A hair tie, also known by the names listed below, is an item used to fasten hair, particularly long hair, away from areas such as the face. This is usually done as part of a hairstyle such as pigtails, bunches, or ponytails for straight, wavy and loosely curled hair, and referred to as afro puffs, bunny tails and "pineapples" for highly curled and highly textured natural hair. Two common types of hair ties are the scrunchie and the elastic. The term can also include a fixed tie which is placed through strands to hold specific parts of hair together, rather than tie it or clasp together like a hair clip.
The use of hair ties, in one form or another, is likely to have stretched for thousands of years, as the primary reason (controlling hair disrupting daily activities) would have existed from an early point. This would have had to take place by whatever means were possible, with bands of leather a likely early option. Alternatives included entwined threads of different fabrics, or entwined pegs, with one 1500 year old example including gold in its creation. Brighter and rarer coloured ribbons were usually preferred by girls.
The early to mid 19th century and the modernisation of a rubber industry allowed for use of rubber in clothing, which would ultimately include early elastic hair ties. While providing some of the benefits of modern ties, being flexible in size and self-closing, rubber ties could catch on individual hair strands, pull on them, remove them from the scalp and ultimately cause loss of hair.
Other names for hair ties
Hair ties are known by numerous names. Among the more common are:
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