the best hair sectioning clips

The 7 Best Hair Sectioning Clips For Dyeing, Styling & More

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When you need to clip your hair back in clean, even sections for tasks like dyeing or styling, the best hair sectioning clips are easy to put into place and secure. Hair sectioning clips should have a strong spring-loaded hinge, double hinge, or other style of spring that can provide an extra-sturdy grip for long periods of time. These clips come in five varieties (duckbill, concord, alligator, butterfly, and claw), and choosing between them will depend on the thickness of your hair and the length of the clip. Larger or longer clips will have a bigger spring and will open up wider to gather more or thicker hair, whereas more compact clips will have a smaller spring to grip less or finer hair — but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to a certain clip size based on your hair thickness. Just know that if you have thick hair, you might have to use lots of small clips.

  • Duckbill and concord clips are designed slightly differently, but both are long and thin with a smaller spring, so they are good for clipping fine hair into small, precise sections. Both types of clips often have ridges and small spikes to hold hair in place, too. That said, concord clips can be longer and pointier than duckbills. Duckbills that don’t have ridges or spikes, are good for holding small amounts of straight hair in place without leaving a crease.
  • Alligator clips have a wide opening and are double hinged to click into place and clip thick hair or larger sections. They have spaced-out grooves to grip hair and keep it back. Alligator clips typically do not leave a crease.
  • Butterfly and claw clips look a little different from one another, but have similar features. Each type of clip has a wide opening, one strong hinge, and are also good for thick hair and large sections. They both have spikes or teeth on both sides of the clip that comb through your hair and clip it in place (typically without leaving a crease). Claw clips can have more pronounced visible spikes (aka claws) that comprise most of the clip, while butterfly clips are a little less spike-centric.

The material of your clip is also important, especially if you’re sectioning hair to chemically treat or dye it. A metal hair clip might oxidize the dye, change the dye’s color, or even burn your scalp (either from the chemicals or from a heat tool), so it’s best to go with a clip made of plastic or acrylic if you’re dealing with heat, chemicals, or dyes. However, you might find that metal can be a bit sturdier than plastic.

Whatever your reason for hair sectioning, these top-rated hair sectioning clips come in a variety of materials, styles, and colors for every kind of hair.

1. These Salon-Quality Alligator Clips For Thick Hair

Measuring 4.5 inches long, this highly rated plastic hair sectioning clip has a long bill and wide jaw, and fans love how the spaced-out grooves grip large sections of thick or curly hair. In fact, many of the reviewers noted that they work in salons or felt that the clips were “salon-quality.” The double hinge securely gathers and sections without pulling or creasing. Choose from a bunch of different color options, all of which come with a lifetime guarantee.

Helpful Amazon review: “These clips are exactly what I've needed to style and section my hair! I've tried several other types of clips over the years but with my fine textured straight hair nothing would stay put. All the clips would slide right out and my hair would fall back into my face. That's not the case with these clips. They have nice strong springs and hold whatever amount of hair I put into them without a problem. They don't rip out any hair when you remove them either. I'm very happy with these clips.”

2. A Pack Of Butterfly Clips

This 12-pack of 3.25-inch-long plastic butterfly clips is ideal for sectioning off medium to large sections of hair, according to reviewers. The strong spring and wide tooth design will keep hairs securely in place, but fans advise that if you have thicker hair, to use smaller sections and lots of clips.

Helpful Amazon review: “When my hair stylist had to go MIA I needed to learn how to do my hair at home. One of the supplies I needed was good hair clips. I think these are some of the best I’ve ever used. They don’t pull or grip my hair too tightly. I use them in the shower when my hair is coily/curly also when I’m blow drying my hair straight.”

3. These Claw-Style Hair Sectioning Clips

Coming in at 4.33 inches, these durable (and cute) acrylic claw clips might look really large, but can even hold back “thinner than a needle fine hair,” according to one reviewer. The overlapping claws open wide and strong to gather your strands, and the grippy texture holds the hair in place. The metal spring is super sturdy. They have a matte finish and come in packs of various colors (including all black).

Helpful Amazon review: “I was looking for clips to quickly pull my hair back and get it out of my face or for sectioning when curling it in the morning. I have short, fine hair so it’s difficult sometimes to find some that will keep it in place without giving it a kink. When I first opened the box I thought oh no these will be way too big, but they’re actually perfect! They have teeth on the inside that helps hold the smaller pieces in place. It feels sturdy and pieces of my hair are not slipping out.”

4. Some Silicone-Coated Plastic Duckbill Clips

These silicone-coated plastic duckbill clips give you a firm handle that you can use without worrying about your fingers slipping (thanks, silicone coating!) and are made with a sturdy steel spring that opens wide enough for small sections of hair. The silicone coating grips your strands without pulling, and according to reviewers, they won’t leave a crimp in your hair. They measure 4.3 inches long.

Helpful Amazon review: “These clips are fantastic!!! i’m in beauty school and these are definitely the best sectioning clips i’ve used so far, they really lock onto the hair like no other! i also love that they sent extra rubber pieces in case they snap or wear down. Highly highly HIGHLY recommend.”

5. A Budget-Friendly Pack Of Metal Duckbill Clips

Made with a rust-resistant, nickel-plated metal, this 24-pack of classic duckbill clips is available in 10 colors and three different clip lengths (2.75, 3.35, and 3.5 inches) — all for less than $10. These no-frills clips don’t have any teeth, but the long, thin design works for holding plenty of small sections of fine hair, according to reviewers. Amazon shoppers love that they’re solid, sturdy, easy to handle, and a great quality for the price. Just be careful to remember that since these clips are made from metal, they might not be the best choice if you’re applying dye or chemicals to your hair, and could get hot if you’re using heat tools.

Helpful Amazon review: “I use these clips for setting curls and sectioning while blow drying. They are very sturdy and work really well. They don’t get stuck easily or tangle your hair. I feel they are even better quality than the ones you buy at a drug store. They’re more similar to salon quality. You know the ones your stylist uses? And the price was what initially drew me. And then once i actually received them i was so very pleasantly surprised at the overall quality.”

6. A Set Of Duckbill Clips That Won’t Crease Your Hair

When you want to keep your hair sleek and smooth, you’ll love these no-crease clips. Made of a metal clip with a duckbill design on one side, and a smooth, plastic piece on the other, they’re designed specifically to hold without leaving a mark. One reviewer was wowed by the no-crease design, writing, “used these on my clients, and they worked perfectly. Not a single dent in their pin straight hair!” At 2.4 inches, the clips are great for small sections. They come in packs of eight, 20, and 36. Choose from black, white, and pink or glittery multicolor.

Helpful Amazon review: “These creaseless clips are great for hold your hair in place off your face to apply makeup etc., the clips don't leave marks, indents or creases in your hair. Love them.”

7. A Long Concord Clip That Holds Lots Of Fine Hair

At 5 inches long, this concord clip is longer than the other clips on this list, and comes with a thin, pointed end that gives you the accuracy to section a precise amount of hair. Fans note that it’s perfect for lots of long, fine strands and the strong metal spring holds tight without pulling on the hair. There are ridges on one side of the clip, while the other side is smooth to grip and hold the hair without creasing. These clips are made of black metal (so be careful of dyes, chemicals, and heat tools), but also come in silver, and in packs of six, 12, 16, and 24, as well as sizes of 3.15 and 3.35 inches. One reviewer even raved, “one of my favorite purchases here on Amazon of all time.”

Helpful Amazon review: “I have thick, long fine hair. Blow drying and styling are a pain but now that I have these clips, sectioning off my hair is so easy. They hold- really hold. I love them and now that I am not all tangled up in my round brush, curling iron or flat iron, have managed to pull off a very polished and finished look as if I just came from the salon. These clips were a game changer for me.”