Different Types of Headbands and How to wear them

By: | Last Updated: October 20, 2023

Headbands are such a staple in just about anyone’s wardrobe. 

They’ve been around in lots of different shapes and forms — from the flashy sequined ones of the 20s, to bright retro bandanas, and even just simple elastic functional ones.

Whether you’re looking to express yourself through your accessories, or just need the function of keeping your hair out of your face, headbands are the easiest way to go for form and function. 

And there are so many of them, with new ones coming in and out of style, and vintage styles coming back in fashion too!

Here are a few ideas if you’re looking for your next headband. 

Different Types of Headbands

There are probably just as many headbands as there are styles you can imagine!

Just think of any aesthetic and there’s probably already a headband for it.

But to keep things simple, let’s divide them into two for now — fabric headbands and fashion headbands. 

Fabric Headbands

Fabric headbands are exactly the ones that come to mind when you hear anyone talk about headbands. 

They’re mostly used for their functionality and can be made of just about any fabric material. They can range from a harder plastic material covered in silk, elastic headbands or even sports sweatbands. 

But don’t count these out when it comes to style because you can dress them up or down as well. 

1. Simple Classic Headband

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This is probably the first thing you think of when you say headband. And with good reason! 

This thin, simple design is what keeps it a classic. It’s definitely the most functional out of all kinds of headbands. 

It doesn’t have any frills getting in the way but if it’s chic enough to give Blair Waldorf her signature Queen B look, then you know this is something you can elevate yourself.

2. Puffy headband 

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The puffy headband is the 2020’s new classic but it’s definitely not something new.

Inspired by 60s mod style, It takes the simplicity of the standard headband and gives it a bit of oomph. By adding a bit more volume to your crown, it shows off not just your accessory but your hair as well. 

Usually kept in simple colors, it remains elegant. And when it’s typically made with velvet, silk or velour, it gives any outfit a more expensive touch.

3. Classic bow headband

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Another Queen B go-to! Adding a bow to the classic headband not only gives it a little more interest, but it can also add a bit more sweetness to the look. 

The bow is a tried and tested touch that makes the look a bit more youthful than its other more chic predecessors. 

4. Velour headband

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Velour is great for preventing frizz in your hair! If you have more finicky hair, your should probably be mindful of what fabric is used in your elastic headband.

While other fabric introduce friction and cause frizz, the softness of velour is great for keeping your hair silky and smooth.

It’s also a classic texture that lends a really posh look to just about any style.

5. Bandana Headband

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Another go-to relaxed look! You can do it yourself with a spare bandana lying around, or use one with a classic bandana pattern. 

Depending on your outfit, it can go anywhere from grunge to retro, and definitely serves its function well. Ask Rosie the Riveter!

6. Braided Headband

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For a more laid back look, braided headbands are for you! You can try one the same color of your hair for a more subtle look. But ones with bright colors and patterns are great in complement to a rustic style. 

You can try different widths of braided headbands too!

The bigger the band, the more boho the vibe!

7. Crocheted headband 

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Few things are cozier than crochet and knits. Your hair doesn’t have to be exempt if you’re looking for that warm vibe.

They can also be really helpful during the winter for keeping your head and ears warm while pulling your look all together. 

8. Turban headband 

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The turban is a great alternative for the boho look as well! It can be a protective look for your hair as it covers most of your head and ties up in front. 

Or for bad hair days, just toss it on and no one will ever suspect a thing! 

9. Scarf headband 

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Oh no! Don’t have a headband in handy? Try using a long hankie or a scarf to fashion yourself one. It’s easy and simple.

All you have to do is give it a few folds, tie it in the back, and voila! You have an instant headband. 

10. Satin headband 

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If you’re looking for another elastic headband that won’t snag, then satin is going to be your best friend!

With its smooth, slippery surface, it will keep your hair in place without the frizz. 

It’s always an elegant look that gives a more grown-up touch to the headband.  

11. Sweatbands

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Sweatbands are a staple in any fitness junkie’s wardrobe.

They’re headbands usually made of absorbent material like terry cloth or microfiber.

You’d often find them to be the pinnacle of functionality as far as headbands go, because as the name suggests, they’re used for sopping up sweat when you’re out on a run or working out. 

With athleisure coming as a trend, sweatbands can be a great accessory as well. New designers are getting sleeker and more modern to get with the times. 

CHECK OUT: Different Types of Hair Bows and How To Make Them

Fashion headbands 

Fashion headbands are where you can really go wild and express yourself. A lot of them might not be as functional at keeping your hair in place as traditional ones, but these are definitely for turning heads!

1. Tiara headband 

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Now, while this might not be for everyday, you’ll maybe want to have some princess moment at one point. Headbands can give you that fairytale look as well! 

With dainty gems, gold details and beads, headbands can be for royalty too!

2. Embellished headband

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If understated is not your type, then an embellished headband is the one for you.

Dress it all the way up with crystals, brooches and even designer insignias! It’s definitely a statement piece that catches the eye.

The classic Gucci bee or a tasteful metal LV is sure to elevate the humble headband from something average to avant-garde. 

3. Woven headband

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For a more beachy tropical look, you can go for a woven headband. Woven reeds give it a more tropical feel without having to go all in with color and patterns.

Kept in simple designs like this, you can even trade in your normal nude headbands for this more crafty spin on it. 

4. Pearl headband

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Pearls are a classy girl’s best friend. With their simple, understated elegance, they can elevate headbands into formal wear.

They also have a romantic quality to them which makes them perfect for a date night outfit. 

5. Floral Headband

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If you’re really feeling artsy, you can make yourself a floral headband. This style has made its rounds everywhere from music festivals to weddings. 

But we can’t blame you! They’re pretty, simple and give a very fresh look to any outfit you put them on. Plus you can customize them to have your favorite flowers, flowers in season–and easily go from boho to elegant any time. 

Types of Headbands: FAQs

How many types of hairbands are there?

It would be completely impossible to put a number on how many types of hairbands there are!

With new styles coming out in different kinds of fabrics, each with their own styling and decor, the possibilities are endless!

What is a cloth hair band called?

It totally depends on what kind of material you’re using.

Elastic headbands are typical silk or cotton wrapped around stretchy material.

Sweatbands are absorbent headbands that are usually made of terrycloth. And there are tons of other varieties that can be made of ribbon, satin, velour, you name it!

What is the difference between a headband and headwrap?

A headband is a smaller strip of fabric typically worn around the crown of the head to keep hair out of the face or as an accessory. 

A headwrap on the other hand, is a much larger piece of cloth.It is wrapped around the head, covering most, if not all of the wearer’s hair. This usually has a more protective purpose and is usually worn by people with Afro-textured hair. 

Wrapping Things Up

So, whether you’re looking for something simple to keep your hair in place, or a statement piece to top off a look, there’s a headband out there for you. 

Express yourself with different patterns, colors, embellishments and styles! It’s been around forever, and there’s no sign of it going out of fashion any time soon. 

Who knows, your next experimental headband look might just be the newest trend!

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