Whenever someone asks me about the one item I can't live without these days, I think of the inconspicuous, mundane, and occasionally controversial hair tie. I've had long hair for pretty much all of my life, so my hair tie is often the first thing I touch in the morning and the last thing I take off at night, even if I barely paid it any mind in the past. I was always happy picking up the typical black 10-pack from my nearest drugstore, figuring that as long as they kept my hair out of my face, they were getting the job done.
When the coronavirus pandemic led to a city-wide lockdown in New York last March, I realized that I wouldn't be making it to a salon for a trim anytime soon. It was the perfect time to grow out my hair, which, after the first few months, became the longest it's ever been, falling just past my chest and comfortably by my waist. With length came volume, and my hair became what I can only describe as a heavy curtain that my thin, feeble hair ties were no match for. Slowly, my drugstore go-tos expanded and lost their stretch, no longer able to hold my hair without falling loose five minutes into a workout.
It was time for a change, and with no clue how to start, I turned to the source that many beauty insiders go to for unfiltered opinion on products: Reddit. A quick search for the "best hair ties" on Reddit will quickly point you in the direction of forums like "r/TheGirlSurvivalGuide," "r/curlyhair," and even a board for fans of the gym Orangetheory pointing out the best hair ties for workouts. As a lifestyle writer, I'm used to filtering through thousands of reviews to find the best product in any category, and after hours (yes, hours) of looking through Reddit's boards, I narrowed it down to Burlybands' game-changing hair ties.
Out of all the options mentioned on Reddit, Burlybands' hair ties caught my attention because of their thickness. Measuring close to an inch in width, these hair ties are a non-snagging and snug option compared to the usual thin hair ties that easily give me headaches. Their soft material—closer in feel to a pair of stretchy French terry pajamas than elastics—makes them much more comfortable against my strands than tighter, skinnier options. One Reddit user said the ties stopped them from "ripping out hairs," while another added that they've "never had anything else since" discovering Burlybands. Even on Amazon, where they have a near-perfect rating, and where I bought my three-pack for just $11, reviewers have called them the "best hair ties for workouts" and "the real deal" as hair ties that never slip or budge.
And they really are the real deal. Burlybands' hair ties are the only ones I've tried that are capable of keeping my thick hair in place for hours through sweaty workouts, long walks in windy weather, and even a night of sleep when I forgot to take them out before I went to bed. I've had them for close to eight months now, and they've kept the same stretch from day one, even through my bad habit of pulling them when I'm stressed. They're so good that I've since gone back to buy more, and I've even gotten my mom and sister hooked—my mom asked if I could bring some back for her the next time I'm home, and my sister already stole three of mine.
I now stock up whenever I have the chance, and I can't imagine waking up without Burlybands' hair ties by my bedside table, ready to tie up my hair as I start my day.
To buy: $11; amazon.com.
To buy: $19; amazon.com.
To buy: $11; amazon.com.