by Lillian Mae of


I’ve worn tons of styles since going natural.  However, elastic bands take center stage as the go to tool for the majority of styles that I’ve worn.

Who doesn’t love a big, bodacious, blinding puff? I know I do; the bigger the better! The style is convenient, simple, easy to achieve and can be worn without having to restyle on a daily basis

I just knew my puff was on point!

While transitioning, my bun was always singled out by the TSA to be checked for weapons of mass destruction.

Full High Bun

And the modified version of the classic bun, the cinna-bun

Back to Basics

I’ve worn protective styles such as the Simple, Charming Updo borrowed from Naptural85, which is great for any occasion!

Simple and Charming Updo Week 1

These styles would not have been possible without an elastic band.

Elastic bands are inexpensive, versatile and easily attainable, which make them staples for many naturals. Finally, stretched elastic bands make great headbands (right before they start to wear out)!

Exposed Rubber from and Elastic Band

Exposed Rubber from an Elastic Band

The downside to using elastic bands is that overtime, they will lose elasticity and/or may pop altogether, and more importantly cause unnecessary breakage. No bueno!

Check out the DOs and DON’Ts below to help protect your strands when using elastic bands:

DON’T purchase elastic bands that have a noticeable seam. The heat-sealed seam can cause unnecessary breakage around the hairline. My favorite seamless bands are made by Goody and Scrunci.

DO immediately discard any elastic bands that have the rubber exposed.

DON’T wear the bands too tightly; to achieve a puff, usually wrapping the band twice is enough. In the past I’ve experienced headaches from tension caused by bands that were on too tight.

DON’T sleep in them when wearing them as headbands! I’m all about edge retention! No need for unnecessary stress on the edges; give them a break when sleeping

DO keep a large stash of elastic bands of all colors, because you WILL need them :)

Make Your Own! If you’re a DIY girl like myself, you can create your own ouchless, adjustable elastic bands!

Do you use elastic bands in your styling regimen?

The Knotty Natural hails from the DMV, currently resides in Orlando, is a test engineer by day, beauty consultant, natural hair blogging enthusiast by night! At, I hope to inspire women to embrace & love their tresses! Check me out, as I chronicle my experiences as a Knotty natural living in a kinky world!

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21 Comments on "How to Use Elastic Bands on Natural Hair Without Causing Breakage"

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it’s hard for me to find satin hair ties so instead i’ll tie a headband. has anyone found smooth satin like hair ties? the colorful rubber band ones work ok

Napturally Kia

jealous of all those who can achieve a high puff *squints eyes*

Knotty Natural

It comes with time 🙂


Great article, thanks for sharing! Am I the only one though who buys tons of hairbands and hairclips & yet loses all of them within a few weeks? Lol I have no idea what happens to them but it doesn’t matter how many I buy I can never find more than one or two when I need them!

Knotty Natural

Hi IB!

I’m glad enjoyed the article! I actually used to lose all of my bands as well, but then I started to keep them in a make-up bag and the problem was solved. As for the flower clips, I just started to clip them to my jewelry stand! 🙂


That’s such a good idea, I’m definitely going to start doing that!

Napturally Kia

i use old containers of hair products i use. most of them being deep conditioner container bc i go thru that pretty quickly


Nice article, thanks for posting!

Knotty Natural

I’m glad you enjoyed it; thank your for reading and commenting!


I really like the Scunci evolution bands. My breakage from puffs seems greatly reduced since I switched to them, and I think it’s because they’re rounded rubber–the cloth coating and glue seal on traditional elastics always caught on my hair.

Knotty Natural

I think it’s a good idea to stay away from the metal and glue sealed elastics; both lead to unnecessary breakage.


What kinds of elastic bands are recommended for banding the hair? Currently I have a tapered cut where the back is too short to twist/braid so I have been banding with Goody Ouchless bands. But I’m always looking for a healthier or gentler alternative if there is one.

Knotty Natural

Ouchless bands are perfect! I’d stay away from any and all bands that have the metal piece attached to it.

You just really want to discard them after they are so worn that the elastic becomes exposed.


naptural85 has the best tutorial either on her hair channel or style channel


Scunchii has these new elastics that don’t pull it snag my hair at all. I love them, their like a rounded thick rubberband. They’re really smooth.


They don’t have that cloth material wrapped on them.


I like those ones too, they’re really good. No metal part, no fabric, no seams for hair to get caught on. Best elastics I’ve ever used.


Exactly, I tried to like your comment…but it gave a thumbs down instead and wouldn’t let me change it.


I use those as well…have for the pass few year after discovering them..they are awesome and glide out of my hair with ease…

I only use elastic bans for ponytails mostly I used to use it with buns but it had to be done tight to get the hair to stay put without my hair slowly pushing it of making a tinier bun as the hours passed, it also would cause angles along band where hair would get wrapped around the elastic. So it was a no no for protective styles by when my gets longer where I don’t have to worry about it navigating down the hair maybe I can do it more and looser. But not right now for my while… Read more »
Knotty Natural

Better safe then sorry! 🙂