Finally It’s Cool To Talk About Hair Ties
Materials, design, quality, durability and staying power. You might be more familiar with these terms in construction or other manly industries, but you probably haven’t used them in a discussion about hair ties. Until now.
The fact is, you need to get your hair out of your face, and hair ties are indispensable. Few other accessories warrant the triple-check before you leave the house. Keys, wallet, cell phone, sunglasses….hair tie. Because we all know what it’s like showing up to work, dinner or the gym without one: a pain in the ass.
While it may give you an excuse to start a conversation with an attractive woman, you’re better off not going anywhere without one.
So which do you choose, and how do you decide? Start right here, with the essential hair tie review for men.
The Basic Rounders
The basic entry-level hair tie, used by 85% – 90% of men with long hair. They’re inexpensive, they come in bulk, they don’t make you look like a girl. Pretty much the go-to hair tie for rookie and veteran longhairs alike.
Despite their setbacks, these are the go-to choice for men until the market dictates otherwise.
The Rubber Rounders
Similar to the basic rounders, these have a rubbery texture, marketed as “no-slip grip®” and “STRONG hold.” Interesting design with some noteworthy advantages.
A good option when you need a firm hold for a long period of time. Not the best if you’re going to be taking it out and re-tying throughout the day, and long-term durability is yet to be determined.
The Coil Rounders
Virtually identical to basic rounders but constructed with a metallic coil weaved into the material. If this extra coil serves any purpose other than acting like a miniature razor blade slicing open your hair cuticles we couldn’t identify it.
Not recommended under normal circumstances. Unless you’re under severe duress, it’s simply not worth the damage to your hair.
Interesting design ingenuity essentially weaves three basic rounders together into a braided single hair tie. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but the braided design mitigates the disadvantages of the single basic rounder.
Pretty cool. Twisting still causes a sharper edge, but this is mitigated by the weave. They also look pretty badass, making these a solid option.
The Rounded Flats
An engineering modification to the basic rounders has resulted in a flatter design while maintaining key attributes. Considered cutting edge in their heyday, these sturdy ties have reduced crimping and improved staying power over the rounders.
High marks overall. In general a flatter design will increase the surface area in contact with your hair, thereby distributing pressure more evenly and reducing kinkage. As different brands use different materials, you want to find these as soft as possible, limiting the sharp edge resulting from stretching and twisting.
The Spiked Flats
Interesting new feature on the rounded flats. Tiny inward-facing rubber spikes increase hold and prevent slippage. At first we were worried they’d be really rough on the hair, yet we found them surprisingly gentle.
Another solid option. Definitely good for athletic use, although sweat may increase friction with the rubber spikes, meaning you don’t want to pull them out right after a heavy sweat.
The Nylon Rollers
Designed for superior fit and comfort, the rollers are manufactured with a polysynthetic nylon blend that is soft to the touch and easy on the hair. Essentially flat to begin with, the thin, seamless material curves or “rolls” in on itself forming a double-walled construction which returns to shape every time.
Perfect for a night out with your lady or a swanky cocktail party. Where they lack is in the athletic department. Not a great tie for being active, falls out easily and does not perform well when wet.
Popularized for decades by little girls, the classic scrunchi can be found prevalently at elementary schools across the United States.
Tough to recommend these for manly men.
A cool new option introduced to us by James the Hair Cutter. They’re plastic and vinyl coated rather than a traditional elastic. The idea is they’ll hold the hair securely without the additional compression needed with most other designs, i.e. twisting it three or four times.
Might not be your go-to option, but worth trying out. They’ll give you a different look and feel, and a little something new to add to your quiver.
The Ribbon Flats
Entering on the scene in the last few years, this style has become a staple in the women’s long hair community. Basically a flat piece of elastic with a knot it in, often printed with flowers, Disney characters and pastel colors.
A good option. High ratings on design, durability and functionality.
The biggest drawback is these are typically printed with feminine patterns, and the ribbon-like material has a sheen that’s a bit on the frilly side. Also being knotted, the tail of the knot is left longer which contributed to the frilly nature. If you can find these in plain, neutral colors you’ll do pretty well to keep a supply of these in your hairdrobe.
Yes, that garter. Less functional, more aesthetic. If you manage to catch it you pretty much have to put this in your hair, as few visual demonstrations will better illustrate your commitment to partying hard at this wedding.
Pretty clear cut here. If you catch it, use it.
The Comparative Review
What do all these hair ties have in common?
They’re all designed and marketed for women. They were all purchased in the women’s hair care aisle. Well, except the garter, which was purchased in a different women’s aisle. Which, hey, we love long hair on women too.
But where are the hair ties for guys?
Glad you asked.
The Basic Flats
Finally we arrive at the crossroads of simplicity, comfort and functionality. This simple loop of elastic is truly a men’s hair tie. The ½ inch wide, flat surface area distributes pressure points, reduces kinkage and slides off easily. It’s loop is wider than most hair ties, better suited to a man’s wrist. It’s knotted rather than stitched which virtually ensures it will never break. And it doesn’t have flowers on it.
What do you really think?
Would you like to see hair ties more suitable for men? Have you found yourself wondering why the lack of hair tie options? Are you tired of searching for products in the women’s hair care aisle?
If so we’d love to hear from you. We’re doing a study of sorts on hair ties and your opinion will help a great deal. Sign up below to be included.
We listened. And if you didn’t know by now, we offer the finest men’s hair ties in the world, including the “basic flats” and a dozen other sick collections for men: Hair Ties For Guys™.