How to Use Hair Claws

Updated April 17, 2017

There are several unique sizes of hair claws for different hairstyle purposes. Large claws are designed to hold an entire head of hair at the back of the head, while smaller claws can be used to section off tiny twists and half-ponytail portions. You can use claws to quickly pull back portions of your hair without worrying about keeping every hair in place. Claws can also be worn in place of a ponytail holder, as they often pose less risk of hair breakage than a tight elastic band.

Brush or comb damp or dry hair to remove tangles.

Gather all your hair as if you were about to put it into a ponytail and begin twisting it from the roots out. Lift the ends of the ponytail twist upwards with one hand and open the large hair claw with the other.

Place the bulk of the twisted hair against the back of your head. If you have long hair, you will probably see sprouts poking out from the top of your head. Lay one row of the claw teeth on the left side of your twist and pivot the other row to the right side. Make sure all of your hair is within the boundaries of the claw jaws and release the handles of the claw. This will enclose the twist tightly.

If the claw does not feel secure when you let go, it might be too big for the density of your hair. You can use a smaller claw instead, or make a full ponytail with a ponytail holder before twisting and inserting the claw. This can help secure the hair and give it extra bulk to hold onto your scalp.

Piece any sprouts on top of the claw evenly over each side of the jaws. Hairspray the ends in place, if desired.

Curl the sprouts with the curling iron for a fancy updo by piecing each section into small locks and curling each of these individually. Spray with hairspray to keep everything in place.


You can do a half-ponytail with a small hair claw instead of putting up your entire head of hair. Section off the top half of your hair, twist it from the roots out and enclose it with both sides of the claw. There won't be any sprouts with this style; it will act as a looser ponytail holder and simply hold back the sides of your hair.


Hair claws can sometimes have a strong spring mechanism and thus be difficult to open with one hand. It might take both hands to open the claw. Don't try to force it with one hand, as you can lose control of the claw and have it snap back on you or potentially break. According to, you should avoid wearing hair claws that contain metal hinges, as these can cause breakage. However, it can be difficult to find alternative claws, so to prevent breakage, make sure you don't make a habit of wearing claws in wet hair; allow your hair to dry a little bit before styling.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair brush or wide-tooth comb
  • Large hair claw
  • Hairspray
  • Small-barrelled curling iron (optional)
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Rochelle Connery is a professional freelance author and has been writing skin care, travel, music and technology how-to articles since 2006. She has played piano for over 15 years, is a professional songwriter and holds her B.A. in communications from Louisiana Baptist University.