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How Do I Choose the Best Elastic Hair Bands?

By Kelly Ferguson
Updated May 21, 2024
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The best elastic hair bands for you will largely depend upon your hair thickness and the styles you plan on using the elastic bands to create. One guideline that applies to everyone, however, is that it is generally healthier for your hair to choose an elastic band that is fully encased in a cloth covering, rather than those with a metal closure or, worse, an exposed rubber band. Aside from that, the size and thickness of the bands will be the most important detail for those with heavy, thick hair who want to pull all of their hair back at once. Additionally, you have the option of choosing plain elastic hair bands that blend into your style unobtrusively, or brighter colors and bands with decorations such as beads, glitter, and other additions.

If you plan on using the elastic bands to hold all of your hair back, such as in a ponytail or bun, it is important to buy elastic hair bands that are large enough and strong enough. A good general rule of thumb is that, for your hairstyle to be held securely for several hours, the elastic band should wrap around your hair at least twice. If you have thicker hair, you can judge whether the elastic hair band will be large enough if it fits around your wrist.

In addition to the overall size, the thickness of the elastic bands themselves also matters. People with thinner hair often prefer smaller, thinner elastic hair bands because they find that the thicker and stronger bands hold their hair too tightly, which pulls uncomfortably after a while. Thick-haired individuals find that thin elastic hair bands snap too easily or do not hold back their heavy hair effectively after a while. If you are unsure which ones would be most effective for you, you can always choose to purchase a variety pack with various sizes and thicknesses of bands included.

You may want more subtle colors, such as brown, black, or navy blue for styles where the elastic bands should not be obviously visible. Colorful elastic hair bands, however, can add youth and fun to an otherwise unremarkable ponytail. Match your elastic band color to your outfit for color coordination, or choose elastic bands with glitter, beads, feathers, and other fun decorations for a more creative look. Elastic bands with very thick, scrunchy cloth coverings can be used to decorate ponytails and buns with a larger splash of color.

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Discussion Comments

By anon274273 — On Jun 11, 2012

I use all sorts of hair bands. I find them in my bed, the car, bathroom, you name it. My new favorite obsession are Kitsch Hair Ties because they are super soft on my hair. They never snag or pull and they look amazing on my wrist as a bracelet.

By Catapult — On Oct 04, 2011

Sometimes, instead of the regular sized elastics for hair, I use stretchy headbands, the kind that are like really long hair elastics. They come in different colours sometimes and are good if you have really long and thick hair and want to put it up in a bun without using any extra clips or pins. I also like wrapping them around my wrist multiple times; they can even be like bracelets if you match them to your outfit.

By vogueknit17 — On Oct 03, 2011

@Sara007- I agree. I don't like elastic bands with any metal in them. They snag my hair or come apart, and they sometimes cost more than other types or hair bands.

I think it is easy to find pretty good quality, too, without spending much. Goody and other drugstore brands are usually pretty durable, and I like types that come in big packs of at least 20 at a time, since I have a tendency to lose them.

By Sara007 — On Oct 03, 2011

@manykitties2 - If you're just looking to add a bit of sparkle to your elastic bands I would see if you can find some clear elastic hair bands that have a bit of glitter right inside them.

I find that the elastic bands with the metal threads running through them fray really easily and tend to get snagged in your hair. Nothing is worse than getting one of those metal threads snagged in your hair.

I think you should really look at quality when shopping for elastic bands for hair, as cheap ones can actually tear your hair and damage it.

By manykitties2 — On Oct 02, 2011

Has anyone used hair elastic bands that have the metal threads embedded into the cloth fabric that wraps around the hair elastic?

I have been looking for some elastic bands that will add a bit of shimmer to my hair, and the metal threaded ones look like they would do the trick. Unfortunately, I am not sure if they are going to get snagged in my hair or now.

Up until now I have been buying really lovely elastic hair bands which are encased in a stretchy silk. The bands go in really smoothly, but I am tired of the same old look every day.

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