This article originally appeared on Real Simple. For more stories like this, visit realsimple.com.

By RealSimple.com/Claudia Fisher
Jul 12, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
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If you've seen people walking around with coiled plastic rings around their wrists, you might have thought it was either some kids' trend or those bug-repellent bracelets from summer camp. I'm just the messenger and don't mean to be too blunt, but you're wrong.

The quirky-looking bands are actually spiral hair ties, which have been on the rise in popularity at a fairly astronomical rate. According to Pinterest, saves for spiral hair ties have risen 2,198% over the past year alone. So while you were scoffing at the adult women at your gym running with their ponytail's adorned with a plastic slinky, they were scoffing right back at you for not being in the know.

You see, a lot of long-haired folk have started to appreciate that there are better ways to take care of their manes than the age-old black elastic. Spiral hair ties are particularly good for busy people who stack workouts and plans back-to-back because they don't leave creases in your hair when you take out your ponytail. It's similar to how scrunchies work except a more subtle fashion statement–especially in clear ($7 set of four; amazon.com).

Spiral hair ties–also known as coiled hair ties–are touted as being more comfortable than your average elastic band, which can cause headaches when wrapped around your hair too tightly. People express that the plastic rings keep their ponytails more secure, too, than the average drugstore counterpart–and if the hair ties get stretched out, all you have to do is hold a blow dryer on them until they tighten back into place.

Although the spiral hair tie trend isn't new, it seems like it took a few years to really take off. Maybe people were reluctant to ditch their little hair elastics (I still feel a little unprepared without one on my wrist), or maybe it took a while for a rotary phone cord to look normal around ponytails. All I know is, the shock I experience when a hair tie snaps in my hand as I try for that fourth loop is enough to make me see the spiral-hair-tie light.

(To buy: $5 set of five; target.com.)

No matter what made you slow to take to the trend, spiral hair ties are practical and fun, with metallic and vibrant versions to spice up a night of errands or tedious workouts. And the best part is, you'll show up to your dinner plans with your hair down and perfectly dent free.