The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

History of the Headband


From purple to polka dotted, soft woven cloth to unyielding plastic and metal, there are truly many ways to wear the always fashionable headband.

But where did this trend come from? Who donned the first headband and how has it changed to those we wear today?

The origin of the headband began centuries ago. The Ancient Greek tradition called for head wreaths made from olive branches to be worn on special occasions, including the presentation of victorious Olympians.

The Romans and Etruscans, too, wore flowing patterned head scarves under hats for color and to protect their tresses, and the first metal hairpiece was invented by the Etruscans for formal events like weddings.

But headbands can be more than just aesthetically pleasing. Many cultures wear headbands or scarves for religious purposes.

Strict observance of ancient Jewish law calls for married women to cover their hair with scarves, a practice that continues in some communities today.

The Japanese “hachimaki” has also been worn for centuries. This band, made of thin strips of cotton cloth, feature inspirational slogans and a centered colored circle. Though they were first worn to ward off bad spirits, they have evolved into physical symbols of mental focus and determination.

As the times have changed, so have the styles of the headbands. The roaring ’20s made a fad of pieces with sequins and feathers, and who could forget dear Princess Diana daringly transforming a royal emerald chocker into a million dollar hairpiece?

But headbands can also have function.

Early 20th century physicians proposed that wearing tight, thick headbands could relieve temple pain and even remedy migraines.

And the era handlebar mustaches and the Rolling Stones brought the headbands into the aerobic world with the invention of the sweatband. Wilt Chamberlain was the first athlete to rock one of these striped colored terrycloth accessories in the NBA, and soon players and spectators alike were clamoring to get their hands on them.

Today, you’re hard pressed not to find a sweat-less girl rocking an lulu lemon headband or a music festival enthusiast styling beachy waves with a flower crown. But no matter the shape or size, or if its being used for style or function, the headband is an accessory that is here to stay.