I’ve always loved the look of locs, but because of their naturally delicate nature and required upkeep, I was intimidated. During the pandemic, I decided I’d been overthinking it. I booked an appointment to install my locs, and it was the best hair choice I made in over a decade, since a big chop in the early 2000s that freed me from chemical straighteners and let me get reacquainted with my natural hair. After spending so long trying different shea-butter blends, experimenting with oil mixes, and learning how to execute twist-outs, bantu knots, and wash-n-go’s, locing my hair has required far less maintenance than I expected.
It’s been just over a year since I started my loc journey, and as my hair has grown and my loc babies have matured, I’ve emerged from the survival phase and tumbled into the challenge of styling. It’s been both fun and frustrating. Neatly gathering all 100 of my dense, shoulder-length locs into a regular hair tie is impossible, and since my scalp is sensitive to headache-inducing tension, I gave up on them as a hair accessory. For a while I depended on head wraps from the Wrap Life to pull my hair up and away from my face, especially when going anywhere that required me to look semi-put-together. But while I still love channeling my inner Erykah Badu, they just weren’t practical for me day-to-day.
Then I came across a video from Kōv Essentials on TikTok in which the brand’s founder and CEO, Chelsea Branch, responded to a comment about its claw clips being too large and bulky. Branch emphasized that not all hair textures are the same and explained that the XL Daily Clip is designed for thicker textures like curls, coils, and braids.
This caught my attention. Like most of the trends on our social timelines, claw clips aren’t new. Along with oversize scrunchies and headbands, they ruled the ’90s and have lately become trendy again. But I’d mostly ignored them in the past because the teeth of their claws were usually pointed; I didn’t want to risk snapping and breaking my natural hair. And with my still-maturing locs, I was worried they would weaken my roots, putting my locs at risk of thinning and falling out. Embracing the idea that most things are okay in moderation, I had briefly tried the biggest ones I could find at Target — but they were still too small to actually hold my locs, and the thin plastic and weak springs always seemed to break after just a few wears.
After looking through the Kōv Essentials site and seeing Black women with braids and coils snuggly clasped in Kōv’s XL clips, I was convinced enough to order both the XL Daily Clip and a shorter version, the Soul Clip, for half-up styles. At $30 and $28 for the largest sizes, the clips were a splurge. But I liked that they were made of cellulose acetate, a plant-based material that is more flexible and durable than conventional plastic (for this reason, it’s also commonly used to make eyeglasses).
When the clips arrived, they felt stronger and more substantial than any of the flimsier, pointier ones I’d tried before. The teeth were thicker and more rounded, so I felt comfortable using them with my locs, and the spring was visibly larger and capable of holding my hair without making my scalp feel like it was in a vise.
I’ve worn the clips frequently for the last few months, and they are reliably comfortable and secure. They are so effortless to use and work equally well when I’m working from home and just want my hair out of my face as they do when I’m going out and want a more ambitious style. They come in great colors that look good in my dark hair. And according to my loctician, my locs are still healthy and thriving.
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