History of hair claw clip accessories

The Fascinating History Of The Hair Claw Clip

We all know and love claw clips and couldn’t do without them in our daily hairstyling. But have you ever thought about their origin?


by Chris

Back in 3 000 B.C. ancient Egyptians dyed their hair with henna and decorated it with combs, which were considered pieces of art and symbols of status. The combs would be adorned in precious stones, pearls and portraits. In Japan women would use combs to brush their black hair as combs were considered to gather each strand’s spiritual energy. Meanwhile in the Chinese culture giving a comb to a loved one was a romantic promise which meant «I want to be with you until we get old together».

Onchi Koshiro. Mirror. 1930 | Ukiyo-e

Nowadays it is already almost impossible to identify who created hairpins and combs. However, they were the ancestors of our beloved claw clips, which were invented only in the 20th century in Oyonnax in the heart of France. Designer Christian Potut came up with the brilliant idea of an iconic claw clip in 80s. The clip was suitable for all hair types and textures. «One day I kept crossing and uncrossing my fingers», said Christian. «And that’s when I had my lightbulb moment. I told myself that if I sold combs and clips, why not combine the two?’» Potut’s invention could be seen everywhere — in the streets, at fashion shows and, finally, in movies.

Gwyneth Paltrow history of hair claw clip
Gwyneth Paltrow in Great Expectations | Shutterstock

We have to thank pop-culture for the worldwide fame it brought to the claw clip. Sarah Jessica Parker wore a light pink claw clip in the 1985 musical comedy «Girls Just Want to Have Fun». Do you remember the favorite hairstyle of Jennifer Aniston as Nina Borowski in «The object of my affection»? The iconic looks of Erin Brockovich or Gwyneth Paltrow in Great Expectations also were involved a claw slip. And we shouldn’t, of course, forget Alicia Silverstone in «Clueless» with her gorgeous claw clip collection — moreover, you might spot them in every late 1990s or early 2000s romcom.

Sarah Jessica Parker history of hair claw clip
Sarah Jessica Parker in Girls Just Want to Have Fun | Shutterstock

The accessory offers simplicity while serving as a form of self-expression — that’s why claw clips are still trending over 30 years later, have transformed into our everyday essential and can be seen increasingly more often in the hair of beautiful Insta-muses nowadays. Today Salt&Wave produces hair accessories made of sustainable cellulose acetate in timeless shapes and a sophisticated color palette of natural minerals, crystals and metamorphic rocks with deep brilliant shades and iridescent light reflections, rethinking the legacy of inventors.