10 stylish headbands for short hair and how to wear them, according to pro hairdressers

Our pick of the most flattering headbands for short hair, plus expert styling tips

best headbands for short hair from silke, & other stories and invisibobble
(Image credit: Silke/& Other Stories/Invisibobble)

There are some brilliant headbands for short hair in the shops right now, and you’ve come to the right place to not only learn where to find them – but how to style them too. From subtle embellishments to statement silky styles, these headbands will perfectly compliment your chopped 'do this autumn, whether that's an ultra-short crop or long bob. 

Accessorising short hairstyles with a headband is a really nice way to add a little extra something to your look, or even disguise oily roots. Whether you’re looking to elevate your everyday style or add a bejewelled piece for a special occasion, there are loads of good-quality and stylish options on the market. As with equally on-trend hair clip hairstyles, you can go as statement or as subtle as you like, and although there are no rules when it comes to personal style, there are a few things to consider when thinking about how to wear headbands on shorter hair.

“The width of the headband [you choose] will depend on the cut and style of your short hair,” celebrity hairdresser Lorraine Dublin tells us. “If your hair is very short – i.e. a pixie cut or shorter – then a thin headband will be more flattering as it will show more of your haircut." We've scoured the high-street and beyond to find the best headbands for short hair to suit every style, taste, and budget for this season. No matter your haircut, you can find a fashion-forward and practical piece in our curated edit. 

Lorraine Dublin
Lorraine Dublin

Lorraine Dublin is a renowned hairdresser with more than 20 years of experience, whose famous clients include names like Serena Williams and Kelly Rowland. Here she's advised readers on how to choose a headband for short hair in terms of width, fabric, and retailer.

The best headbands for short hair, chosen by our experts

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Invisibobble HAIRHALO Dark Sparkle Headband

(Image credit: Invisibobble)

1. Invisibobble HAIRHALO Headband

Best adjustable headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP : £10
Key material: Varies, but always has an adjustable base

Reasons to buy

+
Can be adjusted to your head size
+
Lots of different styles available 
+
Comfortable because of adjustable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Less grip than some other options

This is one of hairstylist Patrick Wilson's favourite headbands for short hair. “Invisibobble offers an adjustable Hairlo Headband that is comfortable if you want to wear it all day, and you can bend and adjust the style to suit your head shape,” he says. Thanks to the patent-pending technology, these headbands can be bent wherever they feel too tight or too loose, really giving credit to the phrase 'one size fits all'. 

Essentially, sore heads from wearing too-tight headbands will be a thing of the past with this adaptable style. We also love that there are lots of different designs to choose from, whether you'd prefer a thicker satin band like the champagne-coloured Let's Get Fizzycal style, or a thinner jewelled band like Dark Sparkle, which we think would look ultra sophisticated with a chic asymmetric bob.

Patrick Wilson
Patrick Wilson

Patrick Wilson is a top hairdresser whose celebrity clientele includes Jodie Comer, Cindy Crawford and Jessie Ware. Here he has recommended some of his go-to styles and retailers, as well as sharing tips on choosing the right size and fabric.

Jennifer Behr Tori Silk-Satin Headband

(Image credit: Jennifer Behr)

2. Jennifer Behr Tori Silk-Satin Headband

Best luxury headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP: £185
Key materials : Silk-satin

Reasons to buy

+
On-trend brown color – also available in black or white
+
Made with luxurious fabric 

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive 

A classic padded design that's a best-seller for this luxury brand, Jennifer Behr's Tori headband is a simple yet chic headband that would look great on any head of short hair – and, much like the coffee-inspired autumn makeup looks that are all over social media, this espresso shade is bang on trend for autumn. Of course, this designer accessory is not far off £200, making it out of reach for many people's budgets, but if you do have the means and like to treat yourself to designer pieces, this quality brand is recommended by experts. Do note that this is an accessory that'll add some height to your style, too!

& Other Stories Ruched Alice Headband in Green

(Image credit: & Other Stories)
Best ruched headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP : £17
Key materials : Polyester

Reasons to buy

+
Minimal and chic, but not plain
+
Great color for the autumn-winter season
+
Features sturdy base

Reasons to avoid

-
Shade may not suit all hair colours

If you're looking for a headband for short hair that will see you through the autumn-winter season, look no further. This headband is minimal without being plain or boring, thanks to the ruching, meaning it can be styled with just about anything in your wardrobe. Green is a great colour for the colder months, including the festive season, and pops against dark hair, auburn hair, and blonde and grey tones. 

If you have a volumised bubble bob that could do with some taming, the structured base of this accessory will work wonders to keep hair out of your face and control frizz on super warm days. It also goes some way to solve what to wear to a christening or wedding, if you want something more low-key than a hat but still want your look to have a chic edge.

Oliver Bonas Cadence Taupe Velvet Thin Esmerelda Headband

(Image credit: Oliver Bonas)

4. Oliver Bonas Cadence Taupe Velvet Thin Esmerelda Headband

Best affordable headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP : £22
Key materials: Polyester

Reasons to buy

+
Very versatile
+
Flattering braided design
+
Works well with all hair colors

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too plain for some

Oliver Bonas is one of the high-street retailers that Patrick Wilson recommends as a go-to when looking for affordable headbands for short hair. With prices at the lower end of the spectrum but designs with a luxe feel, all of this brand's accessories are worth a look. In particular, we love this soft braided design, velvet fabric and tauple hue that perfectly balances texture with versatility – a simple way to liven up any short hairstyle. 

When styling short hairstyles for women over 50, don't be afraid to add colours and patterns through your accessories. This on-trend muted shade will liven up your look without feeling either too overbearing or too plain. Suitable for all times of the year, but particularly good as the finishing touch to a mother-of-the-bride makeup look, this is a great budget option for all.

Arket Tortoise Headband

(Image credit: Arket)

5. Arket Tortoise Headband

Best patterned headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP : £12
Key materials: Recycled acetate blend

Reasons to buy

+
Staple print
+
Made from recycled material
+
Easy to style

Reasons to avoid

-
Firm plastic may be slightly uncomfortable for day-long wear

If you're after a headband for short hair that will never go out of style, we can't recommend a tortoiseshell print enough. It works on all hair colours and adds a dose of interest to your look without drawing too much attention. This slim style is particularly good for cropped cuts like the shaggy bob or a bixie haircut as it won't overwhelm your chop.

Coffee hair colours will beautifully compliment this headband thanks to the warm brown tones throughout, and we love that it is an ethical purchase due to the recycled plastic material. That said, it may become slightly uncomfortable after a full day of wear due to the sturdier material and inner teeth, so be aware of this if you have fine textured hair and have experienced this previously. 

Slip Black Knot Headband

(Image credit: Slip)

6. Slip Silk Knot Headband

Best silk headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP : £69
Key material: Mulberry silk

Reasons to buy

+
Fabric is good for hair
+
Elasticated design 
+
Available in different colorways

Reasons to avoid

-
Wideband may be better suited to bob-length

Slip's silk hair accessories are all made from the brand's own Slipsilk fabric, which was 10 years in the making and helps to prevent snagging and friction in your hair. With an elasticated section at the back, this particular headband also promises not to leave an imprint on your hair after wearing it, making it a fab option for daytime wear – especially on holiday. (This brand also makes some of the best silk pillowcases from the same material, which are good for your skin, too!)

It's worth noting that this design is quite wide so it may lend itself better to longer bob hairstyles and, considering the luxe material and accompanying price tag, it is definitely an investment piece. But there's no denying it's a seriously chic accessory that is kind to your hair, and it's available in a range of hues so you have a few different options to choose from.

Only Curls Pineapple Protector

(Image credit: Only Curls)

7. OnlyCurls Pineapple Protector

Best headband for short and curly hair

Specifications

RRP: £10
Key materials: Satin

Reasons to buy

+
Helps prevent excess frizz from friction
+
Protects hair while curls are in a "pineapple"
+
Stylish colour options 

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too wide for your face shape

Designed to be worn at night, the Pineapple Protector is a great choice for those whose curls are just long enough to squeeze into a pineapple (piling your curls atop your head to protect their shape while you sleep). If you're not familiar with this design, the larger section actually goes at the back of your head while your curls are up to protect the rest of your hair from friction. However, we love it as a daytime piece used back-to-front for curls worn in hair-up styles, too.

The soft satin fabric is comfortable enough for day-long wear, and the best part is that you don't need to take it out before you fall asleep. It's available in several different colour options, including this chic grey which is ideal as we move into winter. Curly girls seeking comfortable and stylish headbands for short hair should look no further. 

SIMONE ROCHA Daisy silver-tone crystal headband

(Image credit: Net-a-Porter)

8. Simone Rocha Daisy silver-tone crystal headband

Best designer headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP: £250
Key materials : Brass, glass

Reasons to buy

+
One for fashion fans
+
Distinctive
+
Can be the centerpiece of any outfit

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

This is certainly a luxury purchase, but one that can be justified due to the amount of wear it will get in your accessories rotation. A fantastic alternative to fascinators or hats for what to wear to the races and weddings, it can become the centrepiece of any minimalist outfit. Despite the 3D design, it actually sits quite flat against the head, making for comfortable wear.

Although this floral style comes across as fairly youthful at first glance, it can also be easily matured with the right styling – and works all year round despite its floral design. Keep your hairstyle simple and team with a neutral-coloured dress or co-ord for formal occasions, or contrast with all black for a sophisticated evening look. No matter the length of your hair, this is a gorgeous investment piece which you'll be wearing for years to come. 

Free People Amanda Puffy Velvet Headband

(Image credit: Free People)

9. Free People Amanda Puffy Velvet Headband

The best padded headband for short hair

Specifications

RRP: £24
Key material: Polyester

Reasons to buy

+
Available in six colours
+
Comfortable fit
+
Suitable for year-round wear

Reasons to avoid

-
Padded style may be too statement for some

This is perfect if you're after a seasonless headband that you can reach for day after day and for special occasions or events. The comfy padded fit makes it adaptable to plenty of hair types and means that those who sometimes find headbands uncomfortable should get on just fine. In a rich navy hue and soft velvety fabric, it is totally timeless.

The slightly oversized silhouette may not be everyone's cup of tea, but we love it for those who aren't overly fussed about patterns but still want a headband for short hair that will stand out from the crowd. Available in six stunning shades, there is an option here for everyone. Use the best hair straightening products and top off with this band for a glossy and refined look.

Kitsch Recycled Plastic Zig Zag Headband

(Image credit: Kitsch)

10. Kitsch Recycled Plastic Zig Zag Headband

Best everyday headbands for short hair

Specifications

RRP : £10
Key material : Recycled plastic

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in grip
+
Affordable
+
Two in one pack

Reasons to avoid

-
Design may be too simple for special occasions

Sometimes you want a statement piece adorned with jewels or in a standout colour, other times you simply want something minimal that's going to stay in place while blending in with the rest of your look – and these affordable bands from hair accessories brand Kitsch tick that exact box. 

Complete with long, wavy teeth for a comfortable non-slip grip to keep the band in place even on the shortest of autumn bob trend, this a bundle in which you get two headbands for the price of one. Fans of this brand rave about the comfort of Kitsch headbands, noting that they don't cause any pain and work brilliantly for keeping curly and frizzy hair in place. For the budget cost, these are a must-have.

How to choose the best headbands for short hair 

  • Consider fabric: “Wearing a headscarf as a headband is great for short hair,” says Dublin. "If you have a curly hairstyle or afro hair, silk prevents friction damage." But hairstylist Wilson explains that “silk is best to protect your style, but isn’t always the most amazing fabric for short hair as it may slip.” Look for silk or satin-covered sturdy bands that sit across your head comfortably (not too tight or loose) to avoid this. Dublin also recommends trying a headband with grips if you want it to stay in place or hold a particular style. 
  • Size matters: You may want to make a statement with a big accessory, but balance is key. “I would say proportion matters and would stick to a headband that is around 1-2.5 inches wide and not much wider; you may not want to cover up half of your head if you don’t have too much hair,” says Wilson. "But I think it’s all about how the individual feels – a thinner band would look more delicate with a cropped haircut, but that’s not to say you can’t wear a statement piece." On the other hand, “if you use something that’s quite wide, you'll give short hair a retro sixties-seventies feel,” hair pro and accessories expert Zoë Irwin tells us. "It’s so often to do with what you’re wearing it with."
  • Have a try-on session: Order a few options online to try on and return the ones that don’t suit you, or try on a bunch in-store to see what suits you best. Our experts also shared their shopping recommendations. “My favourites are Oliver Bonas and & Other Stories. For something special I would look at Lelet NY and Jennifer Behr,” says Wilson. Dublin adds: “I like getting headbands from Primark, Zara, and Accessorize as they always have a great selection.”
Zoë Irwin
Zoë Irwin

Zoë Irwin is a leading hairdresser and colorist and creative director at John Frieda Salons. She's advised on choosing and styling the right sized headband for short hair, including styling products that can help it to stay in place. 

How to make a headband look good on short hair

  • Consider position: “The position of your hair, even if it’s short, is massively important, because with hair pieces it’s all about the right proportions,” says Irwin. The headband shouldn’t be too far forwards, but instead sit across the middle of your head with the ends positioned behind your ears. How your hair is styled around the band can also change the overall look; having all of the hair pushed away from the face makes a great evening look, while added height at the back of the head can balance out a heavier jawline. 
  • Get a grip: Once you have positioning nailed, your next consideration is keeping your headband for short hair in place. With short hair, you have less to anchor it and not all headbands will come with a built-in grip. “A good way of keeping headbands in place on short hair is by using grips and hairpins,” says Dublin. If you want to keep the grips concealed, place them towards the ends of your band so that they are out of sight. 
  • Finish with products: There are also styling products that will help to give your hair a bit of grip and add texture around your accessory. “A little tip that I think always helps is to use a root powder to help anchor the band or accessory,” Wilson advises. “Sprinkle at the root to give stability before placing the hairband. "I’m a huge fan of a texturising product,” Irwin agrees. “Spraying that on the roots of the hair will give it more support and so you have more lift in your style. "Root Lift spray is fantastic too - I like ghd's - as is the best dry shampoo," she adds. Using shine-boosting products is another great way to elevate your look, particularly if your headband is made from a very shiny material. 

FAQ

Can older ladies wear headbands with short hair?

Of course! Headbands can be worn at any age, and are a really great way to elevate shorter hair that may not work well with certain updos that require a bit more length. For grey hair specifically, certain colours can really stand out and pop against this backdrop, such as bold blues and greens.


If you came into this article thinking that your strands were too cropped to wear accessories, we hope you're leaving with at least one, if not two (no judgement here), of the best headbands for short hair in your basket. 

View the latest NET-A-PORTER discount codes from woman&home's voucher team to get some money off your stylish headband purchases.