Gone are the days when holding up your hair with a thin, flimsy elastic would cut it. Today, there’s a staggering amount of options for holding your hair in place from telephone cord-inspired Invisibobbles to colorful Emi Jay ties to seriously fashion-forward hair cuffs.
“I notice so many new hair ties now chilling on people’s wrists, fooling me into thinking they have on a nice piece of jewelry,” says Ashley Rubell, New York City hairstylist. “Hair ties have gotten so inventive.”
But, err, with so many options, which of these ties is best for which occasions? While some might inspire confidence in your ponytail’s staying power at the gym, others might, in fact, be better suited for creating loose, Pinterest-worthy ‘dos and still others might be meant for taking you from SoulCycle to brunch—crease-free.
To help suss out the situation, Rubell shares her intel on which IRL situations call for which hair bands.
Keep scrolling to find the smartest fit for every occasion.
When you don’t want your pony to budge
To get a classic ponytail that doesn’t move—no many how many burpees are in your future, the tried-and-true no-slip elastics from Scuni, $3, are still queen. “Bungee cords give you the most control over the tension of your pony because you can stop wrapping at any point,” says Rubell. “They are on the thicker side, so I usually use a small piece of hair to wrap around the base of the ponytail.”
When you’re headed to Soulcycle…then brunch
Scrunchies (like this perfectly pink pleated one from Free People, $6) provide a much-needed solution to the problem that plagues post-gym hair—the dreaded crease. Because the elastic is wrapped in a piece of material, it helps to mitigate the issue, so you can throw back your hair for a spin class and then hit up The Butcher’s Daughter afterwards. Better yet? Scrunchies give your sweat sesh some major flare. “I love to work out and spend time outdoors, so I’ve got a separate wardrobe for hikes and runs,” Rubell says. “I personally love using a ’90s-inspired scrunchie to go with my gear!”
When it’s a top knot-only kind of day
“I actually make my own hair tie for a long-lasting top knot,” says Rubell. To do this, hit up your local craft store (or, you know, Amazon) and buy a spool of elastic. You want a tie that wraps around your hair twice if it’s on the thinner side and three times if your hair is thicker.
When you want a loose updo—that stays put
When you need a style that has the appearance of being loose, but actually won’t budge an inch, reach for Blax Elastics, $7, says Rubell. “I love these so much because you can stretch them out as much as you need to and they never snap,” she says. “They come in all different colors to blend in with your hair. The fact that they don’t stand out brings an effortless feeling to your updo.”
When you’re searching for your everyday elastic
Depending on the texture of your hair, your everyday hair tie could be a little different. For those with curly and coily hair, Rubell suggests reaching for something with a stretchy fabric tie such as an Emi-Jay, $18. For those with straight or wavy hair, she suggests locking your style in place with for a telephone-cord inspired Invisibobble, $8.
When you want to accessorize
To give your regular-old style a little something special, opt for a gold cuff. “I love Preview’s hair pieces because they’re ornamental but still mature and sophisticated,” says Rubell. The elastic grips your hair, while the cuff can be positioned so that it’s all you see.