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Were Hair Ties Invented Before Rubber Bands?

Did you know hair ties predate rubber bands? Learn the surprising history of this everyday accessory.

Were Hair Ties Invented Before Rubber Bands?

When Were Hair Ties Invented?

The History of Hair Ties

Have you ever wondered when hair ties were first invented? The history of hair ties goes back thousands of years, with one of the earliest known uses among ancient Egyptians who used them to secure wigs onto their heads. This was a practical solution to the scorching heat as they needed a way to keep their wigs from falling off of their sweaty heads. Hair ties then became a fashion statement for the wealthy, with rich Roman women during the first century AD using bands of human hair to tie their manes. Later on, Native Americans used leather straps to tie their hair, which were both fashionable and functional.

Modern Hair Ties

It wasn't until the early 20th century that elastic bands became popular as hair ties. These were made of rubber and covered in fabric, making them more durable than previous hair-tie options. They were cheap and convenient enough to become mainstream and allowed women to put their hair up for the first time easily.

In the 1980s, the scrunchie was invented, and it became an extremely popular hair accessory. The scrunchie was made from a soft fabric covering a large elastic band and had a distinctive look. Worn on the wrist or in the hair, the scrunchie became one of the top hair trends of the 80s and early 90s.

Recent Innovations

In recent years, new types of hair ties have been invented as the demand for hair accessories continues to grow. People are turning away from traditional hairbands that pull and damage hair. These new hair ties are designed to prevent hair breakage and are often marketed as being more comfortable to wear than traditional hair ties.

The coil hair tie is an innovative product that you may see more and more. You can usually find it as a plastic coil, and the beauty of this product is that its spiral design secures hair without pulling on it, eliminating tangles and damage. The invisibobble is an even more recent innovation that has quickly become a favorite of many. It is a modern take on the hair tie and looks like an old phone cord. The invisibobble doesn't leave the kinks in your hair that traditional ties do and is more gentle on your hair.

In conclusion, the hair tie has been around for a long time, with uses ranging from function to fashion. From ancient Egyptians to the present day, the evolution of the hair tie has been a long and interesting one. With the development of more innovative products, we remain curious about what the future holds for hair tie trends.

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How Hair Ties Have Evolved Through History

From ancient times to the modern day, hair ties have played an essential role in keeping hair tidy, secure and stylish. These handy accessories have been made from a variety of materials throughout history, and their designs have evolved to meet changing fashion trends and practical needs. In this article, we explore the history and evolution of hair ties, including the materials used and how they have changed over time.

Early Hair Ties: From Natural Materials to Leather Straps

Hair ties have been around for thousands of years, with ancient civilizations using natural materials such as animal sinew, plant fibers, and even human hair to secure their locks. In ancient Greece, women tied their hair back with ribbons or fillets made from undyed wool, while in ancient Rome, women often wore metal headbands made from gold or silver.During the Renaissance period, hair ties made from fragile silk ribbons and laces, trimmed with ornate jewels, were fashionable among the wealthy. Later in the 18th century, ladies' headbands and hair nets made of lace or fine linen were popular accessories, while in the 19th century, more practical and less ornate materials such as leather came into use.Leather hair ties were a popular choice among cowboys and frontiersmen during the Wild West era of American history. They were durable and could stand up to harsh conditions, making them the perfect choice for those working on ranches or out in the field.

The Advent of Elastic and Rubber Hair Ties

While leather was a popular choice for hair ties, it did have its limitations. In the early 20th century, new materials such as rubber and elastic came into use, revolutionizing the way hair ties were made. Elastic hair ties, often referred to as "ponytail holders," were first patented in the US in 1920, and they soon became a popular item among women.The use of rubber allowed for a more secure hold without damaging the hair. Hair ties made from rubber were often covered in fabric or yarn to reduce the chance of pulling or tangling hair. During World War II, women who worked in factories found elastic hair ties to be a practical accessory that kept hair out of the way and safe from machinery.

The Rise of the Scrunchie

In the 1980s, hair accessories were all the rage, and the scrunchie became an iconic symbol of the decade. A scrunchie is essentially a fabric-covered elastic band that is designed to be more comfortable to wear than traditional hair ties. The scrunchie quickly became a fashion statement, with various colors and patterns available to match any outfit.The scrunchie was not just a fashion accessory; it was also a practical one. The fabric covering prevented hair from tangling, and the elastic band held hair securely without causing tangles or damage. Scrunchies are still popular today, with many people opting for the retro look of these nostalgic hair accessories.

Recent Innovations

In recent years, new types of hair ties have been developed to address common hair problems. The coil hair tie, also known as the "telephone cord" hair tie, is designed to prevent hair breakage by distributing tension evenly across the hair. These hair ties are made with a spiral shape that allows them to grip hair without pulling or tangling.Another recent innovation is the invisibobble, which is marketed as being more gentle on the hair and less likely to leave creases. Invisibobbles are made of a soft material that conforms to the shape of the hair, reducing the chance of snagging or damaging strands. They are also less likely to leave visible creases in the hair after they are removed.


As hair care technology and fashion trends continue to evolve, so do hair ties and accessories. From natural materials to modern innovations, hair ties have come a long way over the centuries. Today, there is a wide variety of hair tie options available for every hair type and preference. Whether you prefer a classic leather hair tie or a trendy scrunchie, these handy accessories are an essential part of any hair care routine.Discover the origins of keys

How Do Hair Ties Impact Hair Health?

Hair ties have become an essential accessory in our everyday lives. They help keep our hair in place while we work, exercise or simply go about our daily routines. But what impact do hair ties have on our hair health? Let's take a closer look.

Possible Negative Effects

Wearing hair ties too tightly or too often can lead to hair breakage and damage. When hair is pulled too tightly, it can cause stress on the hair follicles and scalp, leading to hair fall and hair thinning. Tying hair back can also cause tension and pain in the scalp. This is especially true for people who wear hair ties for extended periods of time.

Preventing Hair Damage

Choosing the right type of hair tie and using it correctly can help prevent damage to the hair. First, avoid tying hair too tightly and avoid wearing tight hairstyles for extended periods of time. Alternating hair tie placement can also help prevent excessive hair breakage. For example, wear your hair tie higher or lower on your head from time to time to minimize stress and tension on your hair.

Aside from these preventive steps, it's essential to take breaks from hair ties, as well. Allow your hair to breathe from the constant pressure of the hair tie by removing it at night. Opt for looser hairstyles when lounging at home to minimize the time your hair is under strain.

Choosing the Right Hair Tie

Choosing the right hair tie is critical to your hair health. Several factors come into play when picking the right hair tie. These include material, size, and tightness. Let's discuss each of these factors in detail.

Material: Consider the type of material the hair tie is made up of. Avoid rubber-based hair ties as they tend to pull on your hair, and synthetic options may restrict your hair's growth. Instead, pick hair ties made up of silk or satin, which are softer and gentle on your hair.

Size: Choose an appropriate size hair tie depending on your hair length and texture. Smaller hair ties are better suited for thin hair, while larger ones work better for thicker hair. If you're unsure, try out different sizes until you find the one that doesn't pull at your hair or cause too much tension on your scalp.

Tightness: As mentioned above, avoid tying your hair too tightly. Opt for hair tie styles that provide a looser hold. Scrunchies or cloth bands, for example, tend to have a looser hold around your hair's base, resulting in less tightness and stress on your hair and scalp.

In conclusion, hair ties are essential, but care must be taken to avoid the negative effects they can have on our hair health. By selecting the right hair tie, avoiding tight hairstyles, and taking breaks from wearing hair ties, we can help minimize hair damage and enjoy healthier, fuller hair.

What Are Some Alternatives to Hair Ties?

For centuries, people have used hair ties or bands to keep hair off their faces and out of their way. However, hair ties can cause damage by pulling and tangling hair, so it's important to use them in moderation and to explore alternative options. Here are some alternatives to hair ties:

Hair Bands

Hair bands are a popular alternative to hair ties. They are flexible, elastic bands that are designed to hold hair in place without causing damage. They are available in various styles and sizes, including thin bands that are perfect for securing a ponytail or thick bands for holding up a bun. Hair bands are gentle on hair and don't pull or tangle like some hair ties can. They are also less likely to leave a crease or mark in your hair when removed.


Braids are a good alternative to hair ties for keeping hair out of the face and preventing damage. Braids come in many different styles, such as French, Dutch, and fishtail, that can add texture and interest to your hair. Braids are also versatile and can be worn in various ways, such as a side braid, a low braid, or a braided bun. Unlike hair ties, braids don't put pressure on a single point of hair, preventing breakage and damage.

Clips and Barrettes

For a more decorative touch, various types of clips and barrettes are available for holding hair in place. These can be a good alternative to hair ties for more formal occasions or when you want to add some sparkle or color to your hair. Clips and barrettes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, such as butterfly clips, claw clips, and beaded barrettes. They offer a secure hold on hair without causing as much damage as some hair ties can.

A Scarf or Headband

A scarf or headband can also be used to hold hair out of your face and prevent damage. They both offer a stylish and practical solution to keep hair away from your face while adding a pop of color or pattern to your outfit. A scarf can be tied around your head like a bandana or wrapped around a ponytail or bun, while a headband can be worn in various ways to create different looks such as a boho-chic or sporty style. Scarves and headbands provide a gentle hold on hair and don't tug or pull as hair ties can.

In conclusion, hair ties have been around for a long time, but they are not the only option for keeping your hair in place. Using alternative options such as hair bands, braids, clips, barrettes, scarves, and headbands can add style to your hair while preventing damage. It's important to experiment and find which alternative works best for your hair type and style.

What Does the Future Hold for Hair Ties?


As people become more environmentally conscious, there has been a growing awareness about the negative impact that conventional hair ties have on the planet. Being small, cheap and seemingly insignificant, hair ties have traditionally been made from non-biodegradable materials like plastic, nylon, and synthetic rubber. However, as an increasing number of consumers are switching to eco-friendly lifestyle choices, the demand for sustainable hair ties is expected to grow. The fashion industry is already inching towards eco-friendly solutions in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of their products. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that hair ties made from biodegradable materials or recycled plastic may be the future of this accessory. These materials will not only be better for the environment but also safer for humans who are often exposed to harmful chemicals while manufacturing these accessories.

Smart Hair Ties

The world around us is increasingly driven by technology. Be it smart homes, smart cars or even smartwatches, technology is playing a more significant role in our daily lives. With the growing demand for convenience and personalization, smart hair ties are not far behind. Soon, we may have hair ties that sense our hair type, thickness, and health, and adjust the tightness accordingly. Some imaginative hair tie enthusiasts have already started exploring the possibilities regarding incorporating sensors into their products that could monitor the hair's temperature, moisture level, and even damage. Furthermore, hair ties with integrated Bluetooth technology could receive data from smartphones and other devices, providing even greater customization of hairstyles.

Fashion Trends

Hair ties are not merely functional accessories anymore; they have become a fashion statement. As fashion trends, styles, and tastes evolve, hair ties are evolving with them. Future trends could include bold prints, interesting textures, and unique shapes. Hair ties inspired by art, music, and pop culture could also gain popularity. Customization and personalization have become increasingly important features for consumers, and it is highly likely that hair tie manufacturers would try to cater towards these demands. Personalized hair accessories with intricate designs, color combinations, and embroidery could also become a trend in the future.


The humble hair tie has come a long way since its inception in the early 20th century. From a simple rubber band to the current-day hair ties that come in a plethora of colors, sizes, and materials, it has been an interesting journey. As people become socially and environmentally aware, the future will undoubtedly witness a shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly hair accessories. With the growing demand for customization and personalization, technology could play a crucial role in the industry's future. As with any fashion accessory, hair ties will continue to evolve with changing trends and styles. All in all, the future of hair ties looks bright, colorful, and sustainable.

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