Hair ties are one of those universal products that you might not put much thought into choosing. In a pinch, I'll use just about any hair tie available to me. That doesn't mean that some hair ties aren't simply better than others, though, but it's hard to spot the difference between a good and bad hair tie.
What to look for in a hair tie:
A good hair tie shouldn't have any metal or plastic pieces that could snag and cause hair damage. You should also look for a soft material like silk if you're aiming to prevent damage as much as possible. Coiled hair ties are good for preventing marks in your hair
The best overall hair tie:
Slip's small scrunchies are the ideal hair ties. Silk prevents damage by reducing friction on your hair, the inside is a coil to prevent lines or marks from forming on the hair, and the small version can be used for any hairstyle. They're also incredibly durable and will last years.
Pros: prevents damage, durable, doesn't mark hair
Customer review: "Holy grail. I'm so glad they came out with a hair-matching color. I won't wear any other hair tie."
Best knotted hair tie:
These stretchy ribbon hair ties are great if you prefer knotted hair-tie styles. They’re wide and smooth, so they don't cause any damage by snagging the hair.
Pros: prevents damage
Cons: might not hold thick hair in place
Customer review: "I have extremely fine hair and needed something better than the traditional ponytail holder. These are soft, stretchy, and comfortable and don't rip my hair out when removing. "
Best hair tie for sleeping:
If you want to extend any hairstyle while you sleep, silk is the best way to go. These larger Slip scrunchies keep hair in place and prevent any tugging or pulling on your hair while you sleep.
Pros: prevents damage, comfortable
Customer review: "Great scrunchies that have just the right amount of tension (tight enough to hold hair in a ponytail or bun), good quality fabric. Overall, I really like them. They really do keep your hair dent-free and are gentler than regular elastics."
Best hair tie for zero-budge styling:
These hair ties are a classic for a reason. They're stretchy, don't break, and can secure any hair texture into loose or tight ponytails. Once they're in place, they're not going anywhere.
Pros: durable, strong, holds styles
Cons: may leave marks in hair
Customer review: "These are my go to elastics. Long lasting and even when they stretch out they rarely break."
Best hair tie for fine hair:
If you have fine hair, these super-skinny ties feel a little bit better on hair than some of the thicker options. They're stretchy and strong but won't feel like too much for your fine strands.
Pros: prevents damage, durable
Cons: not made for thick or curly hair
Customer review: "Perfect for thin hair. Too small to fit around your wrist, but they keep hair in place. Regular hair ties need to be wrapped around like 15 times."
Best invisible hair tie:
These tiny, ouchless elastics are classic and perfect for more complicated hair looks, braids, or twists. (Celebrity hairstylists also always have them in their kits.) These are great because they're grippy, don't snag, and ensure your style doesn't move at all.
Pros: good for complicated styling, doesn't snag hair
Cons: can't be used for ponytails
Customer review: "Way better than the other little elastic bands I was using before. Those ones would break within half an hour of me using them, these ones I can wear for a full day and still reuse them after. Cannot recommend these enough if you want little hair elastics."
Best coil hair tie:
Invisibobble hair ties look chic, but the coil style serves a purpose: It prevents any marks from ruining your hair, so this hair tie is perfect to keep with you if you plan on putting your hair up sporadically. If you get pain from ponytails, it's also much more forgiving than some other options.
Pros: doesn't mark hair, gentle
Cons: may not hold hair as tightly
Customer review: "Holds my ponytails well and does not damage my hair. If it stretches out, just hit it with your hair dryer on high for a few seconds and it will shrink right back up, like new!"
Best hair tie for curly hair:
These hair ties made specifically with thick, textured hair in mind. They're strong, they don't snag or damage hair, and they make sure styles stay all day.
Pros: prevents damage, durable, made for curls and thick hair
Cons: not made for finer hair types
Customer review: "My hair is a force to be reckoned with, especially when wet. These ties have come through with a reliable hold, keeping my long thick hair in place without constantly slipping or feeling too loose. They provide good stability without making an indent on the hair."
Best hair tie for thick hair:
These are my personal favorite hair ties as someone with thick hair. Not only are they biodegradable, but they're also easy on your hair, stretchy, and non-damaging, but they stay in place.
Pros: prevents damage, durable, biodegradable
Customer review: "These are by far the best hair ties ever for thick hair. I have really thick, straight long hair, and conventional hair ties and scrunchies just do not hold my hair in place. These ties are slightly thicker and bigger than normal hair ties and they hold my hair in place so well! My ponytail never moves after I secure it with these. They're also incredibly durable, I haven't had one break on me or get too stretched out."
Best hair tie for working out:
These hair ties are smooth and easy on your hair, but they also hold styles, so they'll stay in place through even your most intense workouts.
Pros: prevents damage, durable, stays in place
Customer review: "I love these ponytail holders. The elasticity is strong and is a good material. The stretch is good and holds my hair up. The colors are so cute and great for everyday wear. These are my new favorite hair ties!"
Best hair tie for damaged hair:
These hair ties are incredibly soft and gentle on hair. The woven material ensures that hair won't incur any more damage, and it stays in place all day.
Pros: gentle on hair, made with soft woven material
Cons: may lose elasticity
Customer review: "These hair ties don't seem to pull out hair as much as others. The only problem is that they stretch out rather quickly. "
Best hair tie for wet hair:
These innovative scrunchies are made with microfiber towels, so they're the perfect way to keep wet hair out of your face while also helping it dry. Normal towels can cause breakage, but microfiber towels are gentle on the hair.
Pros: prevents damage, made for wet hair
Cons: not meant to be worn around
Customer review: "This towel scrunchie is fantastic! It's very soft, stretchy and absorbent. Even if I only use it for several minutes, it absorbs a lot of water from my hair so that it won’t drip down my back or make the back of my shirt damp. It doesn't damage my hair, create an indentation, or cause frizz. "
Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.