In this world of complicated curling irons and styling tools, the trusty and all-too-often overlooked jaw clip offers a versatile and stylish hair fix for women on a time budget. This lightweight, plastic accessory comes in a multitude of sizes and colors -- from tiny and neon to hefty and neutral. Also known as a claw clip, the little jaws clamp onto hair and quickly secure nearly any texture or length into place.
Classic Long Twist
A long, luscious twist gets long hair out of the way in a flash and utilizes a large jaw clip. Gather your hair into a single ponytail at the nape of your neck. Twist the hair in one direction to create a tidy, twisted rope leaving a few inches of free hair at the end.
Hold firmly onto the end of the twist. Pull it upwards to sit on the back of your head. Tuck in the free ends behind the twisted rope of hair. Grab the large claw clip, open the jaws and wrap them around the twist. Allow the teeth to sink into the hair to secure the twist into place.
Women with fine or short hair have little use for the large variety of jaw clip. In this case, invest in small 1/2-inch jaw clips. Separate a 1-inch section of hair near your right temple. Twist into a small rope and continue to twist for a few inches. Clip the twist into place with the small jaw clip.
Repeat this process with 1-inch sections of hair all along your hairline to get shorter pieces out of your face or to add extra texture at the top of your head.
Small jaw clips create elegant, subtle buns, especially if you have thick, long hair that rebels against bobby pins. Pull your hair into a tidy ponytail at the crown of your head and smooth out any lumps or bumps with a bristle brush.
Twist the ponytail into a tidy rope and wrap around into a neat bun. Tuck the ends of your hair underneath the bun. Grab a small jaw clip, open the jaws, and wrap one jaw around the bottom edge of the bun and the other edge onto the hair on your scalp. Close the clip down to secure. Repeat with the additional clips about five times around the perimeter of the bun.
Bump It Up
Medium to long hair requires a lot of attention. That’s when an elegant up-do that secretly utilizes a medium jaw clip comes to the rescue. Spritz your hair with a dry shampoo or texturizer. Smooth your strands with your fingers and collect the hair into a loose ponytail at the back of your head.
Twist the ponytail a couple of times and flip the twisted section up so that it lays flat on the back of your head and the ends are sticking up. Place the jaw clip over the twisted section to secure the look in place. Release the remaining hair down and over the jaw clip to hide it.
Reposition the loose hair pieces around the jaw clip to create a messy, retro up-do. For a tidier look, tuck in any long or unruly pieces and pin underneath the twist. Pull out a few pieces of hair to frame your face and to create subtle texture.
Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.