TikTok is a font of inspiration when it comes to choosing a different hairstyle. The app's beauty enthusiasts were among the first to unveil the octopus haircut and the 'bixie' (bob meets pixie), and to reignite our obsession with '90s-inspired claw clips. Ahead of spring, it seems they're rekindling the obsession with elastic headbands.
Having dominated the Y2K beauty landscape (think J.Lo and Paris Hilton), the hair accessory isn't exactly new. But somewhere along the line, stretchy versions made way for the structured type encrusted with embellishment, Instagram-worthy patterns and knot detailing. Post-pandemic, though, it seems ease and comfort are key as TikTokers ditch the head-pinchers and go back to basics with headbands in super soft (and hair-friendly) materials.
On TikTok the hashtag #headbandhairstyles has amassed 265.2 million views at the time of writing. From faux bangs and side pieces to messy buns and voluminous ponytails, the looks they're creating are as chic as they are wearable. Inspired? Here are seven of the best headband hairstyles for all hair types and textures.
The best headband hairstyles for long hair
Long hair can be a chore to style with accessories like the claw clip but the stretchy headband is seriously easy. Take inspiration from TikToker Emma August and fashion a set of faux curtain bangs by tucking sections of hair underneath the headband. If you'd rather wear your hair off your face, a sleek and sporty ponytail is just as simple to DIY with a little hairspray to keep everything in place, as is Emma's messy bun. Leave out some face-framers to give the style a retro twist.
The best headband hairstyles for short hair
You can totally ace the headband trend with a bob haircut and @alyssarayelee is proof. This trick works on straight, wavy or curly hair. Simply section off a couple of front pieces, pull the rest of your hair back into a temporary ponytail and put on the headband so that it conceals your parting. Whip out the hair tie and the look is complete. If your hair is shorter than bob length, look to TikToker @whowhatkare.
The best headband hairstyles for medium-length hair
The low bun pigtail is the ultimate headband hairstyle for medium-length hair, according to TikToker Gratia Evelyn. She uses a tie-up version but a stretchy headband is just as workable. To start, fashion a low ponytail but on the last loop, don't pull your hair through entirely. That curve will form your bun. Put on your headband and pull out some wispy side pieces for a nod to the '90s.
The best headband hairstyles for curly hair
For a look that gives off "Blair Waldorf energy", try TikToker Ashlee's technique. She parts her curly hair in the middle and creates two bun twists by twirling her hair around her fingers and securing it with a hair tie. Ashlee then separates two face-framing front sections and applies a little hair product before scrunching to accentuate her curls. The cherry on top is a white headband.
The best headband hairstyles for thick hair
If your hair is on the thicker side, a headband is guaranteed to take the faff out of styling (and won't break in half, like a claw clip). Look to TikToker Trishya Salvo and her face-contouring braids and ponytails. If your headband slips throughout the day, grab a couple of hair slides and pin the underside to keep it in place.
The best headband hairstyles for afro hair
The best headband hairstyles for fine hair
@carolinafreixa's "4 Ways To Wear Headbands" video has gained an enormous 1.6 million pairs of eyes and counting. Her headband slick-back is the most uncomplicated style but the half up, half down ponytail is just as quick and gives the illusion of a lot more volume.
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