12 Hairstyles That Prove Headbands Are the Best Hair Accessory

It's no secret that here at Who What Wear we love a good hair accessory. Whether we're talking about clips, barrettes, ribbons, or scarves, they're the easiest way to elevate a hairstyle—any hairstyle, really. We mean it. Whenever our hair is looking rather, um, lackluster, we toss a hair accessory into it, and we're out the door in five minutes flat. That's why we're always expanding our hair-accessory wardrobe. We never know when we'll need a little extra help.

The easiest and perhaps most classic hair accessory we reach for is the humble headband. While it's often associated with a preppy Upper East Side look à la Blair Waldorf, it can actually suit myriad styles and aesthetics. There's a look for '90s-supermodel-hair enthusiasts, red carpet replicators, people with short hair or braids, and more. Need proof? We got you. Keep scrolling to see 12 of the best headband hairstyles from influencers, celebrities, and expert hairstylists.


(Image credit: @cassdimicco)

Remember how we said there was a headband style for '90s-supermodel-hair enthusiasts? Here it is. All you need is a thin black headband to accentuate a voluminous blowout. Even though it gives us '90s vibes, it's actually quite timeless. And while a black blazer and gold hoops aren't necessary, they're highly encouraged. 


(Image credit: @kendalljenner)

The second we saw this picture, which Kendall Jenner posted back in 2019, it went directly into our saved folder on Instagram. We love Bella Hadid's ultra-wide headband and the way it pushes back her long locks. The key to this look, in our opinion, is the undone texture. 


(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Emmanuelle's long tendrils look stunning paired with this chic velvet headband. Whether you have coils, lose curls, waves, or straight hair, pulling a few pieces out in front of the headband looks chic on every hair type.


(Image credit: @mishti.rahman)

If you're a loyal supporter of the Blair Waldorf aesthetic, this look is the one for you. Simply place a classic headband over shiny barrel curls. If it's not broken, don't fix it, right? 


(Image credit: @leletny)

This is proof that a high ponytail plus a thin, negative-space headband is the equation for a chic hairstyle. By the way, this headband is the Lelet NY Vera Crystal Headband ($218). 


(Image credit: @hoskelsa)

A hair scarf counts as a headband, right? We think so. Elsa Hosk models a perfectly modernized '60-inspired look with her multicolored hair scarf. To replicate this look, you'll need to spritz a product like the Amika Un.Done Volume and Matte Texture Spray ($27) through your mid-lengths and ends to get similar, effortless-looking volume. 


(Image credit: @gabunion)

Gabrielle Union-Wade debuted this iconic headband hairstyle in Paris. While we love a simple headband, there's something to be said about a maximalist moment. 


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

Speaking of maximalist moments, hairstylist Justine Marjan posted this gorgeous example of her work that was made complete by a ruffled ribbon-like headband. We love the juxtaposition of the bold hair accessory with the simplicity of the low ponytail. 


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

Also from Marjan, this look on Ashley Graham is more proof that sometimes the best headband hairstyles are also the most simplistic. To replicate this look, slick your hair back in a low bun and top it with a jeweled headband. It's simple yet statement making. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Who can forget this red carpet look from Hailey Bieber? Every aspect of this look is perfect—the eyeliner, the gold hoops, the black headband, and the teased volume at the crown. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jessica Alba gives us another example of a red carpet–appropriate headband. Hers, like Union-Wade's, is bold and pearl encrusted. We're obsessed. 


(Image credit: @rowanblanchard)

Our last example comes courtesy of Rowan Blanchard. She accessorizes her chic pixie cut with what looks like a padded velvet headband (it's only one of our favorite types of headbands). 

8 Headbands We're Shopping Now

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Next, I Just Went to Paris, and Every French Girl Is Using These Haircare Products

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.