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Workout headbands are a must for keeping sweaty hair out of your face, but finding ones that stay put can be difficult. While there are many (we're talking thousands) of headbands on the market, only some were created to withstand your toughest workouts while keeping sweat away and protecting your hair. We asked trainers what their favorite headbands are so you can find the perfect match for your locks.
Keep reading to find the best workout headbands.
Best Overall: Lululemon Fly Away Tamer Headband Luxtreme
As a Latina woman with curly hair, Nathalia recommends any headband with a grip. “They do a good job of staying in place and keeping flyaways down,” she says. However, she cautions using silicone grip bands, which can damage hair. “Lululemon headbands usually come with a velvet grip on the inside that does a good job of staying in place without breaking the hairs,” she says.
Best Adjustable: Treadbands All-Terrain Tieback
For someone with a small head, like me, Treadbands All-Terrain Tieback is the answer to my problems. First, it has a soft, grippy strip inside that helps it stay in place, and second, it is fully adjustable to head size since it ties up. You can wear it with the tie in front for a pin-up style, or you can tie it in the back. The patterns are gorgeous, and I particularly like my marbled one.
Best Budget: Goody Ouchless Comfort Headwraps
Nicci Robinson, a personal trainer with the Fit Body App, says these headwraps are part of her workout uniform. “I often sweat during my workouts, and my hair gets quite frizzy, so I need something that will help soak up the sweat and keep my flyaways at bay. These headbands are lightweight and breathable. I honestly do not work out without a headband on. It is a part of my workout uniform,” she says.
Best Multi-Purpose: Lunair Twist Comfort Headband
Designed for comfort for your head and ears, Lunair’s headbands caught my eye due to their addition of buttons on the sides. These buttons let you loop a face mask around them, taking pressure off of your ears. They make matching masks and headbands with countless patterns, such as my lovely Cheetah print version. Lunair’s headbands and masks are made with unique technology to help protect against bacteria and odor.
Best for Flyaways: Junk Big Bang Lite
ACE certified personal trainer, Sean Alexander, says “hands down, no contest, the absolute best headband for keeping hair out of my face while I workout is Junk. With the high-quality stretch material and tapered fit of their Big Bang Lite style headband, they aren’t just stylish; they’re also incredibly effective at doing their job.”
Best Turban Style: Loza Tam Turban Headband
Loza Tam was founded by yogi Tomara Watkins, whose eye for beauty and passion for giving back shines through her creations. I use the Turban Headbands for keeping my hair out of my face during inversions and backbends. They are made of Dutch cotton and lined with satin to protect your hair from breakage. My favorites are the Matte Black and Lapis versions. When you buy from Loza Tam, you support highly-skilled women entrepreneurs in Ghana to provide for their families.
Best SPF Protection: Perspective Fitwear Don't Sweat It Tech Headband
I own two of the Don’t Sweat It headbands, and they are perfect for sweaty HIIT sessions or runs. They can be worn two ways, with the gathered tie at the front, which I prefer, or at the back. They stay in place without squeezing your head and feel silky smooth on your skin. Perspective is a San Diego-based company that uses eco-friendly fabric that degrades in a landfill setting within three years.
Best Eco-Friendly: Kooshoo Twist Headband
Kooshoo, which means “feeling good” in Norfuk, is plastic-free and made from organic fairtrade cotton. All of their products are biodegradable, made with safe and non-harmful materials, and use ethical manufacturing. The super-soft, easy-to-wear twist headband is a favorite for yoga, pilates, and hiking. I also love their hair-friendly scrunchies and hair ties.
Best for Cold Weather: Aktiv Viking Headband
This cold-weather pick is a crocheted wool headband with fleece lining. It’s soft and super toasty, so I can still get my hikes and walks in when it’s below zero. Aktiv was founded by Colorado natives who spent time living in Norway. The Scandinavian's penchant for wool and warm clothing inspired them to make all kinds of outdoor and indoor fitness clothing, perfect for those who love to hike or who live in Northern climates.
When we’re in the middle of an intense workout, the last thing we want is our headband to slip and our hair to fly every which way. That’s why we’re giving top honors to Treadband’s All-Terrain Tieback; Its soft, grippy interior keeps it perfectly in place while the adjustable tie allows for the perfect fit every time. Speaking of staying in place, we’re also big fans of Lululemon’s Fly Away Tamer Headband, which uses a velvet grip as opposed to silicone to prevent it from damaging or tugging at the hair. Plus, the brand’s Luxtreme fabric is ultra stretchy and wicks away sweat. And finally, Tactical’s Big Bang Lite headband is another must, designed specifically to help keep you cool with the comfy, soft feel of your favorite tee.
What to Look For in A Workout Headband
The material of your workout headband is super important, not only for its ability to wick away sweat and keep you cool but also to stay in place. Anything too soft like a silk or satin material will likely go flying mid-burpee while some grippier materials may not be breathable enough to keep you dry throughout a cardio burst.
So, what are the best options? “The best headbands for workouts are made of a similar nylon and spandex combination as your clothing,” says fitness expert Christine Bullock. “This blend will stretch while wicking up sweat. Nylon is also breathable and keeps its shape. Cotton is the best at wicking up sweat, however, keep in mind that it can lose its shape pretty quickly.”
Keeping your headband in place can, at times, end up being half the battle of your workout. That’s why finding one with a grippy interior is key—however, you’ll also want to make sure the grip is soft enough to do its job without damaging your hair. With that in mind, avoid styles with a rougher silicone or elastic interior and look for one lined with something gentler, such as cotton, polyester, or even velvet.
When it comes to a workout headband that will successfully keep your hair out of your face, Bullock suggests looking for styles that are at least 1.5 to 2.5 inches in width. “This way, they’ll comfortably fit over both the head and the hair,” she says.