A number of past fashion trends have reappeared on catwalks in recent years, so it was only a matter of time before hair accessories experienced a similar fate. Back in the '90s, there were a number of fabulous hair accessories that could elevate any hair game. From scarves to beads to comb hairbands to snap clips, these accessories gave wearers the freedom to be their most fun, authentic, and free-spirited selves.
But while we appreciate many types of fun hair accessories, today we're here to talk about butterfly clip hairstyles. Originally designed to pull back sections of hair from the crown of the head, they became all the rage due to their intricate detail and ability to make any hairstyle look effortlessly cool. Olivia Rodrigo, Doja Cat, and Megan Thee Stallion are just a few of the stars who have brought this sophisticated trend into the modern age. If you're delighted that butterfly clips are back, keep reading for all the inspiration you need, including tips and tricks for achieving each style.
Meet the Expert
- Neil Capstick is the founder of Neäl & Wølf. He has over 30 years of experience in the hair industry, and his products are used in hundreds of salons in the United Kingdom.
- Lynn Chambers is a hair expert and stylist at ClipHair, which provides high-quality hair extensions to thousands of customers worldwide.
- Jack Mead is an award-winning hairdresser and the co-founder of Jack & The Wolfe.
- Stacey Whyte is a hairstylist and the director at Cheveux Salon.
A trio of butterfly clips can take any hairstyle to the next level, and Shannon Elizabeth’s is no exception. This is one of the classic butterfly clip styles that many of us spent hours in our bedrooms trying to recreate.
- To achieve this look, Chambers recommends brushing out and smoothing hair first.
- Once your hair is smoothed out, create a middle part. From your hairline, take one inch from either side of your middle parting and brush through the section to ensure it's smooth.
- Pull this section back and secure it with a clear elastic. Cover this with the butterfly clip, being sure to place both no more than three inches away from your hairline.
- Take half an inch of hair to the left of the middle section. Pull it back, brush it out, and secure this section with a clear elastic and a butterfly clip, placing them parallel to the first.
- Repeat the steps for the left section on your right side.
This sleek and simple style is perfect for anyone with straight hair who wants to tap into this trend. We love how Tyra Banks paired this with subtle eyeshadow and glossy lips, which allowed her oversized clips to do all the talking. "The secret to achieving this look is to focus on adding shine and reducing frizz and flyaway hairs," Whyte advises.
- Section and dry your hair, using the concentrator nozzle for a smooth result. Follow with a flat iron if desired.
- Create a triangle shape at each side of your middle part (from ear to crown). Use a styling pomade for a strong hold, tie with an elastic, and repeat on the other side.
- Grab a small section of hair from each ponytail and wrap it around the base. Use a hair threader if you can; otherwise, bands or grips will do.
- Using an edge brush or toothbrush, apply a small amount of pomade to smooth any baby hairs or flyaways. Finish with some glossing serum and a dash of shine spray.
- To finish the look, add oversized butterfly clips near the base of each ponytail.
Depending on your style preferences, you might not want to adorn your head with a lot of butterfly clips, and that’s okay because you can always opt to keep it simple like Kirsten Dunst. Her messy updo does all the talking, while her yellow butterfly clip complements her blonde hair.
- Pull your hair back into two messy buns, leaving out two small sections at the front. Secure the buns with elastics.
- Further secure your messy updo into place with bobby pins. Be sure to keep it casual and not too tidy.
- The key to achieving this look is to finish it off with a hairspray—Capstick recommends using Neäl & Wølf's Fix for all-night hold. Then, place your butterfly clip front and center, near the base of your style.
- If your front tendrils aren’t as straight as you’d like them to be, run a flat iron through them, flicking them slightly inwards towards the bottom of each strand for a classic '90s face-framing look.
The baby braid trend is set to be everywhere this summer. Keep it simple like Olivia Rodrigo did at the 2021 VMAs by opting for two face-framing medium baby braids, natural makeup, and glossy lips.
- "To make your braids last all day, start by applying an anti-frizz conditioner," Mead says.
- Before blow drying hair, apply a volume and control spray to give your hair extra hold, then use a round brush to blow dry your hair in a middle parting, creating as much volume as you can.
- Once hair is dry, curl your hair in small sections, making sure the curls are all going in the same direction.
- As you curl each section, set each with hairspray before brushing them out for a smooth, seamless result.
- Part your hair in the middle and using a large wide-tooth comb, gently brush out the curls starting at the bottom of the hair. This should loosen the curls and create a glamorous wave.
- Take a section at the top of your hair on either side of your middle parting and rope braid all the way to the end. Secure the braid with an elastic band and repeat on the other side.
- Apply a few butterfly clips along your rope braid, then finish the style with an anti-humidity spray.
Sleek Side Part
Megan Thee Stallion’s look is perfect for those who want to go all out with this trend. We love the multicolored butterfly clips at the top of each pigtail, and that side part is so '90s.
- Blow dry your hair smooth with a hair mist. This will reduce frizz, speed up drying time, and protect the hair from heat.
- Use a flat iron from roots to ends for a super-straight style.
- Using a bristle brush, scoop the hair back into two ponytails, leaving out a piece at the front to frame the face.
- Side-sweep your bangs across your forehead and secure with a bobby pin.
- Complete the look by adorning each ponytail with bright, mini butterfly clips and applying a styling hairspray of your choice.
Butterfly clips are usually worn with the sole purpose of scooping hair back, but Doja Cat’s look just proves that you can keep your fringe and tap into this trend all at the same time. Her multi-colored clips are very '90s, while her blue smoky eye gives her overall look a fresh and current aesthetic.
- According to Mead, the key to achieving these super sleek strands is to use an anti-frizz shampoo and straightening creme first.
- After applying your straightening creme, blow dry your hair with a Denman brush, concentrating on the roots first (a technique called wrap drying). Once your roots are dry, use a paddle brush to smooth and dry the hair from the mid-lengths to your ends.
- Apply a heat protectant spray. Take small sections of hair and use a comb and straightener to work through your hair until it’s sleek.
- Once hair is as smooth and straight as you'd like, use an anti-humidity spray to create a glass-like effect.
- Take four sections behind your bangs across the top of the head. Pinch each section and twist the hair back at the crown, securing with a butterfly clip. Pull the rest of your hair into a high ponytail.
Entrepreneur and fashion darling Chiara Ferragni’s fresh take on butterfly clips serves as a reminder that color coordination is still one of the most important things when it comes to style. The key to achieving this look is to start with slightly wavy hair as "texture will help keep the style in place," Chambers explains.
- To achieve wavy hair, create texture with a sea salt spray. Optionally, you can gently pass a flat iron through your hair if it’s curly.
- Take two inches of hair from your hairline, just to the left of your middle part. Twist this section towards the back, taking it around two to three inches away from your hairline.
- Pin the twist into place with a butterfly clip. You may need extra clips or a clear elastic band to hold the hair in place.
- Repeat these steps on the right side.
- Around one inch under the first twist on the left hand side, lightly pull back about half an inch of hair and secure with a butterfly clip. Repeat on the right side.
One of our favorite things about this trend is that it suits all hair textures. Model Michelle Amo has opted to showcase her beautiful afro with a few colorful butterfly clips across the crown. She’s kept the rest of her look simple with a satin dress so her trendy accessories do the talking all summer long.
- Apply a cream in small sections to add moisture and shine—this will keep the hair in place.
- Allow the product to dry and absorb into the hair, then gently work through an anti-breakage spray. Be sure to use a wide-tooth comb to tease out the curls and create shape.
- Once you have the shape, pinch pieces of hair at the front, twist them back, and secure using a butterfly clip.
- Finish with an anti-humidity seal.
Bella Hadid’s look is perfect for anyone who wants to tap into the butterfly clip trend but doesn’t want to spend a large amount of time styling their hair. If you tend to opt for easy, "I woke up like this" styles, you might want to give this one a try. For extra length, Chambers recommends using clip-in hair extensions, which can be styled accordingly.
- Part hair loosely in the center.
- To create mermaid waves, use curling tongs to curl the ends of your hair, then brush the curls lightly or comb through. Remember: the tighter the curl, the better the wave.
- To create and enhance waves, mist hair liberally with sea salt spray, which will help add texture.
- Take around two to three inches of hair to the left of your middle part and place the first butterfly clip approximately an inch and a half above the end.
- Place a second clip an inch above the first. Feel free to change the placement or add more clips if you'd like.
This look definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. We adore French influencer Nawel’s crown of colorful butterfly clips. If you have curly hair and you don’t want to over-manipulate it to tap into this trend, you should definitely give this look a try.
- Start by parting your hair down the middle.
- Take a two-inch section of hair around half an inch away from your hairline. Starting at an inch from your roots, place your first butterfly clip, then place your next one an inch further down, doing the same for the third. Finally, move around three inches down the first strand and place another butterfly clip.
- Repeat this process on the other side.
- To achieve the desired look, repeat the steps for another two or three sections on each side.