The Timeless Scrunchie

When it comes to daily hair, I’m a person who would much rather wear my hair down than up only because I always end up with a hair-ache when I put it up (hair-ache’s not a real term but the internet seems to know what I’m saying when I look it up).

Even when I wear a bun for dance performances, I take pain meds to keep the hair-ache at bay (our hair is pulled back really tight so ibuprofen is a necessity for me). There is, of course, the option of wearing my hair in a low pony, but I’m not a fan of how I look with one.

I bring this up because living in Hong Kong has introduced me to typhoon rains and given me a new understanding of what humidity really means. Humidity spray helps tremendously, but I find myself wishing that I didn’t get hair-aches every time I put my hair up.

Recently, I posted an Instagram Story asking whether anyone could give me tips on things I could do to prevent these up-do headaches. Responses included using spiral hair ties (they look like old-school phone cords but are super comfortable), braids, and scrunchies…

Scrunchies have reinserted themselves into fashion trend cycles several times since the 80s, but I never considered wearing one until a friend responded to my story suggesting them. If I’m honest, I have been thinking about trying them again for a while, but I had no idea where to start as I hadn’t worn one since I was a kid. Which colors should I get, what materials should I try, how do I wear them, what do I wear them with?

So I did some quick research and sent some to my sister via Amazon for her to bring when she came to visit.

“Did you order these??”, she asked as she presented a plastic bag of velvet scrunchies. I looked at them and realized that I had committed to trying them without knowing how I was going to try them.

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On a rainy day, I decided to break open the bag and play with them. Here’s what I learned:

1. What color should I get?

When trying something new, unless color is a contributing factor to the style, my default color selection is either black or a neutral – grey, beige, etc. That said, unless you’re looking for a designer scrunchie (and yes, they do exist), scrunchies are cheap! The pack of scrunchies displayed above was just $12 USD for 16. So there’s no harm in getting a few and testing them out. I’d love to try one with a print next!

2. What material(s) should I get them in?

Unlike your basic hair tie, or even one of those spiral hair ties, scrunchies  can add to your outfit. But unlike another item of clothing, you don’t really need to worry too much about whether the material clashes with what you’re wearing. Scrunchies come in just about any material – velvet, denim, sequin, and satin, etc. So if you’re debating on trying them for the first time, or if you’re like me and are considering wearing one again for the first time since forever, I’d suggest going for a classic material like, velvet, denim or satin. But if you’d rather just go big, there’s never anything wrong with a little bit of sequin!

3. How do I wear them?

The classic way of wearing scrunchies is of course in a ponytail – high, low, to the side, or half-pony all work perfectly well. But you can also wear them around or tangled into a bun, tied at the end of a braid, or in a bubble ponytail.

4. What can I wear them with?

When initially brainstorming outfits, my mind went immediately to leggings and big tees, high-waisted skinny denim with cropped tees or sweatshirts; basically any outfit with a 90s vibe. While I love those looks, I continued playing and realized that they can really be worn with anything. Shirt dresses, button down shirts and dresses, denim skirts, wide leg pants, etc. It’s the color/pattern pairing that matters the most, so as long as you have that together, then it really doesn’t matter what you wear. That said, I’d personally stick to wearing scrunchies with casual gear, but if I thought it went well with something dressy, I wouldn’t hesitate giving it a try.

5. Anything else I should know?

One thing that I also realized when playing with scrunchies, and possibly the biggest perk, is that the soft fabric also means that they’re much less likely to snag and pull your hair, and they won’t leave those annoying dents in your hair even when you’ve had it tied for long periods of time! They might slip out of your hair if you don’t secure it well enough, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.


Blog edited by: Betty Ho

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