Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

A Bra Strap On Your Head?

Introduction

Who would have ever dreamed that the hottest hair accessory look for 1999 would require you to wear a bra strap on your head? In the old days, bra straps that peeked out from behind tops or snuck out of armholes were always considered the height of tackiness. (Photo to right from Regis Hairstylists:1-888-888-2228)

Accurately dubbed, "the bra strap headband" , it is exactly what it says. Now the bra straps headbands are displayed with pride because they are hotter than hot. Yes, borderline x-rated, but definitely hot.

The bra strap headband officially got its start at New York City's Bumble and Bumble salon. The bra strap headbands were originally sold as one to an order and flew off the shelves of B&B salons.

According to an article in the June 28th Wall Street Journal (yes, that 's right, the very serious business journal) "faux bra straps have become the hottest hair accessory in what was already a fly-away market".

Hair Jewelry Marketplace

The hair jewelry market is growing at a steady clip to match the new interest in butterfly, dragonfly and jeweled hair barrettes. Celebrities from Jennifer Anniston to Jane Fonda are showing up everywhere with the latest hair jewelry and accessories which include the bra strap headbands.

It has been estimated that sales of hair clips, barrettes and bands grew 7% last year to approximately $715 million.

The current new trends in floating hair gems (floating bugs, stars & hearts are very hot) jeweled bug clips and bra strap hair bands is fueling the hair accessory market to grow even larger for 1999.

In some retail situations hair jewelry and accessories have eclipsed earring sales in the past couple of years. Clothing retailers like Contempo Casual and Wet Seal have done a very brisk business in the hair jewelry business.

The Wet Seal stores, part of the Contempo Casual family, reportedly sold out of the bra strap headbands (which retail as much as $18) in short order.

Retailers are responding to the frenzied interest in all the hair accessories by ordering larger shipments, increasing prices and frantically searching for competitive products.

Mainstream retail chains like The Limited and Target are adding their own versions of the bra-strap headbands. Even Gap Kids sells a version that is sans the telltale bra adjustable clip.

The bra headband is considered to be borderline "racy" and some retail outlets are removing the telltale bra strap "buckle". (Photo Credits: Lindsey Sloane, Valerie on TV's Sabrina, Sophisticate's Hairstyle Guide 11/99)

Popularity Of Hair Accessories & Jewelry

Why are the new hair accessories like bra bands and floating jewels so popular? Industry experts cite a number of reasons which includes the fact that:

  • Celebrities love them (Gwyneth Paltrow & Jennifer Love Hewitt)
  • They bring a fresh new look to the hair care industry
  • They are designed to be more "friendly" to hair than accessories of old
  • They are more affordable than higher end jewelry like bracelets & necklaces
  • They are fun and hot and never fail to get attention

The bra strap headbands, unlike the original plastic or metal bands as designed to be soft, comfortable, hold their shape and avoid pinching or pulling the hair.

Who Invented Bra Headbands?

Designed by "Ward" (no last name), an editorial stylist at the salon Bumble and Bumble, for use in the fall of '98 Moschino show in Milan, the adjustable hair bands were gentle on the head, the environment (there's a use for all your old underwear now), and were a "simple, straightforward look" that the girls could have done themselves, in the words of a Bumble & Bumble spokesperson.

The bra head band was originally a "fashion industry" secret that only models and fashion stylists knew about.

In 1999 the bra band became known to the masses. Fashion rags like Glamour, Teen People and other fashion mags wrote up the bra bands and the frenzy to find it and wear it was on.

Though they've been seen around the fashion industry since midyear 1998, the brastrap headband has only recently landed on the average women's head. The "rage in headbands" traveled around the USA in lightening. Now bra bands are popping up on heads everywhere.

Note: The photo of the model above demonstrates how one bra strap headband can be separated to give the impression of two bands. The bra strap "buckle" is proudly displayed on the left side of the model's hair.

The original B&B bra bands were only available in black and gray. The hottest color for the bra band in New York is still NYC black (see model below) but the rest of the country has been snapping up the bands in all the latest colors from cherry red to deep purple and amber gold.

Since becoming a major hair accessory, the bra bands are now available in all different colors including pastels.

New versions of the original band are popping up with rhinestones & flowers.

When I heard about this very hot new bra strap-cum-headband, I knew I had to have one. Anything that will keep my hair off my face and out of my mind is worth investigating, especially when it does so in such a clever and playful way.

How To Wear The Bands

One major advantage to the bra bands is that they are completely adjustable. Each band, like a real bra strap, has a special adjustable "buckle" that allows the band to be adjusted to fit any type of hair from thick and bushy to thin and fine. Adjusting the straps to fit snugly is simply a matter of moving the fabric in and out of the band's buckle.

You can wear the bra band in a variety of ways. Positioning is everything with these hot accessories. You can wear it a few inches from your hairline for a classic look, or go a little more sophisticated by using it to offset a dramatic updo. The satin finish is equally at home with a pair of jeans or your favorite little black dress. Any way you wear it, it's a winner guaranteed to get you lots of compliments.

Conclusion

They're hot, they're happening, they're racy, but they are a kinder, gentler and more effective way to hold back your hair.

Women of all ages, from young girls to mature women are wearing the hot new very affordable bra headbands.

They come in all different colors and can be worn mix or match. They work great with curly hair, straight hair and everything in between.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on HairBoutique.com or anywhere else, please post a message on HairBoutique.com's Hair Talk Forums.

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