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Bandeau Headbands: Hot For 2005 & 2006

Introduction

Famous Fashion designer Miuccia Prada, at a previous Milan Fall Collection reported that she is tired of "stupid frills, print and decoration." Prada declared that she is ready for something "structured, strong and womanly". Indeed, Prada's latest collection was hard core minimalist. In fact, she even stripped her showroom down to the bare functional bones to make her point.

(The wide French Lycra bandeau shown above is available at HairBoutique.com).

Although Prada ushered in a new age of stark femininity, the finishing touches to her black wool dresses, waist-defining coats and updated couture classics were literally topped off by sleek, chic ballerina buns held spectacularly in place by classic bandeau headbands in an array of dark colors worn to hug the model's forehead.

The bandeau style headbands were the perfect touch to convey a classic femininity. The ballerina buns and updos worn by all of the runway models were coupled with minimal fashion accessories which included Prada's signature patent opera gloves and spectacular platform sling backs.

The classic collection was devoid of flash or dash other than quirky crochet and passementerie appliqués on some of the gorgeous coats.

What The Heck Is A Bandeau?

According to Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition dictionary a bandeau, expressed as a noun, is "a long narrow piece of material. It is also called a band or a strip of material.

Bandeaus are traditionally a very basic headband created from either a stretchy type of material that instantly conforms to each individual head size and shape or is made from a design that incorporates a separate elastic panel that may or may not be visible.

The tubular style bandeau usually consists of two panels of material conjoined and sewn together or in a series of carefully hidden seams. Depending on the style of the bandeau headband, which offers elastic support either under the hair or completely around the head, it will look like a flat tube or a scarf is wrapped around the head.

Bandeau headbands are perfect for those worried about how to tie a scarf or those with thicker hair concerned about the scarf slipping off. Another bonus to the bandeau style is that it's less expensive than a silk scarf.

Susan Daniels

New York accessory designer Susan Daniels is an expert at taking the traditional elasticized bandeau/tube style band and adding a new layer of sophistication.

Susan has created the "slingshot" style of bandeau which combines a typically flat front panel that is held in place on the head by an external elastic band that allows the band to instantly adjust to individual head sizes and shapes.

(Shown above - Susan Daniel Metallic - Reversible - Slingshot Bandeau Headwrap available at HairBoutique.com).

The advantage to Susan's "slingshot" bandeau style is that she is able to utilize a wide range of fashion forward materials, which is the case with her reversible metallic slingshot bandeau.

Susan's array of bandeau style headbands all have a lot of flexibility, since the elastic section of her bandeaus are attached at the back of the band, to use any number of gorgeous fabrics and materials that are not required to stretch and can fit more snugly around the head.

It has been said that some of the women on the first season of the New York based Apprentice reality TV show favored Susan's pleated bandeaus (shown above).

Bandeaus With Celebrity Cachet

Famous sex kitten Brigitte Bardot was photographed on the movie set of "Contempt" in 1963 wearing a wide bandeau style headband. Carrie on HBO's Sex And The City wore versions of the bandeuas in seasons 4 and 6.

Many of Hollywood's hottest stars have been spotted wearing some form of the bandeau style headband.

Jessica Simpson will probably be thrilled to hear that the bandeau headband is sizzling hot since she is often seen wearing a form of the traditional bandeau on MTV's The Newlyweds. So does her PA, Cacee Cobb and her younger sis, Ashlee Simpson.

Jessica who is truly a fan of many styles of headbands has been photographed wearing bandeau bands out and about in her shopping trips.

(Image to side - Cheetah inspired mock velour "bandeau" style headband with covered elastic back - available at HairBoutique.com).

Even better, Jessica loves to do the Prada thing and wear a traditional stretchy style bandeau around the front of her hairline with her hair piled up in either a messy top knot or a pony.

Recently I was amused to see the 2005 version of the famous chewing gum twins wearing matching bandeau headbands in a magazine advertisement.

One Size Fits All But Types Vary

Bandeau headbands come in a dizzying array of sizes from narrow to double wide and in material ranging from the French lycra to mock velour and leather.

(Open Weave Wide Bandeau Headband - HB Lucy Collection available at HairBoutique.com).

Whether your budget is under $5.00 or unlimited, you can find an array of these versatile hair accessories.

Advantages & Ways To Wear

Rachel Weissman - Soft Headband - Polka Dots - Blue on Blue (1)The beauty of the bandeau is that is can be worn in an amazing array of positions and styles.

(Slingshot bandeau style with elastic at back from Rachel Weissman)

Some bandeau suggestions include:

1. Wearing band directly at the hairline with any fringe hair pulled up and under the band with the rest of the hair spilling up and out in loose waves over the top.

2. Worn Prada/Jessica Simpson style right at the hairline with a top knot, ballerina bun or any other variety of finished or messy twists.

3. Worn rolled in half to form a thick pony elastic.

Other advantages of the bandeau headband include:

  • Tames wild and wooly bangs.
  • Instantly adjusts to any head size and/or shape.
  • Provides a soft, silky, sensuous feeling (depending on the material that the band is created from).
  • Painless, unlike some of the horseshoe headbands, that may have irritating teeth.
  • Secures bangs during awkward growing out phases.
  • Easy to pack. Folds up without wrinkling and can be easily carried in a handbag for hair emergencies.
  • Holds tresses back while lounging at the pool.
  • Diverts attention away from bad hair days.
  • Keeps wily strands out of eyes during driving, face cleansing when applying makeup or masks.
  • Doubles as a hair elastic to secure ponytail or tails.
  • Multiple bandeau headbands can be layered together with one as a ponytail elastic and a matching band worn at the front of the hairline for a unique fashion statement.
  • Frames curls and waves to provide an instant border for cascading locks.
  • Adds instant splash of flattering color to any skin tone (depending on hue selected)
  • Can be worn during the day or for some types of evening events.
  • May be rolled up and worn as wrist cuffs for an instant new fashion trend.

Summary

This latest hair accessory trend is fun, fabulous and works for every age, type and texture of hair. Bandeaus can range in price from $3.50 for a simple stretchy cotton version to close to $100 for a hand crafted couture version from designers such as Susan Daniels or L. Erickson.

Trust me, the bandeau craze has only just begun. Watch for these headbands to literally explode onto the fashion scene over the next several months.

- Revised Date: 2/19/2006

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