This page is about barrettes: what they are, how they work, why they fail, and care instructions. The information here will be useful for anyone interested in purchasing a barrette from Kisatchie Studio. We’ll help you get the right size. We’ll also help you understand why a barrette may not be a good choice. Reading this information will help you to be confident in your purchase and happy with your selections.

barrettes outdoors

Kisatchie Studio barrettes out on the trail
What is a barrette?
A barrette is a tool to hold hair with 2 parts, a clip and base. The clip does the work and the base is the artistic side, or the side that you see. Both parts do important work. Barrette clips are designed to hold hair in a flat manner. Clips don’t work on a huge bun or wad of hair. Remember, a barrette is a tool, and tools that are used properly will last a long time. Any tool that is used improperly will fail, no matter how well it is made.

barrette in too much hair

Barrette won't close on bun

barrette in too much hair example

Why clips fail  - they won't bend around a wad
Clips are made of metal with 2 or more pieces. Modern French clips have 2 pieces and Chinese clips have 3. The clip is curved and has a hinged bar that snaps into place. Tabs are squeezed to release the hinged bar. The clip is attached to the base, most often with glue, screws, or metal tabs.
At Kisatchie Studio we only use French clips in 70mm (2 ¾ inches) and 80 mm  (3 1/8 inches). Most hair will fit into these sizes. In our opinion, French Clips are the best. The 2 piece construction is simple and strong. Once the hinged bar is snapped in place, it stays in place until taken off. What makes it a French clip? It’s made in France and says so in large letters for everyone to see.
The base of a barrette is the part that you see. It’s the artistic side of the tool. Kisatchie Studio barrettes are all hand made from glass. The clip must be glued on. The glass is ground or sand blasted to make a very rough surface for the glue to grip. This glass is sturdy and the glue is very strong.
They come in sizes…..really.
As mentioned above, we use 70mm (2 ¾ inches) and 80 mm (3 1/8 inches) clips. Use common sense here. More hair wants a larger clip. Is the barrette a gift and you don’t know what size to order? Maybe you’ve never purchased a barrette and all of this is news. Here are some helpful ideas:
- If the person already wears barrettes, ask what size. If this is supposed to be a surprise, then have fun and make a game of it. Or, get a ruler and measure one of the clips from end to end. That is the size needed.
- No barrettes in the house, but you know someone would just love to have one? That’s a little harder, but not impossible. Use these household items for comparison. A medium size Arrow shirt sleeve will hold a 70mm clip nicely. Athletic socks are very useful: An 80mm clip will fit comfortably on a pair of womens socks. No socks? Try a bandana.

barrette on shirt sleeve

70 mm barrette on shirt sleeve

barrette on socks

80 mm barrette on 2 womens socks

barrette on bandana

70 mm barrette on rolled bandana

barrette on bandanda

80 mm barrette on rolled & folded bandana
- Look at other photos here on the website. We photograph barrettes in hair so you can see what they really look like in action.  Does the hair look familiar?
Some Words of Caution
Very fine hair and barrettes don’t always work together. Even the best clip will slip off because this kind of hair tends to be very silky. Most barrettes are simply too heavy and slide down hair unless held with a hair tie. Sometimes that doesn’t work. We hear this frequently from women with very fine hair and they know what they are talking about. Thinning hair can be a problem as the clip will rub against the scalp……no good.  So, please be advised that a barrette may not be the best choice for a person with very fine or thinning hair. We’ve also met women with extremely thick hair and our clips aren’t big enough. These women always tell us that they’ve never found a clip that fits. If your friend or loved one says this, pay attention!
Barrettes can be very personal items, but they aren’t for everyone. They don’t fit into everyone’s style. Kisatchie Studio barrettes are meant to be worn and enjoyed. If you’re not sure, then have fun with some detective work to discover if a barrette is a good idea. If it is, we’re here for you.
Locs and Braids
Long locs and braids are beautiful. They vary in thickness and texture. Barrette clips can work well with this kind of hair. Small bundles of locs fit into both 70 and 80mm clips. If the bundles or individual locs are too thick, the clip won’t fit around. Clips fit best when the locs are spread out a bit to fill the length of the clip.
Let’s take care of it.
Kisatchie Studio barrettes are made of glass. If dropped on concrete, stone, tile, or some other unforgiving surface, it will probably crack or break. Use care, and don’t drop it.
Cleaning is simple. Mild soap and water on a cloth will remove hair spray or smudges. Simply wipe off the surface, rinse, and dry the entire barrette, including the clip. Glass cleaner also works. Special cleaning instructions can be found at the appropriate barrette page on the website. Kisatchie Studio barrettes will last for many years if properly cared for.
If you have further questions, please contact us. We’ll do our best to help.
handmade fused glass barrette paleo-glassic fossil vitra
80 mm Paleo-Glassic barrette on a braid loop
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