How To Wear a Headband: Simple Guide + Tips to Look Effortlessly Chic

Headbands are a fashion statement that has been around for years and is likely here to stay. If you’ve been reluctant to try headbands, you have good reasons. There are so many types with different styles and you can get overwhelmed. However, since this is a fashion style I love so much I couldn’t help but give a guide on how to wear a headband. 

The first thing you need to know about headbands is that they are easy to wear. However, you need to know the times to wear them and times to ditch them and this depends on three factors which are your outfit, hairdo, and type of headband. These factors are also the steps you take when you want to know how to wear a headband.

Choose an Outfit

The first step to wearing a headband is choosing an outfit that works. This comes first because it gives you an idea of what headband to avoid for your look. Some headbands are perfect for a casual outfit while others can be suitable for a dressy occasion. The outfit you wear helps you decide, so this is a great place to start. 

Choose a Hairdo 

black woman wearing bandana

To know how to wear a headband, you need to know what to do with your hair. After creating your outfit, the next step is to style your hair in a way that matches your look. You can put your hair in a ponytail, side or center part. Also, you can just pull your hair back with the headband. 

Choose The Type of Headband 

Different types of headbands can go with various hairdos and outfits. The most common headbands include:

1. Fabric Headbands

Fabric headbands are exactly like the name says and are one of the most popular and versatile types of headbands. They come in various colors, styles, and sizes. Fabric headbands are easy to wear with a side or center part, and they are also suitable with hair pulled back.

If you have bangs, you can also wear this headband. It works for any hairstyle as long as your hair covers the back of the headband. 

As for outfits, these headbands are a stylish plus to your look. You can wear them with casual or corporate wear. If you’re going for an official look, you should wear a simple fabric headband that matches your outfit and doesn’t take the shine out of it. Best to stick with simple designs like polka dots, stripes, or a plain fabric headband. 

2. Toothed Headbands

These are a must for anyone who doesn’t want to put their hair in an updo before wearing a headband. Toothed headbands are one of the most naturally secure types of bands because of their teeth-like design at the upper part of the headband. 

They can hold down thick, long or short hair in place. However, they do not work well with braids. 

If you’re planning to use your toothed headband as a way to get strands of hair out of your face, you can opt for a plain looking one. But if you choose one to be part of your outfit, they’re versatile and anything goes with them. You can wear them for casual and official outings. 

3. Plastic Headbands 

Plastic headbands are mostly associated with kids but these days, it’s not uncommon to see some adults rocking them. However, since they tend to look cheap, fragile, and childish, you must know how to wear them. This cute headband should be reserved for casual outings like the park, walking your dog, a trip to the beach, etc. 

These types of headbands are for laid-back outfits. To make it look more adult, go for neutral colors as opposed to bright colors. Also, avoid headbands that have childish designs and stick to something simple. If you have thin hair, you might find it hard to use a plastic headband. Some have teeth but they’re not very secure. 

4. Scarf Headbands

Scarf headbands are a must for every female. They are stylish, colorful, and perfect for everyone. This type of headband is a scarf attached to a headband just as the name suggests. You don’t need to tie it or style it like regular scarves, just put them on. These are essential when you’re having a bad hair day when you just had a wash day, or on those days when you don’t feel like doing anything with your hair. 

Scarf headbands are suitable for hair worn down. You can do a side, center parting, or bangs to spice it up a bit. They have a casual look and work best for brunch, beaches, grocery trips, etc. 

5. Sweatbands 

woman wearing sweatband

Sweatbands are a subtype of fabric headbands and they are a lifesaver. Sweatbands are great for exercising to keep sweat out of your face and keep your hair out of the way. However, most people just go for a sweatband that matches their workout clothes. 

While picking a sweatband, check the fabric and ensure it has moisture-wicking features. That is, it can absorb sweat without getting drenched. Regular sweatbands get soaked easily and it gets gross and uncomfortable. 

For hairstyles, you can wear your hair any way you want it, but ponytails are best. Try limiting wearing sweatbands to when you’re exercising or performing any strenuous activity.

6. Turban Headband

Turban headbands are stylish, always in trend, and versatile. They are easy to wear and work with any hairdo. Turban headbands are different from head wraps which need to be wrapped around your head. Also, turban headbands don’t have a bulky center like the head wrap does. You can pair your turban headband with any casual outfit. 

7. Embellished Headbands

These headbands are elegant, stylish, and beautiful. You can use them as an addition to your jewelry or even use them as a swap. Embellished headbands are shiny with different styles and colors. 

This delicate headband is suitable for anyone and works well with any hairstyle you can wear down. You can wear them casually or corporately to any occasion from office meetings to dinners, formal events, or weddings, they are perfect. 

8. Knitted Headbands 

Knitted headbands are great for the winter. Not only do they keep your ears warm, but they also add style to your outfit. They have different styles and colors. I find the ones with a bow very stylish and like to incorporate them into my outfit. Knitted headbands are best for a casual look and work with all hair types. 

9. Velvet Headbands

Velvet headbands are another stylish, chic, and perfect accessory. If you’re stuck on how to wear a headband, go with a velvet headband. They are suitable for various hairstyles and outfits since there are several styles and colors. 

Tips on How to Wear a Headband 

woman wearing scarf headband

Here are some simple tips to help you rock a headband with almost any look:

  • Keep it simple 
  • Always consider the occasion
  • Make sure your headband fits properly
  • Wear your headbands according to the season
  • Minimize jewelry when wearing a headband 
  • Choose headband styles you’re comfortable in 
  • If you’re unsure of what to do with your hair while wearing headbands, just wear them down 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are headbands bad for my hair? 

No, headbands are not bad for your hair. However, most people find that wearing headbands often can cause breakage or thinness. I have the perfect tip to help you avoid this apart from the obvious which is not to wear headbands often. 

Tip one, when you wear headbands ensure your hair isn’t in a tight updo which can contribute to breakage. Tip two, after wearing a headband, especially ones that pull your hair back, take your favorite hair treatment and massage it deep in your scalp to start healing. If these tips don’t work, it’s best to avoid headbands. 

How can I make my headbands fit? 

If you’re wearing a headband made from a fabric of any kind, you can use bobby pins to hold them firmly to your hair. However, if it is another type of headband, it’s almost impossible to make the fit if they are not your size. 

Are headbands the same as hair bands? 

A headband is a fashion accessory while hair bands are elastic bands used to keep hair from your face. 

How many types of headbands are there? 

There are more than twenty different types of headbands. However, these headbands are usually a subgroup of other headbands. For example, sweatbands are a subgroup of fabric headbands, wavy headbands are a subgroup of toothed headbands, etc.

What is the difference between a headband and a head wrap? 

The headband is a fashion accessory in the form of an elastic band or a horseshoe shape metal, while a head wrap is a piece of clothing wrapped around the head in a particular style. 


Now that you know how to wear a headband, I suggest you try it out with several outfits. Since they are simple and versatile, you have an outfit or two in your wardrobe you can style them with. 

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