10 Different Types of Headbands for Women (Look Great With These Easy Styles)

A mother and her daughter wearing matching outfits and headbands.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with headbands. They look so cute in the store. When I would get them home and try them on, they didn’t work so well. Instead of just giving up on this handy hair accessory, I decided to educate myself on headbands.

Turns out, the type of headband makes a huge difference in how well it works for your hair and style. If you have ever experienced buyer’s remorse and just tossed a headband in a drawer, this guide will make that a thing of the past.

There are a surprising number of types of headbands, and many subtypes as well. Add in all the different styles, and there is certainly a headband out there for everyone. You just have to know what you are looking for. The two basic types of headbands are fabric and horseshoe headbands.

Fabric Headbands

A close look at a blue fabric headband. Fabric headbands have several subtypes. They are very versatile, and you really can’t go wrong with choosing a fabric headband. As the name suggests, fabric headbands are made from fabric. They work for any hair length, but some styles work better for long hair.

If you have thick hair, they will hold your hair in place easily without causing damage. If you have thin hair, you may find you need to secure the headband with a few bobby pins to keep it in place. They are a good choice for thin hair because they can draw attention away from the hair itself, giving you a more attractive overall look.

The types of fabric headbands are:

  • Sweatbands
  • fashion headbands
  • Turban headbands
  • Scarf headbands
  • Knit headband


A woman wearing a gray sweatband at a jogging trail.

Sweatbands are a must-have workout accessory. They serve two functions, First, like any headband, they are designed to keep your hair out of your face. However, they are also designed to keep sweat out of your face. Getting sweat in your eyes feels like chopping an onion. It’s not a fun experience and it can impair your ability to enjoy your exercise routine.

And no, you shouldn’t just use any fabric headband as a sweatband. Most fabric headbands aren’t secure enough to stay in place with strenuous physical activity. More importantly, they will not be as effective at preventing sweat from reaching your eyes.

Most importantly, unless you plan to wash it after every workout, it will get gross pretty quick. Like gym shoes, only on your face. No one wants that. Sweatbands are designed to absorb moisture and wick it away from your body.

Best sweatbands Calbeing: silicone grip that stays in place during the hardest workouts

Nike Girls' Fury Headband 2.0 (Pink Gaze/Phantom)
Click image for more info

Nike Dri Fit: Tie style and Dri fit technology to keep you cool and dry

Halo II Headband Sweatband Pullover, Black
Click image for more info

Halo 2: Classic style and antimicrobial moisture-wicking material

Fashion Headbands

A woman wearing a fashion headband with her fashionable outfit.

This is what generally comes to mind when you think of fabric headbands. It’s a solid piece of fabric. They are commonly made from cotton, but they may be a blend of materials to allow a stretch. They are generally about 1-2 inches wide. They come in lots of bold patterns to fit any sense of style. They are a good choice if you want to keep things simple.

Best fashion headbands

Goody Ouchless Comfort Headwraps 3Pcs
Click image for more info

Goody Ouchless: Simple and classic

Tie Dye Headbands Cotton Stretch Headbands Elastic Yoga Hairband for Teens Girls Women Adults, Assorted Colors, 10 Pieces (Classic Colors)
Click image for more info

Tie-Dye: Fun bright colors for the young and young at heart

Zapire 12 Packs Headbands Women Hair Bands Stretchy Hairband Soft Head Wrap Beauty Elastic Headbands for Women Hair Accessories for Girl Women Head Bands(12 packs)
Click image for more info

Zapire: a color for every outfit

Turban Headbands

A woman wearing a cute outfit and a matching turban headband.

Turban headbands are also known as Crisscross or Boho headbands. They can come with a Crisscross design, a knot, or a bow at the top. They are thicker than fashion headbands, making them ideal for those with thick hair that requires more fabric to keep it in place.

If you have thin hair, don’t count these out either. Their flair and extra coverage can look great on any hair type. The design can also add volume to flat hair. These headbands look great on short hair and work well with updos, in addition to adding a boho chic to long locks.

Best Turban Headbands

Huachi Turban Headbands for Women Wide Head Wraps Knotted Elastic Teen Girls Yoga Workout Solid Color Hair Accessories, 6 Pack
Click image for more info

Huachi: Wide variety of colors and materials for any occasion

6 Pack Women's Headbands Boho Floral Print Turban Head Wrap Hair Bands (Set 3)
Click image for more info

Boho Floral Print: Six criss-cross style in fun prints

Habibee Women Headbands Turban Headwraps Hair Band Bows Accessories for Fashion Or Sport (Solid Color 8pcs)
Click image for more info

Habibee: Knot style adds a little whimsy without looking juvenile

Scarf Headbands

A close look at a red scarf headband.

Scarf headbands are a longstanding trend. you can get this look by creating your own headband with a scarf. The best part about a headscarf is the ways it can be worn.

Take a scarf or bandana, fold it until it’s the width you desire, and tie it at the top of your head or the nape of your neck. Either way looks great, and it adds versatility to the accessory. It can also be worn with an updo and looks great with short hair when you use the top tie.

If you want to hide a bad hair day, simply fold it in half and tie it at the nape of your neck for a triangle shape. This hides the top of your hair while showcasing the bottom portion. Perfect if you haven’t washed your hair in a few days or you haven’t been able to visit the salon to get your roots colored.

If you don’t want to deal with folding, or even tying, you can purchase a scarf headband that’s thin or retired. You’ll sacrifice some versatility, but you won’t have to worry about it coming undone while you go about your day.

Best scarf headbands

FYLuoke Headband Satin Silk Headwrap Bandana Head Hair Scarf for Women Handbag Handle Wrap Ribbon Hair Accessory (Leopard)
Click image for more info

FyLuoke: Perfect width for use as a headband, self-tie for versatility

QING Headbands for Women Sweat Wicking Scarf Bandana Elastic Workout Headband Wrap Pack of 6
Click image for more info

QING: Classic bandana look with no tying required

MissShorthair 50s Chiffon Scarf Sheer Square Neck Head Scarfs for Women
Click image for more info

50s Chiffon: Many wears to wear, classic chic look

Knit Headbands

A close look at a woman wearing a brown knit headband.

Knit headbands combine form with function. Earmuffs aren’t always ideal, and a toboggan won’t look good with your outfit. What’s a girl to do? Knit headbands are the perfect winter accessory. They will keep your ears warm, your hair in place, and best of all, they are as cute as they are cozy. You can choose different patterns like crochet, cable knit, and even ones with a bow.

They are very comfortable and look great with any hair type. Wear it with your hair down for a cozy casual look, or pair it with a high bun for a little sophistication. They are wide enough to stay in place with short or thin hair, and they can add more interest to your style.

The best knit headbands:

Pangda 4 Pieces Cable Knit Headband Crochet Headbands Plain Braided Head Wrap Winter Ear Warmer for Women Girls, 4 Colors (Black, Beige, Grey, Wine Red)
Click image for more info

Pangda: Four colors and an adorable cable knit braided pattern with a bow at the top

DRESHOW 6 Pack Bow Headband for Women Knotted Hair Band Facial Cloth Headbands
Click image for more info

Dreshow: Simplicity at its finest, knot at the top

Zodaca Womens Plain Braided Winter Knit Crochet Headband, Warm Knitted Hat Head Wrap Hair Band for Winter/Fall/Autumn, Army Green
Click image for more info

Zodaca: Braided cable knit pattern, wide design

Horseshoe Headbands

A close look at a checkered colorful horseshoe headband.

Horseshoe headbands can work well for short or long hair. Some styles can be worn with an updo as well. They come in a wide variety of styles, although not all horseshoe headbands are created equal.

The types of horseshoe headbands are:

  • Plastic headbands
  • wrapped headbands
  • Metal headbands
  • Toothed headbands
  • Miscellaneous headbands

Plastic Headbands

A look at a couple of black plastic headbands.

These are the bane of my existence. Plastic headbands are commonly made for kids, but they are becoming a popular adult fashion accessory as well. They have their good points. They are cheap. They can come with cute ornamentation on top. You can get creative and add your own ornamentation with the help of a glue gun.

They often look like something you would want on your head until you put them on your head. It’s plastic. Glasses can be uncomfortable around the sensitive ear area. Wearing plastic there, why? Why is this torture device still a thing? Are there plastic headbands that are actually wearable?

Then there’s the other problem. If you do manage to ignore the uncomfortableness, I mean, we wear high heels, so why not, how do you keep it in your hair? If you have thin hair, a plastic headband isn’t likely to stay in place. Fabric headbands easily accommodate bobby pins. Plastic ones do not. They also feel, and often look, cheap.

Many plastic headbands come with teeth. Although these are supposed to keep your headband in place, in my experience they do not. These teeth are tiny, and not to be mistaken for the teeth in the upcoming section.

Plastic headbands:

Scunci Effortless Beauty Skinny Plastic Headbands, Assorted Colors, 4-Count
Click image for more info

Scunci Effortless beauty: These are very thin and work well for short hairstyles

Hestya 1 Inch Black Plain Craft Plastic Headbands with Teeth Plastic DIY Hair Accessories Headbands Headwear (20 Pack)
Click image for more info

Hestya: These plain black bands are great for crafts

Minkissy 2pcs Toothed Headbands Plastic Hair Band Anti-slip Hair Hoop Daily Headpiece for Women Girls
Click image for more info

Minkissy 2 piece: Double the torture

Wrapped or Padded Headbands

A close look at a green wrapped headband.

These are a much better choice than plastic headbands, even if they generally are plastic headbands with pretty wrapping. They are much more comfortable while still retaining that classic headband shape. They come in a wide variety of materials and colors. Many of them can be used for DIY projects, similar to their plastic cousins.

Many of them still have the problem of not staying on your head well, particularly if you have fine hair. They can be worn with short or long hair, and they can be the perfect accessory for an updo. Padded headbands come in an impressive array of styles, including rhinestones and soft feminine velvet. If you are looking for a headband that makes a fashion statement, you should consider these.

The best wrapped and padded headbands:

SIQUK 18 Pieces Satin Headbands 1 Inch Wide Non-slip Headband Colorful DIY Headbands for Women and girls, 18 Colors
Click image for more info

SIQUK: Simple satin headband can be worn as is or jazzed up with appliques

Rhinestone Crystal Diamond Headband for Women Fashionable Handmade Wide Hair Hoops Beaded Bling HairBand Hair Accessories
Click image for more info

Rhinestone Crystal headband: great for a party or to add whimsy to your look

Velvet Braided Flock Padded Headband - AWAYTR Spanish Vintage Style Alice Hair band Matador Headband (Yellow + pink + gray)
Click image for more info

Velvet Braided Headband: Soft, feminine, and simple

Metal Headbands

A woman wearing an ornate metal headband.

Surprisingly, metal headbands can be comfortable. Again, they may not stay in your hair all that well on their own. However, most metal headbands work well with bobby pins, so you can easily secure them.

They come in a variety of styles from ultra-simple to elaborate statement pieces. They are generally more durable than most types as well. They give a timeless classic look that’s perfect for simple short or long hairstyles or dramatic updos. They look best on fine or sleek hair.

Best metal headbands:

24 Pieces Smooth Metal Headbands Blank Metal Headbands DIY Craft Frame Hairband for Men Women Hair Accessory, 3 Colors
Click image for more info

Women’s metal headbands: Simple and classic

Simsly Crystal Headband with Flower Beaded Metal Hard Headpiece for Women and Girls (Color A) (Type 1)
Click image for more info

Simsly Crystal Headband: Simple black band with crystals and enamel flowers on the side, beautiful yet understated

8PCS Crystal Headband Pearls Flower Hairbands Jewelry Rhinestone Fashion Headbands Gold Sliver Metal Headbands Headdress for Girls Women Teens
Click image for more info

8 Pc Crystal Headband: Feminine and sparkly but mature

Toothed Headbands

A close look at a red toothed headband.

There’s a recurring problem with headbands you might have picked up on. They don’t stay in your hair. The struggle is real, especially if you have fine or thin hair. One of the easiest ways to solve this problem is to choose a toothed headband. Toothed headbands can be either metal or plastic. They are designed to stay in place and are ideal for all hair types.

The best toothed headbands:

Luckycivia 4 Pcs Plastic Tooth Hair Comb Headband, Comfort Wavy Toothed Hairband, Hard Headbands for Women Men Girls, 4 Styles
Click image for more info

Luckycivia: Simple black and tortoiseshell plastic

STHUAHE4PC Multicolor Protection Resin Teeth Comb Hair Hoop Hairband Headband Hair Accessories by Beauty hair (4 Colors)
Click image for more info

STHUAHE: Floral fabric headband with teeth made of resin

Wave Rhinestone: Beautiful rhinestone bands in several colors with plastic teeth

Wavy headbands

A woman wearing a thin and black wavy headband.

Have you ever spotted one of those women with a beautiful creative part in her hair, and felt a little envy? Maybe you wanted to achieve a similar look, but spending an hour in the mirror with a comb did not give you those same results.

Wavy and toothed headbands can create that look, with virtually no effort. They also stay in your hair better. Yes, it bears mentioning again! Most toothed or wavy headbands are metal. They are usually unadorned, allowing the unique part to take center stage.

Best Wavy Headbands:

evebel Metal Hair Bands for Men Women's Headbands, Unisex Black Wavy Spring Sports Headband for Men's Hair Band Hoop Clips Women Accessories Simple Elastic Non Slip Wide Headwear Bandeau Outdoors
Click image for more info

evebel: Simple wave design

3PCS Metal Hairbands, Black Fashion Spring Headband for Men & Women,Unisex Elastic Sports Wide Hair Band Hoop Clips Accessories
Click image for more info

3 piece metal hairbands: 3 wave styles for different looks

Buorsa 5 in 1 Five PCS Spring Wave Metal Hair Band Girl Men's Hoop Head Band Accessory
Click image for more info

Buorsa: 5 spring and wave styles

How Long Does a Beard Need to be to Braid It?

A look at a woman wearing hair accessories.

11 Different Types of Hair Accessories