6 Different Types of Headbands for Men

Many men wear headbands, and for varying reasons. Whether a headband is worn to keep sweat off of your forehead as you work out, to manage a head of long hair, or as a stylish accessory, headbands are both useful and versatile. So, it’s no wonder that they make their way into men’s wardrobes.

The history of the headband is said to date all the way back to Ancient Greece. The Greeks wore laurel wreaths as a token of achievement in athletic and literary contests. Laurel wreaths circled the top of the head and were worn virtually only by men in Ancient Greece; only women of status were known to wear this type of head accessory, but it was typically in the form of a small tiara. These early head accessories likely spurred the inception of other headband designs in later years and are still given out today to the winners of Olympic events and other major athletic contests, such as marathons.

Types of Headbands for Men

Headbands come in all different styles, shapes, and colors. Different types of headbands are designed for different purposes; some men may own an assortment of headbands to satisfy varying needs. Whatever the purpose, a headband is a practical accessory that can be worn on a regular basis.

Depending on your habits, lifestyle, and needs, the perfect type of men’s headband for you will vary. Check out the many different headband types listed below to learn about their characteristics and decide which one(s) are right for you.

Yoga Headbands

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Men that participate in yoga classes may seek a way to keep hair out of their face or to keep sweat from getting into their eyes. A yoga headband will do just that. Typically constructed from a stretchy, breathable material, yoga headbands are designed to help manage your hair and sweat throughout the many movements in a yoga class.

Yoga classes involve diverse movement, some of which are upside down. To stay dry and comfortable, a yoga headband will keep long hair in place and sweat out of your eyes. Additionally, when you have somewhere to go after yoga class, wearing a yoga headband is a great strategy for keeping your hair neat and presentable. w

While yoga headbands can be constructed out of any number of materials, cotton and spandex are the most common. Cotton is a desirable material for yoga headbands because it’s a natural material that’s highly comfortable. Cotton is hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for individuals with sensitive skin. Plus, cotton fabric has moisture-controlling properties, so cotton yoga headbands are an excellent option for men who tend to sweat in yoga class (in hot yoga, who doesn’t?).

Some yoga headbands are made with a small percentage of spandex for stretchiness. Spandex helps headbands fit snugly so that they won’t move around during yoga class. Especially in classes when you’re moving around quickly, a headband with spandex will offer the secure, comfortable fit that you need.

Main Features of Yoga Headbands

  • Yoga headbands are usually one-size-fits-all. You’ll find that the fabric of yoga headbands has enough stretch to provide a secure, comfortable fit no matter your head shape.
  • This type of headband is generally solid-colored, often black, gray, or dark blue. However, some yoga headbands feature a subtle print, such as thin stripes or a small floral design.
  • Yoga headbands are usually soft and stretchy, often made from a combination of cotton and spandex. More specifically, many yoga headbands are made from organic cotton because it’s softer, safer for your skin, and more eco-friendly.
  • The tight-fitting design of a yoga headband makes it a highly effective accessory for keeping unruly hair in place. Even men with long, curly, and voluminous hair will find that yoga headbands keep hair out of the face throughout any yoga class.
  • Yoga headbands occasionally tie at the back. This type of design allows you to adjust the fit depending on the size of your head. But, when wearing a yoga headband with a tie design, be sure to tie it as tightly as is comfortable. Otherwise, it may slip and fall off while you’re doing yoga.

Knit Headbands

types of headbands for men

Source: Etsy

Knit headbands are a warm and comfortable accessory. Although knit headbands are often worn by women, men also rock this type of headband; there are plenty of knit headband designs that are made especially for men. Knit headbands for men are usually more simplistic in design than those made for women, with fewer decorative elements and the main focus on function.

Knit headbands for men often double as hair wraps. With a thicker design than other headband varieties, knitted headbands can also cover the ears to keep them warm and protected against harsh weather. This type of headband could even be layered underneath a helmet for cold weather sports, such as skiing and snowboarding.

This type of headband is especially popular during the cold autumn and winter months. Knit fabric works as an insulator to keep your head warm amidst freezing temperatures. Thicker knits sometimes referred to as “chunky” knits, provide the most warmth, while lightweight knits provide the least. Keep this in mind as you shop for knit headbands so that you select one fit for your needs.

Main Features of Knit Headbands

  • Knit headbands are generally thicker than other types of headbands, meaning that they cover up more of the head. So, this type of headband can effectively keep long hair out of your face and away from your ears.
  • Due to the fact that knit fabric is quite warm and insulating, knit headbands are a common accessory during the cold fall and winter months. Knit headbands can even be layered with hats for extra warmth in extremely cold conditions.
  • Knit headbands for men are less common than other types of men’s headbands, like tennis or gym headbands, and may, therefore, be trickier to find. Knit headbands are often sold by small sellers or independent business owners, or even on online crafting marketplaces like Etsy.com.
  • Knit headbands are typically either made in a solid color or in a colorful striped design. The simple nature of knit headband designs makes them an accessory to coordinate with various different outfits.

Gym Headbands

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Gym headbands are a commonly worn accessory by men who enjoy working out. Whether worn at the gym, while out on a run, during a bike ride, or in a fitness class, gym headbands are a great way to keep sweat out of your eyes. Gym headbands can also keep your hair out of your face, which is an awesome feature if you’re a man with long hair.

Gym headbands are commonly worn by professional athletes, namely basketball players and tennis players. LeBron James is a major name in the professional athletic realm and is almost always seen wearing a gym headband during games.

Also called sweatbands, gym headbands were a hugely popular accessory in the 70’s during the aerobics and fitness class craze. Often made in bright, neon colors, the gym headbands of the 70s were as much of a fashion statement as they were a practical athletic accessory. These headbands were often accompanied by matching wristbands made from the same stretchy, sweat-absorbing material. 70’s-style gym headbands are often deemed “retro” or “vintage” when sold today.

Gym headbands are most commonly made of terry cloth. Terry cloth is a soft and absorbent material that can easily wick away sweat. Occasionally called towelling, terry cloth works like a towel to absorb moisture and keep you comfortable throughout a grueling workout.

Main Features of Gym Headbands 

  • Gym headbands can absorb high volumes of moisture, which will help you manage sweat during a long or difficult workout.
  • Gym headbands, or sweatbands, are often viewed as unfashionable and out of style. However, modern brands are recreating sweatbands for a sleeker, more visually-pleasing look. With these thinner, updated sweatbands, you’ll reap the sweat-absorbing benefits of the accessory without feeling like you appear out of fashion.
  • Sweatbands are also utilized by men to manage sweat while wearing a hat. The headband can be worn underneath the hat to soak up sweat and excess moisture, keeping the hat in place on hot days. This strategy also works for athletes that must wear helmets, such as football players, lacrosse players, bikers, etc.
  • Gym headbands are stretchy to provide a secure fit. A headband that stays in place is essential during exercise when you’re moving quickly and exerting yourself. The terry cloth material that gym headbands are made of may be reinforced with an elastic band to ensure a perfect fit around your head.

Tennis Headbands

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Tennis headbands are similar to gym headbands, serving the same purpose of absorbing sweat during exercise. Tennis headbands are worn by even the most esteemed tennis players, such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams, during practice and games. But, tennis headbands can be purchased by anyone both online and in athletic gear stores.

Tennis is an aerobic sport that raises the heart rate and requires agility. Tennis players must jump, run, and be able to change direction on a dime. Long hair can get in the way and block one’s line of sight during a game, which will quickly become a problem. Tennis headbands solve this issue by keeping hair out of the face and absorbing sweat before it reaches the eyes.

Main Features of Tennis Headbands

  • Tennis headbands often feature the logo of a major athletic apparel brand, such as Nike, Reebok, and Adidas. Professional tennis players may wear tennis headband with a specific brand logo in order to endorse the company that sponsors them.
  • Tennis headbands are made from flexible, absorbent materials such as nylon with cotton or terry cloth. These fabrics are excellent for absorbing drops of sweat so that tennis players can run and jump in comfort.
  • Some tennis headbands tie at the back, while others feature a stretchy circular design with no tie. The tie design enables the wearer to achieve a secure, custom fit, while the no-tie design may be more comfortable and convenient for certain tennis players.
  • Tennis headbands are generally designed to be breathable so that you stay cool and comfortable, even during a long summer game. Breathability is key in a tennis headband because in the midst of a game, you may feel exhausted, and it’s crucial not to get overheated.


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Bandanas are a popular accessory for both men and women and are often worn as a headband. Bandanas are square sections of colored fabric, generally, with a white pattern, that can be worn in multiple ways. Basically, a bandana is an oversized handkerchief, and it’s most often worn around your head or neck. Men may put on a bandana by folding it and tying two of the corners together.

Bandanas are thought to have roots dating back to the late 1600s in the Middle East and South Asia. This headband type was first made in cotton or silk fabrics with bright, eye-catching colors. Since those early years, bandanas have become a part of numerous fashion eras and cultures, from Western cowboy clothing to urban gang attire. Heavy metal and rock musicians also started wearing bandanas around their heads in the 1970s both as a fashion statement and as a practical way to manage sweat during performances.

In current times, the bandana isn’t associated with any single style, trend, or culture. The bandana is an accessory worn by people from all walks of life. Additionally, bandanas are made in all different styles, colors, and sizes, so you can find the perfect one for your needs and aesthetic preferences. Whether you wear a bandana for practical or fashion purposes, you’re one of the countless people all across the globe who make use of this timeless accessory.

While bandanas may be worn purely as a fashion item, they may also be worn while working out to keep hair and sweat out of your face. Made from cotton or a cotton blend, bandanas are lightweight and breathable to keep you cool and comfortable as you exercise.

Main Features of Bandanas

  • One of the most common prints that you’ll find on a bandana is paisley. Paisley has been a popular print for clothing and accessories for decades. The print has a floral-like appearance with teardrop shapes and intricate detailing, making it a great option for decorative fabrics.
  • Bandanas are most commonly made from cotton, but you’ll also see bandanas made from a cotton-polyester blend. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that adds strength to the fibers of a bandana for greater durability.
  • Some men wear bandanas for purely aesthetic purposes, but others use them as an alternative to gym headbands. The cotton material is absorbent enough to manage sweat during tough workouts.
  • Bandanas are sometimes also called kerchiefs. More specifically, bandanas are considered by many to be a type of kerchief.

Skinny Headbands

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Skinny headbands, also called “thin” or “slim” headbands, are a popular accessory among athletic men. This type of headband is less than an inch thick, providing a much different look than the majority of other headband varieties. Also, given that this type of headband is much smaller than other options, it can’t hold hair back from the face of effectively as other options (although thin headbands can manage fly-away hairs quite well). What skinny headbands can do, however, is give volume to the hair for styling purposes.

Skinny headbands are often sold by major athletic apparel brands, such as Nike. The Nike logo holds distinct prestige is instantly recognizable and holds distinct prestige in the athletic and fashion realms. As a result, skinny headbands bearing the Nike logo are highly sought-after by athletes and people of all types.

Men with medium length to long hair often wear skinny headbands to keep back the front section of their hair while working out, playing sports, etc. Long hair can be difficult to manage when engaging in aerobic activities like running or jumping, so an accessory like a skinny headband is often a necessity.

Main Features of Skinny Headbands

  • Skinny headbands are especially popular among men who play sports that don’t require the use of a helmet, such as soccer players, tennis players, and runners.
  • Skinny headbands are preferred by some men to other types of headbands because they are lighter in weight and less bulky.
  • Skinny headbands are a great choice for keeping your hair back during the hot summer months. This is because, unlike other types of headbands, skinny headbands don’t cover your ears or forehead, which could cause you to sweat more.
  • This type of headband for men usually comes in packs of three or four. These multi-packs are highly convenient and allow you to keep one headband at home, one in your bag, one in your locker at the gym, etc.