There are a million different kinds of girls hair accessories on the market and it’s hard to figure out which kind will work best for your little girl, not to mention, unless you make them yourself, who really knows what the heck the difference is between the different clips – alligator, French barrette, snap clips, huh?! Well, depending on what you want to do with them, there are definitely some that will work better than others for what you need so it’s a good idea to have an idea of what each type of hair accessory is meant for so you can make the best choice.
The most commonly used girls hair accessory is the alligator clip. The reason it’s called the alligator clip is because it looks just like an alligator’s mouth. You press one end and it opens up. They are usually made of metal and come in a range of sizes, typically 1-1/4″ to 2″. They are very easy to put in so pretty much hassle free for moms. Many are made with ‘no-slip grips’ so they shouldn’t fall out of even fine hair and are harder for your little one to get out. You can get these clips in a simple and elegant style, made just with ribbon, or frilly and fancy with bows. They work in all types of hair and are great for keeping hair out your little girl’s face, especially if she’s growing out her bangs!
Another kind of clip is called the snap clip. This just basically snaps in place. You will find a lot of baby and girls’ hair accessories are made with the snap clip. I find these are harder to get in because they don’t open up nearly as wide as the alligator clips, but they are perfect for the babies with just peach fuzz or less than 1 inch of hair. You can certainly get them in bigger sizes (they typically range from 1″ to 4″) for for bigger kids too, but they’ve never been my favorite type of clip for anything other than accessorizing. They are lots though that are super cute with bows and things, but they’re really meant more for adding to a cute hairstyle than to actually hold hair back.
The next kind of popular girls hair accessory is the barrette, sometimes called French barrette. These are especially good for the older girls with more hair. Barrettes are different than alligator clips because they close at both ends and actually snap together. This holds a secure section of hair, even up to the amount of a a pony tail. They come in a range of sizes as well. They are great for thick hair and for holding a more defined section of hair.
Another type of clip is the jaw clip. These come in a large variety of sizes, from tiny, ‘mini’ jaw clips that can go even in young toddler’s hair to big clips that moms can use instead of wearing a pony. These are great to take whole sections of hair and keep it out of the way or to just clip back either side or both. The little minis are great even for moms just to pull back a narrow section on each side for a trendy, casual look.
Beyond the clips and barrettes there’s of course the headbands and elastics. I’m sure you already know what these are! One thing you may not know is that headbands are also great for those little babies with barely-there hair if you don’t want to go the clip route. You can get fabric or crocheted headbands with pretty flowers on them and they go around the head front-to-back rather than the usual way. You may especially want to try this if you’re tired of hearing “what a cute boy you have” over and over again! We’ve come a long way from when my mother would tape a bow on my bald head, not a pretty bow mind you, but one of those ones that you use on presents!
For the older girls headbands are meant to go on top of the head of course, and either end at the ears if it’s a hard plastic one, or go all the way around the head if it’s fabric. These are probably the easiest route for the older girl trying to grow out her bangs!
So there you have it. Now you’re all set to go shopping for the perfect girls hair accessories! Have fun!