At one point or another, odds are you’re going to want to pull your hair out of your face. But any old hair tie won’t do: Some ponytail holders will trap and break dry or fine hair; others will leave creases on thick, kinky hair. And office-supply rubber brands are a nonstarter no matter what your hair type. Use the wrong hair tie, and your stylist will likely be able to spot the breakage and damage at a glance. (“A major issue with common hair ties is that your hair gets stuck in the fibers, and when you pull them out, you’re pulling out hair,” says Dominick Pucciarello, a New York hairstylist.) So to find the best hair ties for all kinds of hair, we asked seven hairdressers to share their favorite elastics, ties, and bands.
Best all-around hair ties
Several stylists agreed that Scünci No Slip Grips are great for basically all types and textures of hair. “Whether you have heavy hair or fragile, finer hair, No Slip Grip holds hair in place without any damage,” says Laura Polko, a Los Angeles hairstylist. Liana Zingarino, a stylist at Serge Normant by John Frieda Salon in New York, confirms that they work well for wavy and curly types, too. “They have the same sleek, anti-breakage appeal as Scünci’s traditional no-damage ties, but are made of a thicker, anti-slip material to keep curls in place,” she says.
These Invisibobble ties — which look like pieces of old-school telephone cord — have become popular in the past couple of years, despite looking slightly intimidating and like they’d tangle your hair. Two stylists confirmed that they will not, and voted for these for people who want to sleep in hair ties, or just wear them without rumpling hair too much. “This doesn’t pull the hair and isn’t likely to leave a crease,” Pucciarello says. Andrew Fitzsimons, a stylist in New York, agrees: “The traceless hair ring leaves no dents or bumps in your hair, comfortable to sleep in, and is durable enough to hold any texture.”
Best hair ties for fine, straight, or wavy hair
Also popular were the L. Erickson Grab & Go Tubes, which Nelson Vercher, a senior stylist at Rita Hazan in New York City, likes for the color variety and the storage container they come packaged in. “It’s very smooth, so it won’t snag on hair,” he says, making them also excellent for any delicate, easily broken strands.
“My absolute favorite hair ties are the Goody Ouchless elastics,” says Felix Fischer, a hairstylist in New York. “They’re perfect for every texture because they’ll never pull on the shaft, which is great for hair that needs some extra TLC,” he adds. These are also nice because they’re available in black, brown (seen here), and blond, so that the colors help the tie blend seamlessly into strands.
Best hair ties for kinky and natural hair
Fitzsimons is a huge fan of the Snappee Hair Ties for natural textures “because they don’t use the traditional elastic tension found in common hair ties,” he says. “Plus, the soft texture of these doesn’t create frizz, and it can be customized to fit your hair’s thickness while snapping back into shape after use.”
Best hair ties for processed or damaged hair
Most of the stylists also agreed that damaged, processed hair probably benefits most from the revival of the scrunchie trend, since those don’t expose hair strands so directly to elastic. If that’s not appealing or practical, Marissa Robinson, a stylist in Washington, D.C., suggests Silke Hair Ties by Silke London. “They offer great hold without snagging the hair, and they’re all the accessory you need,” she says.
Best hair ties for short hair
For short cuts, braid ties, or any other smaller twist, Polko swears by Polybands, which slide easily on and off and come in five compact sizes, which tend to work better for smaller ponytails or buns. The clear, reusable hair elastics disappear even into the most intricate of styles. “Always Polybands. Always,” she says.
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