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Hair

Why hair slides are making a cool comeback (and the best ones to buy)

February 5th 2019 / Anna Hunter / 0 comment

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From the catwalk to the jungle (via Holly Willoughby), hair grips and slides have come a long way from the playground. Here’s why they’re so chic and how to wear them

Maybe it was the £315 Gucci Rhinestone hair barrette, the beachy hair loosely secured with a double C clasp at Chanel SS 19 or Holly Willoughby's giant ‘Jungle Is Massive’ hair slide by Tilly Thomas Lux during the filming of I’m a Celeb. Whatever kicked it off, hair slides are suddenly the height of cool and being worn in edgier ways than ever before - forget the 90s butterfly clips that used to give you glitter dandruff, the latest crop of cool clasps are anything but childish. Here are the brands to watch with pro tips on how to style out a hair slide.

The Red Carpet Choice

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We predict that a stellar lineup of hair clips will be scattered through celebrity hairstyles this awards season - think ‘clipping’ rather than dripping in diamonds in the traditional jewellery sense. A case in point is Emily Blunt who wore the much sought after brand Lelet NY at last week’s SAG awards.

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Blunt’s hair stylist created a neat, nonchalant low chignon but added a bit of delicate glitz with the structural Exes Crystal Barrette, described as “one part bling, two parts modern.” That would pretty much go for the entire range of bobbi pins, combs, halos, crowns, headbands and ponytail fasteners - they make a statement without being too shouty, look arty and are so interesting that they negate the need for any other accessories. Every hairstylist I’ve asked has namechecked the brand, from Demi Moore and Kate Moss’ special occasion stylist Ivan Ferreira to the fashion week hair squad at Nicola Clarke at John Frieda. The catch? The majority of the range is only available stateside currently (although Net-a-Porter stocks a curated selection) and Blunt’s barrette alone comes in at $178. Gulp.

The Boho Bridal Brand

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Bridal hair accessories are big news - tiara or flower crown is no longer your binary option. There are countless beautiful independent bridal hair accessory specialists in the market and Luna Bea’s handmade in England creations are especially gorgeous. Whether you’re after a Grecian gold feel or an ethereal tumble of white flowers the delicate pins and clasps are stylish and versatile no matter what your vibe or veil situation, and don’t think you need a Rapunzel-esque tumble to wear them either - Cheryl Munoz, Style Director at Daniel Galvin Kensington, has a pin pointer for shorter styles:

“If you’re hair is cropped or short you can apply slides in a crescent ‘C’ shape down the hair from the temple, past the ear to the nape of the neck. It’s a statement look but slightly haphazard, so it’s not too try hard either.”

The 18K gold Constellation Pins pictured above come in at £90 for a set of five.

The jungle jewels

Holly Willoughby's ‘Jungle Is Massive’ hair clip was quite literally massive, and it also went viral in beautyland at least, so that’s about as meta as hair slides get.

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The grip in question was made by Tilly Thomas Lux, a special occasion spangly hairpiece specialist that’s also very popular with brides. While Holly’s hair slide was a bespoke creation, personalised hair slides in the same diamante lettering design start at £45. For an even more creative take, Cheryl advocates opting for individual letters:

“Jump on the letter bandwagon and secure grips in a horizontal line on the side that you part your hair so that you can read the letters/word.”

Just keep it clean. Cheryl loves working with Tilly Thomas Lux for special occasion styling, but if you’re on more of a budget and fancy something irreverent and ready-made try Kitsch x Justine Marjan Diamante Hair Slides. They start at £23.10 and feature words such as ‘Feelings’, ‘Glam’ and ‘Damn’. Potentially not ones for the office, although you can be the judge there.

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The new school cool

Pastel hair clips may sound a bit primary school on first consideration, but P by Prettly’s Moon Barrettes, from £12, manage to elevate lilac and the like to more grown-up territory thanks to the sharp shapes and acrylic material. The White Confetti Moon Baratte, £12, is on the right side of disco with a glassy rather than glittery finish.

The blowout bobbi dazzler

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Here’s one hair clip you don’t want to leave at the gym - fashion’s favourite hair stylist Syd Hayes has teamed up with jeweller Karl Karter to make the safety-pin esque Diamond Hair Pin which is made to order, studded with diamonds and yours for a wince-inducing £3000. Thankfully you can buy the pins in the same design sans precious metals or gems from £63. Still not exactly a bargain but each brass grip is handmade in London and designed by Sid to stay in place while being gentle on the hair.

The hair slide styling session

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If you’re off to an event and your usual blow dry is feeling a bit blasé, the Nicola Clarke at John Frieda ‘Get a Grip’ service, £35, could be right up your styling street. Essentially an undone blow dry that accentuates natural texture finished with custom selected and placed hair grips, the service was inspired by the catwalk’s recent love affair with slides, pins and grips. John Frieda stylist Jonathan Eagland also highlights that it has the added benefit of keeping hair in place all night long (especially handy if you’re switching your parting), while a row of glitzy or utilitarian grips creates a ‘feature’ that’s as much a part of your outfit as your top or dress.

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