PSA: '90s comb headbands have been spotted at New York & Milan Fashion Week

Netball uniform optional

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / November 23 2023

Remember those spiky, shark-tooth comb headbands from the ‘90s and ‘00s? Remember scraping your scalp to death every time you tried to use them to get your hair out of your face for school or netball practice? Hold your applause, because this dangerous hair accessory is rising in popularity again. 

The fashion industry’s penchant for retro hair accessories is nothing new; Sandy Liang, Simone Rocha and Versace’s recent runways all featured girly hair ribbons that we definitely wore as children, and the ‘50s-inspired spring-appropriate silk hair scarf trend and the ‘90s-era sporty thick headband trend have been going strong since last year.

By comparison, the comb headband being made relevant again by designers during the Spring/Summer 2024 fashion week season feels somewhat rogue and on par with last year’s brief dalliance with the ‘00s pouf (or quiff, depending on who you ask).

On September 8th, Helmut Lang used the jagged toothed comb headband to scrape back the strands of models at the Helmut Lang Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2024 in New York.

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And just over a week later in Milan, Maryling debuted a preppy summer take on the trend at the Maryling Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 runway, with models’ strands pulled back into a wispy updo, and comb headbands neatly tucking away any flyaways and adding a bit of texture to a crown of otherwise smooth hair.

Getty Images

How to wear the comb headband trend

Thankfully, unlike the aforementioned silk scarf, hair ribbon and thick headband trends, when it comes to comb headbands there’s not a lot of variation in terms of design making it the perfect minimalistic hair accessory. 

It also lends itself to a plethora of scenarios. Need a low-fuss way to keep your hair out of your face at the gym? Try a comb headband. Bored of basic updos and want to add a little something to your look? There’s a comb headband for that. Always found traditional hair accessories a little too girly for your tastes? Have you heard about our lord and saviour, the comb headband? 

Whether you’re in the market for a classic stretchy style, a tortoiseshell moment or something with a thicker band for a bit of drama, there’s a comb headband out there for you.

We recommend:

Shappy Stretch Comb Headband ($8.91 at Amazon Australia), Lovisa Black Acrylic Wave Headband ($9.99 at Lovisa), and ASOS DESIGN Hair Comb Headband ($17 at ASOS).

Shappy Stretch Comb Headband

Lovisa Black Acrylic Wave Headband

ASOS DESIGN Hair Comb Headband

Image credit: Getty Images

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).

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