If I had to choose a few words and phrases to describe my hair, I’d probably go with long, fine, straight and as slippery as the escargot Julia Roberts sends flying across the room in the dinner scene from Pretty Woman.
Needless to say, getting my hair to stay in a bun is a challenge. No sooner do I get it twisted into a nice messy topknot than it starts slip-sliding its way out. The problem can be slightly remedied with dry texturizing spray (Oribe’s is amazing, Kristen Ess’s is my favorite dupe). Or I could resort to using about 37 bobby pins to anchor things in place.
But here’s the thing. I don’t want to bother with bobby pins, and it’s annoying to do the whole texture-spray thing every time I want to throw my hair in a bun. And between Zoom ballet class a few times a week (Dansique Fitness, for my fellow grown-up dancers) and working from home (I’m a writer and I literally can’t write when my hair is down), I end up throwing my hair in a bun a lot.
I wanted one quick, easy thing I could use to hold my hair up. I’d already tried a few with varying degrees of success. This octopus clip by Free People held a messy bun okay enough, but it dug into my head, and pain is not a quality I’m after in a hair accessory. This claw clip by J. Crew was comfortable, but my wimpy hair slid right out.
Finally, I discovered this unusual-looking jaw clip on the France Luxe website. I’d never seen a clip with two rows of teeth before. The description promised “a superior grip” and two fine-haired reviewers said it worked for them. I ordered it, and when it arrived, I realized two things: 1) It looked a bit like the creature with two mouths in the Alien movies and 2) I had discovered the Holy Grail of hair clips for fine-haired people.
It was super comfortable, my messy topknot lasted practically forever during the workday, and when I wore it to ballet class my bun survived petit allegro 100% intact (I wish I could say the same thing for my pride – I’m a horrible jumper).
The key difference is the double row of teeth, which do indeed grip your hair and prevent sliding in a rather miraculous way. Now, the one drawback is that this clip normally costs (deep breath)… $38. Yes, that is a lot of money to pay for a hair clip, but the quality is beautiful (not like some flimsy drugstore clips) and it is possible to get it on sale. I picked it up when France Luxe had 30% off over the holidays, and I think it’s worth it — especially if you amortize/rationalize by considering the cost of cheapie drugstore clips that would break and have to be replaced.
Crazy? Maybe! But crazy with a nice, long-lasting, messy bun is something I can live with.