Headbands top the list of polarizing hair accessories. They can either make you feel totally put together or conjure up memories from primary school you'd really rather forget. But the return of the headband is fully back in swing, thanks to the likes of celebrities and nearly every show at every fashion week. Not sure how to wear a headband without looking like a 5-year-old? We're here to help. We've rounded up 12 foolproof ways to wear a headband no matter what vibe you're feeling. From sporty styles to red carpet-ready ribbons, keep scrolling for all the headband inspiration you'll ever need.
The Padded Headband
Padded headbands have definitely evolved from your middle school days (think chic instead of childish). The only aspect that's stayed the same is how to put it on—start at your hairline and push it back.
The Embellished Headband
A statement headband like this embellished one deserves to, well, make a statement. Slick back your hair underneath to keep all eyes on your bold accessory.
The Middle Part
This type of headband-parting combo looks great with any hairstyle or length. Instead of pushing the headband back, part your hair down the middle and place the headband toward the back of your head.
The Bandana Scarf
Keep it easy with this classic, versatile headband style. Wrap the bandana or scarf around your head with your hair up or down, then tuck the ends of the scarf in the back of your head or bring them around to front à la Adwoa Aboah.
The Sporty Headband
For a '90s throwback, copy Sarah Hyland's sporty style. This look is a super-simple way to disguise day-three hair. Pull it into a low, loose bun with a scrunchie and top it with a thick elastic headband.
The Wrap Headband
A headband with a print, like the tropical pattern shown here, is a fun yet practical accessory for a day spent outside at a festival. To get this look, either tie your silk scarf yourself or find a version with an elastic strip along the bottom.
The Beaded Headband
When styled with natural, air-dried waves, like Sydney Sweeney's, nothing about this pearl and rhinestone headband says prim and proper.
The Wide Headband With Part
Flat headbands don't have to look super sporty. For a slightly different way to wear the wide, flat headband, follow Jenna Dewan's style and secure your headband over your middle parting for a more modern look.
The Double-Rope Headband
When one headband just isn't enough, copy this chic double rope style from Lupita Nyong'o. Choose a headband in a contrasting color to make it pop, or match it closely to your hair for a more subtle effect.
The Headband Bow
For the ultimate Gossip Girl vibes, we love this sweet Blair-style bow paired with loose Serena-esque waves. The tousled texture of the hair perfectly balances the cuteness of the headband.
The Thin Ribbon Headband
For shorter hairstyles, a skinny ribbon headband, like Kate Hudson's, won't detract from your look or hide too much of your hair underneath.
The Comb-Tooth Headband
Yep, the '00s favorite headband is back, and, of course, Bella Hadid makes it look chic. Make sure the rest of your hair is slick to keep the look polished.