Hair Clamps Are Having a Moment and I Couldn’t Be More Thrilled

I can’t tell you how many times a friend or colleague or on some occasions even a stranger has turned to me and asked, “Um, do you have a hair elastic I can borrow?”

Too often to count.

I can, however, tell you exactly how many times a friend or colleague or stranger has asked to borrow a hair clamp:


Zero times! Which is a true shame, frankly, because the answer would be a resounding yes.

I’ve been a passionate hair clamp carrier and user since middle school when I hit puberty around the age of 10 or 11 (according to legend) and all of a sudden my formerly straight hair transformed into a roiling mass of frizzy curls. My response at the time was to straighten it right back, twice weekly, with the assistance of a flat iron. The physical effort that went into this activity was gargantuan, so for the sake of my adolescent biceps, I was diligent about maintaining the straightened effect. That meant hair elastics were absolutely verboten on account of the dreaded ponytail crimp they left behind.

I had to seek an alternative method for securing my hair behind my head in P.E. class, and I found one in my own mother’s bathroom: a plastic clamp, weathered from frequent use, glinting in the sliver of sunlight streaming in from her tiny window like the material embodiment of a secret passed down from generation to generation of womankind.

I sunk its teeth into my twisted bun and never looked back.

My clamps have been the source of relentless teasing ever since. College teammates made fun of me every time I whipped one out before a squash match, roommates have surreptitiously snapped photos of me sporting my signature pre-bedtime-face-wash clamp lewk, and my boyfriend of more than a decade still struggles to suppress laughter whenever I pause mid-makeout to clamp my hair back (I have a lot of hair!), but the fact is, I’ve been secretly laughing at all of THEM the whole time. They didn’t know what they were missing.

I used past tense deliberately there, because in what I consider a truly shocking turn of recent events, the trend winds appear to have shifted. With scrunchies leading the charge as early as last spring, dorky hair accessories are having a “moment,” as we say in the biz. Said moment culminated in the preponderance of honest-to-goodness hair clamps sprinkled atop the heads of models at Saks Potts’ Spring 2018 runway show.

The resulting hair clamp hoopla is proof of my theory that anything the Danes touch not only turns to instant fashion gold but also looks, quite simply, better. Improving significantly upon the neutral-toned clamps I’ve been buying from CVS since 2002, the newest iteration of hair clamps are colorful, rhinestone-encrusted and shaped like a variety of fun creatures. It’s no wonder they’ve been all over my Instagram feed lately.

When I brought up the hair clamps fashion resurgence at a recent Man Repeller editorial meeting, Amelia credited the return of the 80s, but prefer to think I just manifested it.

How about you? Would you wear? Are you already wearing? Spill your thoughts in the comments, or meet me in my Amazon shopping cart and tell me if I should buy this one.

Photo by Yuliya Christensen via Getty Images. 

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

More from Archive