I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with headbands. They look so cute in the store. When I would get them home and try them on, they didn’t work so well. Instead of just giving up on this handy hair accessory, I decided to educate myself on headbands.
Turns out, the type of headband makes a huge difference in how well it works for your hair and style. If you have ever experienced buyer’s remorse and just tossed a headband in a drawer, this guide will make that a thing of the past.
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There are a surprising number of types of headbands, and many subtypes as well. Add in all the different styles, and there is certainly a headband out there for everyone. You just have to know what you are looking for. The two basic types of headbands are fabric and horseshoe headbands.
Fabric headbands have several subtypes. They are very versatile, and you really can’t go wrong with choosing a fabric headband. As the name suggests, fabric headbands are made from fabric. They work for any hair length, but some styles work better for long hair.
If you have thick hair, they will hold your hair in place easily without causing damage. If you have thin hair, you may find you need to secure the headband with a few bobby pins to keep it in place. They are a good choice for thin hair because they can draw attention away from the hair itself, giving you a more attractive overall look.
The types of fabric headbands are:
- fashion headbands
- Turban headbands
- Scarf headbands
- Knit headband
Sweatbands are a must-have workout accessory. They serve two functions, First, like any headband, they are designed to keep your hair out of your face. However, they are also designed to keep sweat out of your face. Getting sweat in your eyes feels like chopping an onion. It’s not a fun experience and it can impair your ability to enjoy your exercise routine.
And no, you shouldn’t just use any fabric headband as a sweatband. Most fabric headbands aren’t secure enough to stay in place with strenuous physical activity. More importantly, they will not be as effective at preventing sweat from reaching your eyes.
Most importantly, unless you plan to wash it after every workout, it will get gross pretty quick. Like gym shoes, only on your face. No one wants that. Sweatbands are designed to absorb moisture and wick it away from your body.
Calbeing: silicone grip that stays in place during the hardest workouts
Nike Dri Fit: Tie style and Dri fit technology to keep you cool and dry
Halo 2: Classic style and antimicrobial moisture-wicking material
This is what generally comes to mind when you think of fabric headbands. It’s a solid piece of fabric. They are commonly made from cotton, but they may be a blend of materials to allow a stretch. They are generally about 1-2 inches wide. TheyÂ come in lots of bold patterns to fit any sense of style. They are a good choice if you want to keep things simple.
Best fashion headbands
Goody Ouchless: Simple and classic
Tie-Dye: Fun bright colors for the young and young at heart
Zapire: a color for every outfit
Turban headbands are also known as Crisscross or Boho headbands. They can come with a Crisscross design, a knot, or a bow at the top. They are thicker than fashion headbands, making them ideal for those with thick hair that requires more fabric to keep it in place.
If you have thin hair, don’t count these out either. Their flair and extra coverage can look great on any hair type. The design can also add volume to flat hair. These headbands look great on short hair and work well with updos, in addition to adding a boho chic to long locks.
Best Turban Headbands
Huachi: Wide variety of colors and materials for any occasion
Boho Floral Print: Six criss-cross style in fun prints
Habibee: Knot style adds a little whimsy without looking juvenile
Scarf headbands are a longstanding trend. you can get this look by creating your own headband with a scarf. The best part about a headscarf is the ways it can be worn.
Take a scarf or bandana, fold it until it’s the width you desire, and tie it at the top of your head or the nape of your neck. Either way looks great, and it adds versatility to the accessory. It can also be worn with an updo and looks great with short hair when you use the top tie.
If you want to hide a bad hair day, simply fold it in half and tie it at the nape of your neck for a triangle shape. This hides the top of your hair while showcasing the bottom portion. Perfect if you haven’t washed your hair in a few days or you haven’t been able to visit the salon to get your roots colored.
If you don’t want to deal with folding, or even tying, you can purchase a scarf headband that’s thin or retired. You’ll sacrifice some versatility, but you won’t have to worry about it coming undone while you go about your day.
Best scarf headbands
FyLuoke: Perfect width for use as a headband, self-tie for versatility
QING: Classic bandana look with no tying required
50s Chiffon: Many wears to wear, classic chic look
Knit headbands combine form with function. Earmuffs aren’t always ideal, and a toboggan won’t look good with your outfit. What’s a girl to do? Knit headbands are the perfect winter accessory. They will keep your ears warm, your hair in place, and best of all, they are as cute as they are cozy. You can choose different patterns like crochet, cable knit, and even ones with a bow.
They are very comfortable and look great with any hair type. Wear it with your hair down for a cozy casual look, or pair it with a high bun for a little sophistication. They are wide enough to stay in place with short or thin hair, and they can add more interest to your style.
TheÂ best knit headbands:
Pangda: Four colors and an adorable cable knit braided pattern with a bow at the top
Dreshow: Simplicity at its finest, knot at the top
Zodaca: Braided cable knit pattern, wide design
Horseshoe headbands can work well for short or long hair. Some styles can be worn with an updo as well. They come in a wide variety of styles, although not all horseshoe headbands are created equal.
The types of horseshoe headbands are:
- Plastic headbands
- wrapped headbands
- Metal headbands
- Toothed headbands
- Miscellaneous headbands
These are the bane of my existence. Plastic headbands are commonly made for kids, but they are becoming a popular adult fashion accessory as well. They have their good points. They are cheap. They can come with cute ornamentation on top. You can get creative and add your own ornamentation with the help of a glue gun.
They often look like something you would want on your head until you put them on your head. It’s plastic. Glasses can be uncomfortable around the sensitive ear area. Wearing plastic there, why? Why is this torture device still a thing? Are there plastic headbands that are actually wearable?
Then there’s the other problem. If you do manage to ignore the uncomfortableness, I mean, we wear high heels, so why not, how do you keep it in your hair? If you have thin hair, a plastic headband isn’t likely to stay in place. Fabric headbands easily accommodate bobby pins. Plastic ones do not. They also feel, and often look, cheap.
Many plastic headbands come with teeth. Although these are supposed to keep your headband in place, in my experience they do not. These teeth are tiny, and not to be mistaken for the teeth in the upcoming section.
Scunci Effortless beauty: These are very thin and work well for short hairstyles
Hestya: These plain black bands are great for crafts
Minkissy 2 piece: Double the torture
Wrapped or Padded Headbands
These are a much better choice than plastic headbands, even if they generally are plastic headbands with pretty wrapping. They are much more comfortable while still retaining that classic headband shape. They come in a wide variety of materials and colors. Many of them can be used for DIY projects, similar to their plastic cousins.
Many of them still have the problem of not staying on your head well, particularly if you have fine hair. They can be worn with short or long hair, and they can be the perfect accessory for an updo. Padded headbands come in an impressive array of styles, including rhinestones and soft feminine velvet. If you are looking for a headband that makes a fashion statement, you should consider these.
The best wrapped and padded headbands:
SIQUK: Simple satin headband can be worn as is or jazzed up with appliques
Rhinestone Crystal headband: great for a party or to add whimsy to your look
Velvet Braided Headband: Soft, feminine, and simple
Surprisingly, metal headbands can be comfortable. Again, they may not stay in your hair all that well on their own. However, most metal headbands work well with bobby pins, so you can easily secure them.
They come in a variety of styles from ultra-simple to elaborate statement pieces. They are generally more durable than most types as well. They give a timeless classic look that’s perfect for simple short or long hairstyles or dramatic updos. They look best on fine or sleek hair.
Best metal headbands:
Women’s metal headbands: Simple and classic
Simsly Crystal Headband: Simple black band with crystals and enamel flowers on the side, beautiful yet understated
8 Pc Crystal Headband: Feminine and sparkly but mature
There’s a recurring problem with headbands you might have picked up on. They don’t stay in your hair. The struggle is real, especially if you have fine or thin hair. One of the easiest ways to solve this problem is to choose a toothed headband. Toothed headbands can be either metal or plastic. They are designed to stay in place and are ideal for all hair types.
The best toothed headbands:
Luckycivia: Simple black and tortoiseshell plastic
STHUAHE: Floral fabric headband with teeth made of resin
Wave Rhinestone: Beautiful rhinestone bands in several colors with plastic teeth
Have you ever spotted one of those women with a beautiful creative part in her hair, and felt a little envy? Maybe you wanted to achieve a similar look, but spending an hour in the mirror with a comb did not give you those same results.
Wavy and toothed headbands can create that look, with virtually no effort. They also stay in your hair better. Yes, it bears mentioning again! Most toothed or wavy headbands are metal. They are usually unadorned, allowing the unique part to take center stage.
Best Wavy Headbands:
evebel: Simple wave design
3 piece metal hairbands: 3 wave styles for different looks
Buorsa: 5 spring and wave styles