Scrunchies vs Elastic Hair Ties: Choosing the Best Hair Accessory for Thick Hair

Scrunchies vs Elastic Hair Ties: Choosing the Best Hair Accessory for Thick Hair

Scrunchies vs Elastic Hair Ties: Choosing the Best Hair Accessory for Thick Hair


For those with thick hair, finding the perfect hair tie can be quite a struggle. With the constant evolution of hair accessory trends and a seemingly endless array of options, it's no surprise that many people feel overwhelmed when trying to pick the perfect one. Among the numerous choices, scrunchies and elastic hair ties stand out as the favorites among hair tie enthusiasts.  

In this blog, we'll take a closer look at scrunchies and elastic hair ties, exploring their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision about which one is the best option for your hair type. Let's dive right in!


A Brief History of Hair Ties


woman putting in lace hair tie

Credit: Envato Elements/ flernata


Before we dive into the great hair tie debate, let's take a moment to journey through the fascinating history of hair ties.

Hair ties have been around for centuries, with evidence of their use dating back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In these early societies, hair ties were often crafted from simple materials like ribbons, cords, or leather strips, and served a dual purpose: functional and ornamental. They helped individuals maintain control over their hair while also allowing them to express their personal style, social status, or cultural identity.

As time progressed, hair ties continued to evolve alongside fashion and societal trends. During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, for example, elaborate hairstyles adorned with ribbons, bows, and intricate ornaments became fashionable, further emphasizing the importance of hair ties in both practical and aesthetic contexts.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, hair ties were increasingly seen as an essential component of a well-groomed appearance. Women would use ribbons, silk cords, or even bands made from their own hair to secure their elaborate updos, while men often wore hair ties or ribbons to keep their powdered wigs in place.

The 20th century brought about a significant shift in hair tie design and popularity, with the invention of elastic and the rise of mass-produced hair accessories. In the 1960s, the scrunchie was invented, which combined fabric and elastic to create a stylish and gentle hair tie. Scrunchies exploded in popularity during the '80s and '90s, becoming a symbol of fashion and culture.

Today, hair ties have evolved into a diverse range of options, including modern-day scrunchies, elastic hair ties, spiral hair ties, and more. These contemporary designs are not only functional but also cater to various style preferences, hair types, and fashion trends. Despite their evolution, the core purpose of hair ties remains the same: to help individuals manage and express themselves through their hair.


What Are Scrunchies?


beige and cream silk hair ties

Credit: Envato Elements/ sablyaekaterina


Now that we have covered the history of hair ties, it's time to dive into the main focus of this blog: scrunchies vs elastic hair ties. We'll begin by discussing what scrunchies are and then explore their various pros and cons. 

Scrunchies, also known as fabric hair ties, were invented in the 1960s and gained widespread popularity during the '80s and '90s. In recent years, these hair ties have made a remarkable resurgence as a beloved hair accessory for people across all age groups. They are created by sewing a soft, stretchy fabric around an elastic band, resulting in a fluffy, gathered, and voluminous hair tie that is not only functional but also adds a stylish flair to any hairdo.

Scrunchies come in various sizes, materials, colors, and patterns, making them a versatile and fashionable choice for all hair types and personal styles. From small, discreet options to oversized, statement-making ones, there's a scrunchie for every occasion. The materials used in crafting these hair ties include cotton, polyester, satin, velvet, and even silk, each providing unique benefits and aesthetic appeal.

Here are the pros and cons of using these hair ties on thick hair:


Benefits of Using Scrunchies for Thick Hair:


1) Gentle on Hair


Scrunchies aka fabric hair ties are crafted from soft and smooth materials that provide a gentle grip on thick hair. Unlike elastic hair ties, these hair ties create less friction and tension, which can help minimize damage. 


2) Comfortable to Wear


Scrunchies are comfortable to wear and do not cause headaches or scalp discomfort like tight elastic hair ties can. They can also be worn at night to prevent hair breakage or damage while sleeping.


3) Range of Styles


With scrunchies, you can have fun with your hair accessories. They come in a range of styles, from classic velvet to fun prints and patterns, giving you plenty of options to choose from. They can also be found with various embellishments, such as beads, sequins, or bows, making them an excellent accessory to add an extra touch of flair to your hairstyle. 


4) No Creases


Scrunchies do not create creases in the hair like elastic hair ties can. This can make them a better option for people who frequently change their hairstyles throughout the day or want to let their hair down after a long day without the unsightly dent that traditional hair ties can leave behind. 


5) Reduces Hair Tangling


Scrunchies can help reduce hair tangling, especially if they are made with smooth materials like silk. The smooth texture of the fabric can significantly reduce friction between the hair tie and your hair, which can help prevent knots. This can be particularly helpful for people with long or curly hair, which tends to be more prone to tangling. 


Drawbacks of Using Scrunchies for Thick Hair:


1) Limited Hold


While scrunchies are gentle on your hair and comfortable to wear, they may not provide the same level of hold as elastic hair ties. This can be a problem for people with thick, heavy hair who need a stronghold to keep their hair in place. They are also not the ideal hair ties for vigorous activities as they may not offer the necessary support, causing hair to come loose or become messy. 


2) Price


Scrunchies can be more expensive than elastic hair ties, especially if they are made with high-quality materials. The higher price point can make them less accessible for some people. 


3) Bulky


Due to their larger size and the fabric used in their construction, scrunchies can be bulkier and take up more space than elastic hair ties. This can make them less convenient to carry in a purse, bag, or pocket, and may not be the ideal choice for those who need a compact and easily portable hair accessory.



4) Not as Durable


Scrunchies may not be as durable as elastic hair ties, especially if they are made with delicate materials such as silk or satin. The fabric can wear out, fade, or become frayed with regular use, requiring more frequent replacement compared to elastic hair ties. Additionally, the elastic inside a scrunchie can lose its elasticity over time, affecting the overall effectiveness of the hair accessory. 


5) May Slip on Smooth Hair


Scrunchies may slip out of smooth or slippery thick hair, such as freshly washed hair or hair with a lot of product in it. In these situations, individuals may need to opt for a hair tie with a stronger grip or use additional hairpins or clips to keep their hairstyle intact. 


What Are Elastic Hair Ties?


colorful hair ties stacked

Credit: Envato Elements/ viledevil


Now that we have explored what scrunchies are and their pros and cons for thick hair, let's move on to elastic hair ties. 

Elastic hair ties, also commonly known as hair elastics, elastic ties, ponytail holders, or elastic bands, are simple loops of elastic material designed to hold hair securely in place. They have been a classic, tried-and-true hair accessory that has been a staple in many people's hair care arsenal for decades.

Elastic hair ties come in a variety of sizes, colors, and materials to accommodate different hair types, thicknesses, and personal preferences. Some elastics are made from basic rubber or synthetic materials, while others may be covered with fabric or woven materials for added comfort and style. They can be thin and discreet, or thicker and more robust, depending on the level of hold needed for a specific hairstyle.

Here are the pros and cons of using these types of hair ties for thick hair:


Benefits of Using Elastic Hair Ties for Thick Hair:


1) Strong Hold


Elastic ties are designed to provide a stronghold, making them a great choice for anyone with thick hair. They can keep even the thickest hair in place during a workout, a long day at work, or any other physical activity, ensuring your hairstyle remains intact and secure.


2) Less Bulk


Elastic hair ties are smaller and less noticeable than scrunchies, making them ideal for those who prefer a more minimalist and discreet look. Their low-profile design allows them to blend seamlessly with your thicker hair type, offering a sleek and polished look.


3) Can Be Used for Multiple Hairstyles


Elastic hair ties can be used for a wide variety of hairstyles, such as ponytails, braids, buns, and twists. This versatility makes them an ideal choice for those with thick, heavy hair who want a single accessory capable of accommodating diverse styling requirements, from casual everyday looks to more intricate and formal styles.


4) Durable


Elastic ties are made with stretchy materials such as rubber or silicone, which makes them more durable than scrunchies. They can withstand repeated use, and exposure to water or sweat, and do not stretch out or lose their grip as quickly when compared to other accessories for hair. This durability means that elastic hair ties can be a long-lasting investment for those who frequently rely on them to keep their thick hair in place.


5) Affordable


Elastic hair ties are generally more affordable than scrunchies, making them an excellent choice for those on a budget or looking to stock up on a variety of hair ties for different occasions. Their lower price point allows you to experiment with different colors, styles, and sizes without breaking the bank, ensuring that you always have the perfect hair tie on hand for any situation.


Drawbacks of Using Elastic Hair Ties:


1) Can Cause Damage


One of the main disadvantages of elastic hair ties is the potential damage they can cause to your hair. The tight grip required to secure thick hair can lead to breakage, split ends, and overall hair weakening, particularly if you wear your hair up frequently.


2) Uncomfortable to Wear


Elastic ties can also be uncomfortable to wear, especially if you have a sensitive scalp. The tight grip and pressure placed on the hair and scalp can lead to pain, discomfort, and even headaches in some cases. 


3) May Create a "Ponytail Bump"


Elastic hair ties can create a visible bump or dent in the hair, commonly referred to as a "ponytail bump." This occurs when the hair tie compresses the hair, leaving an indentation that can be difficult to remove, especially if worn in the same position repeatedly. This can be an unwanted and frustrating look for those who prefer a smooth, bump-free hairstyle after taking down their ponytail or bun.


4) May Not Be Suitable for All Hair Textures


While elastic hair ties can be beneficial for thick hair, they may not be suitable for all hair textures. For instance, coily or curly hair may experience breakage when using these hair ties.


5) Tangling


Elastic hair ties, particularly those made from rubber or thinner materials, can sometimes become entangled in thick hair. This issue can be particularly problematic for individuals with curly or coarse thick hair, as their hair texture is more prone to tangling. 


So, Which is Better for Thick Hair?


woman putting hair tie at beach

Credit: Envato Elements/ garetsworkshop


Both scrunchies and elastic hair ties have their pros and cons, so which one is better for thick hair? Ultimately, the answer will depend on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your hair. 

If you're looking for hair ties that are gentle on your hair and comfortable to wear, then scrunchies may be the better option for you. These hair ties are less likely to cause damage to your hair, and their soft fabric is gentle on your scalp. They're also a great choice if you're looking for a fun accessory to add to your outfit.

On the other hand, if you need hair ties that can provide a stronghold for your thick strands, then elastic hair ties may be the better option. These hair ties are designed to hold thick hair in place during physical activity, making them ideal for workouts and sports. They also have a sleek appearance that can give your hairstyle a polished look.


Tips for Choosing the Right Hair Tie


back of woman's hair in blonde ponytail

Credit: Envato Elements/ Mint_Images


Selecting the best hair tie for your thick locks goes beyond just choosing between scrunchies and elastic hair ties. There are several factors to consider in order to ensure you find a hair tie that meets your unique hair needs. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


1) Consider the Thickness of Your Hair


If you have thick hair, it's essential to find hair ties that are strong, long-lasting, and feature a larger diameter to accommodate the volume of your hair. Evaluate your hair's density and select hair ties capable of securely holding your strands in place without causing damage. Feel free to experiment with various sizes and strengths of hair ties to discover the perfect fit for your hair's thickness. 


2) Look for a Hair Tie That Is Gentle on Your Hair


Regardless of whether you opt for a scrunchie or an elastic hair band, it's crucial to find a hair tie that won't cause unnecessary tension. Opt for hair ties made from soft, gentle materials or those specifically designed to minimize hair stress. Features such as seamless designs, fabric coatings, or wide bands can help distribute pressure more evenly and prevent breakage.


3) Switch Up Your Hair Tie Placement


To avoid putting too much pressure on one area of your hair, make a conscious effort to switch up the placement of your ponytail, bun, or braid regularly. By changing the location of your hair ties, you can prevent hair damage caused by repetitive stress and tension in the same spot. This can also help maintain the overall health and appearance of your hair, reducing the risk of split ends, and thinning.


4) Experiment With Different Materials


Hair ties are available in various materials, including cotton, velvet, satin, rubber, and fabric-covered elastics. Each material offers unique benefits and drawbacks, so it's worth trying out different options to find the one that works best for your hair type and styling needs. For example, satin or silk scrunchies can be gentler on the hair and help retain moisture, while rubber or silicone hair ties may provide a more secure grip for active lifestyles.


5) Pay Attention to Your Hair’s Texture


If you have wavy, textured, or curly hair, consider hair ties that are designed to minimize frizz and reduce the risk of tangling and hair damage. Satin scrunchies, for example, can help maintain your hair's natural texture and reduce friction. By choosing hair ties that complement your hair's texture, you can achieve a secure and comfortable hold without compromising your hair. 




In conclusion, both scrunchies and elastic hair ties have their pros and cons. The best choice will depend on your personal preferences and hair type. By selecting the appropriate size, tension, and materials, you can ensure that either hair tie works effectively to secure thick hair without causing damage or discomfort.

If you're looking for a reliable and durable option, consider Burlyband's thick hair ties. These hair ties are specifically designed for those with thick, heavy, or curly hair, providing a strong hold without slipping or causing breakage. Additionally, they can also be used for fine hair and other hair types. With Burlybands, you can confidently style your hair, knowing that it will remain in place throughout the day. Shop with us today!

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