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Various types of hair slides
A barrette on the back of a woman's head

A barrette (American English), also known as a hair clip, hair slide or clasp (British English), is a clasp for holding hair in place. They are often made from metal or plastic and sometimes feature decorative fabric. In one type of barrette, a clasp is used to secure the barrette in place; the clasp opens when the two metal pieces at either side are pressed together.[1]

Barrettes are worn in several different ways partly according to their size, with small ones often used at the front and large ones in the back to hold more hair. They are used to keep hair out of the eyes, or to secure a bun, a French twist or a ponytail. Short metal "clip" barrettes are sometimes used to pull back front pieces of hair. Barrettes are also sometimes used purely for decorative purposes.

Larger barrettes—as long as 3–4 in (8–10 cm)—are designed to pull back longer hair or a large amount of hair and are usually worn at the back of the head, often "tails up".[1] If the intent is to pull hair back, the length of the barrette is not the only consideration; the width of the barrette also indicates approximately how much hair can be secured by it.

Many different kinds of hair clips were invented in the 20th century. The ones that are more famous are, the elongated hair clip (seen at the top of the "Various types of hair slides" image) which was invented in 1972[2] by Marnie Bjornson (cf. "Marnie Scrunch", below) and the simple "clips" hair-clip, which works by snapping the clip from a concave to convex position, springing it into a locked position, or opening it. Several of these are seen in the image.[3]

TypesEdit

 
Indian antique comb for keeping hair in place
  • Alligator clips[1]
    • Alligator double-prong clips
    • Unlined alligator clips
    • Partially lined alligator clips
    • Fully lined alligator clips
  • Butterfly hair clips
  • French barrettes
  • Bendy clips or snap clips
  • Ponytail barrettes
  • Pony O's
  • Marnie scrunch
  • Claw clips, hair claw or hair clamp
  • Bow barrettes
  • Headbands or hair bands
  • Scrunchies
  • Updo barrettes
  • Tortoise-shell barrettes
  • Auto-clasp barrettes
  • Hairpins
  • Bobby pins
  • Combs (certain types)
  • Hair stick

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Barrette Types". Fox Den Productions. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  2. ^ Barrette patent, Malcolm Laughton, 1972 (on Google Patents)
  3. ^ Clips patent, Edward F. Zore, issued 1957 (on Google Patents)

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Barrettes at Wikimedia Commons
  •   The dictionary definition of barrette at Wiktionary