If you’re going to embrace any hair trend this season, we suggest one as functional and fashionable as the black headband. Way more work-appropriate than your go-to baseball cap, the classic hair accessory is the ultimate bad-hair day disguise—and will add a cool twist to both casual and sophisticated styles alike. Just look at Lily Collins’ voluminous updo (pictured, above) for proof. Ready to master the look? Click through our gallery for all of the insider tips, tricks, and products you’ll need.
1. A Quick Fix
Crashed with wet hair and woke up looking like an extra from The Muppets? Slap on a wide, black elastic headband and stop stressing. (All that cortisol will give you wrinkles.)
We get it: Those suddenly everywhere white Birkenstocks can be a bit intimidating (and frankly, downright fug). A simple black band like Goody’s Ouchless Comfort Hair Wraps ($6/3; kmart.com) is a far less dicey way of looking on trend.
3. Blowout Insurance
No, you can't skip yoga just because you dropped $40 on the Farrah. A cotton band absorbs sweat, keeping strands fresh no matter how long you perch in that firefly pose.
4. What You Need
THE TECHNIQUE: Flat-iron hair and pull it into a low pony. We like prepping with FHI Heat’s Black Diamond Professional Ceramic Hair Styling Iron ($215; fhiheat.com). Then position a stretchy black cotton headband (we love Forever 21’s Pleated Mesh Head Wrap, $4; forever21.com) right at the edge of the hairline. Spritz hair behind the band with a lightweight shine spray like Kerastase Gloss Appeal ($36; kerastase-usa.com). THE KEY TIP: Cover the tops of your ears, especially if they have some wingspan. THE REALITY CHECK: This style can be a bit severe, so you may want to tweak your technique if you have a full face or a strong nose, chin, or jaw. The fix: Let more hair show in front of the band—think soft, side-swept bangs—and allow a few pieces to hang in front of your ears. Just don't touch those strands with a curling iron: Tendrils are best left to Honey Boo Boo.
5. Our Secret Trick
Never underestimate the versatility of old black tights. We’ve seen a hairstylist snip up a pair into rings backstage, which he used to pull back models' hair. If you have thick hair, cut a larger section and fold in half to make the band stronger.