hair in a barrette or clamp, the
mechanism comes under a great deal of tension. So if the clip can’t take
the stress, it will soon break under pressure.

A good quality barrette,
when snapped open, should spring open smoothly, with a medium
pitched ping.

Aluminium barrettes will spring open very quickly and
shudder when snapped open and have a much higher pitched noise when

When you open and release a hair clamp or claw, the harder
you have to press, the stronger the spring and the longer it will

hair barrette


spring clamps for hair


2. Test for finished

A cheap clip will have rough unfinished edges, which you can
feel with your finger. These are sharp and can snag or even cut into
your hair, leading to split ends.

A good quality barrette should
feel solid and smooth to the touch. With clamps and claws, the teeth
should be softly rounded and finished to protect your hair.

3. Plastic decoration should have some
to absorb the tension of the barrette or spring.

Gently flex
the decoration if it is plastic. High quality polymers will give slightly
and return to position easily. Lower quality plastic can feel stiff, and
over time will be come brittle.

4. Check for glue blobs. Decorations
that have been glued badly to the mechanism will break pretty

5. For hair elastics,
stretch them out several times

Cheap elastics will go baggy, or
even break, straight away.

Good quality elastics will stretch only
very slightly under this treatment, but will essentially retain
their shape time and again.

hair elastics

With hair accessories you get what
you pay for. An expensive hair clip is not expensive if you are able to
enjoy it for years to come.