Headbands Are Back—Here's How You Can Wear Them

Updated 12/02/19

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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.

How to wear a headband: padded headband
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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.

Woman wearing embellished headband

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.

how to wear a headband: Woman wearing black headband with middle parting
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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.

how to wear a headband: Adwoa Aboah wearing a bandana

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.

how to wear a headband: Sarah Hyland wearing a headband with ponytail
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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.

how to wear a headband: Festival headband
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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.

How to wear a headband: Sydney Sweeney
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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.

how to wear a headband: Wear the headband over your parting
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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.

how to wear a headband: Rope Headband
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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.

how to wear a headband: Woman wearing bow headband with beach waves
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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.

how to wear a headband: Try a thinner headband
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The Thin Ribbon Headband

For shorter hairstyles, a skinny ribbon headband, like Kate Hudson's, won't detract from your look or hide your too much of your hair underneath.

how to wear a headband: Try a tooth comb headband for a '00s vibe
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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.

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