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Men & Hair Accessories?


I recently had a man email AskKaren and inquire why carried literally thousands of hair accessories for women of all ages, but we didn't carry similar fashions for men. You might think that was a good question. And it is. Except that I have struggled with this issue for years. (Image of Willie Nelson - - all rights reserved)

At various points in the Marketplace's product line evolution we have carried men's hair accessories. Needless to say, they didn't fly off the shelves. In face, we wound up marking all of them down to move them out. Now don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean that they were cheap, chintzy or low quality accessories. To the contrary, I actually met with famed accessory designer Eve Reid who crafted some "male hair accessory" prototypes. I socialized the designs but was met with total resistance from our male customers.

To The Polls

In 2002 I took this weighty question to the polls. Although not many of our male visitors took time to log their opinions, the results were not unexpected.

(Image of Orlando Bloom - - all rights reserved).

Of 765 replies, 612 or 80% voted that men should definitely not wear hair jewelry. A mere 43 or 5.62% thought that men could and should wear hair jewels. While 7 respondents or 0.92% were undecided about this matter, 103 were willing to say that it would depend on the man wearing the hair accessory whether it was appropriate or not.

So what actually defines hair jewelry or hair accessories? Generally speaking the range would include headbands, barrettes, jeweled bobby or hairpins, hair sticks, jaw, claws and similar style clips.

As a rule, men might pull off a very thin manly style of thin leather headband or an appropriate bandeau which might be appropriate at the club or on the slopes.

(Image of Orlando Bloom wearing durag headwear with Kate Bosworth - June 2004 - all rights reserved -

Certain subcultures of men embrace do rags (also known as durags), while others will adorn their dreads with beads and decorative "hair strings".

In general though, how often have you spotted a man wearing hair sticks, jeweled hair clips and bobbies or a large hair flower? Probably not often.

Where do I stand on the whole male hair accessory issue? I am part of that group that thinks it might work depending on the man wearing the accessory and the event that it was worn to.

Orlando Bloom could probably wear any type of hair accessory and look hot. He is famous for an array of headgear including durags, knitted bandeaus, caps and even leather pony tail holders. Johnny Depp is another celebrity that is a fashion trend setter in the male hair arena.

(Image of Johnny Depp at The World Premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl", Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif., 06-28-03 - all rights reserved -

If Jack Black wore hair gems, I would instantly think he was making fun of them. I can't honestly envision Jack wearing hairsticks or hair combs other than as a spook. Now if Brad Pitt wore a set of hair sticks, I would assume that they were for a part of that Angie hooked him up and might not be all that surprised.


Do I think that men will embrace a full spectrum of hair accessories for personal wear? Not any time soon. Yes, men will also wear black pony elastics like Blax, Bungees and related classic items to tie back long ponytails.

(Image of Jack Black at King Kong Premiere - 12-05-05 - New York city, NY - - all rights reserved).

They might don a small black leather hair tie or headband with discreet tails. They might even use unadorned bobbies from time to time. However, it would surprise me to find men, other than those on the fashion catwalks, sporting anything other than the bare essentials.

Yes of course, there will always be the exceptions to every rule. Willie Nelson (shown above at top of page). often wears assorted leather wraps and ties on his famous white braided ponytail. Marilyn Manson (shown below) also has been spotted with borderline hair accessory items.

Bottom line, if a man wants to wear hair accessories I applaud their willingness to wear what works for their style. I am totally in support of a guy demonstrating a strong sense of self confidence and a willingness to embrace a departure from traditional male hairstyles.

(Image of Marilyn Manson... at the opening of Marc Jacobs three Los Angeles Stores with a party to benefit the Film Foundation, West Hollywood, CA 03-17-05 - - all rights reserved).

In the meantime, will continue to offer hair accessories that could be worn by men in a functional way that will work with ponytails or for a workout at the gym.

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

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