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How to wear headbands: 6 ways to rock the trend

Top stylists share tips for rocking this chic hair accessory in six different ways.
How to wear headbands
Headbands are back! How to wear six of the most popular styles. Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Headbands tend to be one of those undervalued hair accessories associated with school girl uniforms or extreme runway moments. But over the last few years, the classic hair accessory has gotten a serious makeover.

Headbands for women today are more classy than cutesy, but before we give this comeback hair accessory another try, we consulted the pros to find out how to style six of the most popular headbands styles around.

The thin headband

Julianne Hough hair
A thin band can make a subtle statement, as seen here on Julianne Hough.Dave M. Benett / Getty Images

The vibe: Simple and sweet! A thin headband can look sporty or classy, depending on the material and hairstyle you choose.

How to wear it:

  • Add funky flair to a pixie cut: "Consider a piece-y pixie styled in an edgy manner with gel. Firm gels work best, especially if the hair dries naturally. Pop the headband in and you're good to go with a spritz of your favorite hairspray," said Gina Rivera, founder of By Gina and Phenix Salon Suites.
  • Use it with any style: "A thin band pairs well with a simple updo or it can add a bit of flair to textured hair styled down," said Bianca Hillier, colorist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles.
  • Keep bangs at bay: "Smooth out any baby hairs or flyaways with a toothbrush or clear mascara before you put the headband on,"said Lauren Baxter, stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon.

The winter headband

Kate Middleton headband
Staying warm and looking chic is all in a day's work for the Duchess of Cambridge.Max Mumby / Getty Images

The vibe: Utilitarian yet chic. A knit winter headband with a bow is a fashion-forward alternative to earmuffs or a hat.

How to wear it:

  • Don't fret your part: "When wearing a headband like this, it's best not to part your hair but rather brush your hair back before putting the headband on," Baxter said.
  • Try a sleek bun: "I would suggest using a light hairspray rather than any kind of styling gel or pomade to keep the hair in place, because you don’t want any product to rub off on the fabric of the headband," Baxter suggested.
  • Go for the volume: "If more volume is the goal, begin by using a large barrel curling iron to create soft waves. Use your fingers to gently comb through the waves and then finish with hairspray spray once you have put on the headband," Rivera said.

The fashion headband

Taylor Swift hair
Time to get glam? Reach for a bejeweled headband, like Taylor Swift.Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic

The vibe: This one's for all the glam gals out there! A bejeweled or embellished headband is the perfect fashion-meets-function accessory to top off your tresses.

How to wear it:

  • Accentuate your bangs: "Keep fringe in the front of the headband for a flirty feel," Hillier said.
  • Show off your long locks: Try a low-lying ponytail that's gently pulled back to the nape of the neck. "Use a soft gel to create texture and secure with bobby pins placed behind the ear," Rivera said.

  • Flaunt your pixie: Have a pixie cut? Try a sleek, straight look. "Use a serum or a soft gel for a classic, retro style," Rivera said.

The knot headband

Jessica Alba headband
As Jessica Alba knows, a knotted headband looks great with a middle part.Toni Anne Barson / FilmMagic

The vibe: Versatility at it finest. A knot headband in a sleek material looks refined yet sassy all at the same time.

How to wear it:

  • Have fun with your style: "The knot headband can be used with any type of hairstyle — up or down," Rivera said.
  • Perfect your part: "This is a great look to wear with a middle part to make a fancy, sophisticated statement. The part gives some youth while the sleek exterior offers refinement," Hillier explained.

  • Go light on the product: "I would be careful not to use any styling products that are too heavy or greasy. Try a flexible-hold hairspray to help hold hair in place before putting the headband on. Do not use styling products when the headband is on the head to protect the fabric," Baxter said.

The soft scarf headband

Eva Mendes hair
Eva Mendes looks stylish and comfy in a scarf headband.Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

The vibe: Classy meets cool. A scarf headband can be worn a myriad of ways and has the added advantage of being super soft and comfy.

How to wear it:

  • Wear it through multiple seasons: "The scarf is perfect to wrap hair, whether it's dirty or clean, and creates a cute, bohemian vibe," Hillier said.
  • Style your scarf multiple ways: You can tie the scarf on the top of the head, creating a knot or bow, or tie the scarf underneath at the nape of the neck," Baxter said.
  • Add height: "This style is great for long, thick, textured hair. To add volume, apply a firm-holding gel or volume booster to the roots. Blow out hair then separate it at the crown into three sections. Next, tease each section at the base of the hair starting at the front of the crown. Next, use a boar bristle brush or comb to lightly smooth a section of the hair over the top of the teased section, creating a sleek, finished look. Follow with hairspray," Rivera said.

The hairstyle extender

amfAR Gala Milano 2017 - Red Carpet
Give a blowout new life with a thick headband.Stefania D'Alessandro / Getty Images

The vibe: A simple, thick headband can easily blend in when worn further back on the head or make a bolder statement when placed right at the hairline.

How to wear it:

  • Make your blowout last: "This is one of the oldest tricks for extending a blowout just one more day. Start by taming flyaways with a styling cream. Use a dry shampoo through the crown to absorb any oil and add volume, then tease hair throughout the crown and gently push it back. Add your headband, pushing down into the root as you push the headband back into place to slick the hair back," Baxter said.
  • Va-va volume: "This is perfect for clients with extensions who love a voluminous style. Keeping the hair sleek to the scalp in front of the band allows for an expansive crown and hides any additional hair pieces for length," Hillier said.
  • Show off your beautiful face: "By wearing the headband closer to the front of your crown, you put the focus on your gorgeous eyes and skin," Rivera said.