Are headbands still a thing?
Headbands are NOT just for 80’s Tennis Stars. (Andre Agassi and John McEnroe, I’m looking at you!)
Headbands are incredibly useful, and serve you well in several situations, which is likely why they are so popular with tennis players, basketball players, weightlifters, CrossFit Athletes, and Runners worldwide.
I aim to cover the three most popular reasons one might wear a headband, what goes into the best workout headbands, and present 15 of the best running headbands with reviews so you find the one that is perfect for you.
Which of these 3 Distinct Headband Purposes Fits Your Needs?
1. Sweat management
Probably the most popular reason to wear a headband is to manage sweat. This goes for athletes, bike riders, folks who ride motorcycles, runners and more.
Basically, anyone that wants to keep sweat from running into their eyes is after this type of headband.
If you need to deal with perspiration look for the following characteristics in headbands.
They are made from thin material, which dries quickly. Another benefit of this material is you can wear a thin headband under a baseball cap, motorcycle or bike helmet.
Sweat wicking and odor control Technology
Headbands designed for sweat also need to account for the unpleasantness aspects of sweat, including making stuff stink and making you feel wet, hot and sticky.
A good sweatband should be able to absorb moisture, dry faster than SpongeBob in a tanning bed, and resist the growth of funky germs and bacteria that live off of sweat and create odor. Ewww.
The best headbands for sweat management are usually wide, to provide enough fabric to mop up sweat and hold your hair in place.
A thin band simply does not have enough substance to soak up any significant amount of sweat.
2. Hair Management
Some folks need a headband to simply keep the hair off their face. Not everyone wants or needs a wide or bulky sweatband, some folks just need to keep their bangs up off the forehead and anchor fly-always in the hair that have a tendency to land in your eyes or stick to your face.
If you like a nice, light, barely there headband that controls your hair, look for these properties:
Thin width – The thinner the headband, the less you will notice you are wearing it. These may come in darker colors that blend in even more and are discreet.
Grip – This style headband does best with some kind of rubberized or silicone grip on the underside. The grip allows the headband to stay in place as you move.
Silicone is preferred because it stays put without pulling the hair, like rubber may.
If you run, hike, bicycle or ski in cool weather, this is the type of headband you need.
Layered warming fabric
Certain fabrics hold heat in, while others are cooling. Fleece is a popular fabric for warming headbands because it holds our body heat against you, keeping your head and ears perfectly toasty.
A good warming headband is contoured to adequately cover the ears, which are vulnerable in cold or windy conditions. Look for a contoured cut that covers your ears.
Make or Break Traits to Find Your Perfect Goldilocks Headband
The number one headband complaint is that it is too tight. The number too complaint is that it is too loose.
I think we can all agree there is nothing worse than getting a headband that just slides off, or is so tight it gives you a headache.
I mentioned in the reviews which headbands are good for large noggins, and those better suited for more petite craniums.
If the band is too thin, and you sweat a lot, you may find sweat dripping into your eyes even with a sweatband on.
If you perspire even just a little, a wider headband may be the best choice.
The texture of the headband fabric is important. You want a headband that is soft and comfortable, not rough and scratchy.
Imagine being in the middle of a heavy barbell lift and your forehead begins to itch from the irritating material of the headband.
You have no hands free to scratch it; you must endure till the lift is finished. Not cool. It is worth it to spend a little more for quality fabric.
TOP 15 headbands for Men & Women Reviewed 2019
Review: Self Pro is made from a light thin material that wicks sweat away. It is thin enough to wear under a baseball cap or helmet, and the bad is wide, about three inches, and the bad is on the large side, and fits large heads, or people with a lot of hair, well.
- Thin sweat wicking material – fits under hat/helmet.
- Wide band – catches al sweat.
- Washable and dries fast.
Best workout headbands in the budget price range, as useful as more expensive headbands.
Halo II Headband Sweatband
Review: These high performing Halo II headbands have Sweat seal technology, which is a thin yellow silicone strip that catches sweat before it drips into your eyes or glasses and channels it away from your face. The material is thin, sweat wicking and made with anti odor technology.
- Grippy silicone strip holds band on and moves sweat away from the face.
- Dryline material wicks sweat dries fast and prevents odor.
- Thin enough to wear under a hat.
- This popular brand is plagued by knockoffs, be sure and order from a reputable dealer.
One of the best headbands for running due to its ability to channel sweat away from your eyes.
French Fitness Revolution Fitness Headband
Review: This headband is made of thin, washable, sweat wicking material. It is 4” wide at the forehead, and 1.5 inches wide in the back.
It is thin enough to wear under a hat or helmet, and wide enough to keep bangs out of your face without looking like a dork.
- Swat wicking, thin and breathable.
- SPF of 40.
- Double layer fabric, reversible.
- Takes a bit longer to dry than single layer headbands.
Best workout headbands for short hair and bangs.
TrailHeads Women’s Ponytail Headband
Review: This headband is one single layer of fleece that covers the ears and accommodates a ponytail.
This headband is ideal for ladies who engage in cold weather sports and activities.
- Warm fleece, covers ears.
- Accommodates a ponytail in the back.
- Ponytail placement is low, some do not prefer this position.
Best headbands for thick hair, long hair.
Nike Women's Running Headband
Review: These headbands cold weather running headbands feature reflective logo and stitching and are a few inches thick, to manage hair and keep it away from your face while jogging.
- Warm-fleece lined.
- Dri-fit technology means they will sweep away sweat and keep your face dry.
- Reflective details, helps others see you while you are jogging.
Best running headbands for women in chilly weather.
Turtle Fur Double-Layer Bang Band, Chelonia 150 Fleece Headband
Review: This super soft headband is made from two layers of fleece, which will keep your ears warm and feel very comfortable to wear.
It is contoured, and wider on one side than the other so it will cover your ears while jogging, skiing, snowboarding or any cold weather sport.
- 2 layers of fleece, moderately warm.
- Covers ears.
- Machine washable.
- Make sure you purchase from a reputable vendor to avoid getting a fake.
Best headbands for working out or engaging in other cold weather, outdoor activities.
Adidas Interval Slim Headband
Review: This Adidas headband is thin, at ¾ inches, and made from a low profile terry cloth sweat wicking material.
The terry cloth absorbs sweat, but does not look like the classic 80’s style terry cloth- it is much flatter, and the band much narrower than those.
- Thin band, low profile terry cloth.
- Ideal for smaller or petite heads.
- Embroidered logo, will not peel or fade.
- Runs small, great for teens and women.
Best workout headbands for smaller folks.
Pearl Izumi - Ride Transfer Lite Headband
Review: This Pearl Izumi headband is made from a thin sweat wicking material infused with mineral polyester, which inhibits odor and causes the headband to dry quickly.
The headband is a uniform width of a little over 2 inches.
- Mineral polyester material prevents odor and dries fast- excellent airflow and breathability.
- Reflective logo allows others to see you better.
- Suitable for large heads.
- Does not work as well in high humidity environments.
The best sweatbands for keeping you cool and dry whether on the road, track, trail or at the court.
Review: The buff headbands are known for their cute designs, UV protection, and extra wide width.
The material is soft and comfortable, not tight and constricting like narrow bands that give you a headache. Great for managing sweat, and keep hair and bangs under wraps.
- Seamless, one continuous tube of polyester fabric.
- Very high UV protection, ideal for covering forehead and hair when outdoors.
- Moisture-wicking anti bacterial anti odor fabric.
- Material of this model is thinner than previous years models.
Super Cute! Best sweatbands for keeping your hair and bangs out of your face while working out.
Under Armour Women's Mini Headbands
Review: The UA Mini headbands, designed for women, are a mere 3/8 inch thick and have a silicone band to hold them in place. The UA logo sits at the front, while these thin bands hold stray hair in place as you exercise.
- Sold in a pack of 6.
- Fits the average size adult woman well.
- Silicone on the underside keeps a band in place.
Perfect for keeping fly-away’s out of your face while jogging, easily one of the best running headbands for women.
Sweaty Bands Non-Slip Fitness Headband
Review: Sweaty bands are popular, fashionable, and best of all, functional. They are made with a 1” thick strip of fabric that has a band of elastic connecting the ends.
The underside of the fabric is lined with velvet and stays put, and won’t slide around on your head as you move.
- Velvet underside, stays put.
- Made in the USA.
- Many different fabrics/colors/patterns to choose from.
The Super-cute stay-put headband for fashion forward female athletes.
Women's Nike Swoosh Sport Headbands 6PK
Review: Nike designed this 3/8 inch headband to stay put and keep hair out of your face while running, jogging, or at the gym.
The bands have a silicone strip to secure them in place. Nike makes these in all colors, including black white and grey, so they may be worn by guys or gals.
- Silicone grip keeps them in place.
- Larger band, suitable for adult females and males.
- This discreet band- does not scream “I am wearing a headband!”.
- These come in a 6 pack of multiple colors, cannot order just one color.
Effective hair management, for guys and gals, one of the best headbands for running.
ASICS Thermopolis Lite 2-n-1 Headwarmer
Review: This Asics Thermopolis lite is made from two layers of contrasting fabric, so it is reversible, and the fabric is wide enough to cover your ears and keep them warm while running in cold weather. They sat on well, with little fuss.
- Covers ears and keeps them warm.
- Stays put while jogging.
- Reversible so you can switch up colors.
- Ideal for cool weather but not freezing under 38 degrees weather.
Best running sweatband for keeping your ears warm while jogging on a cool morning.
Columbia Men's Fast Trek Headring
Review: This Colombia headband is thick, but not too thick and can be worn under a hat in needed. It is a double layer of fleece, and is cut to cover your ears.
- Has the High-quality stitching and craftsmanship Columbia is known for.
- Two sizes available to get the best fit for you.
- Help keep head and ears warm in cold or windy conditions.
This headband will keep your ears nice and warm while performing just about any outdoor activity.
JUNK Brands Americana Collection Headbands
Review: The Junk brand is anything but Junk, and is a favorite of many CrossFit athletes, and for good reason.
This band is wider at the front, securing hair and bangs out of your face. It speedily absorbs and expels sweat, and dries quickly.
It is made from “Technical T-Shirt fabric, which means it is as comfortable as a t-shirt, with the tech specs of moisture wicking and odor control.
- Absorbs sweat and dries fast.
- Wide band covers forehead, hair and bangs, securing them in place and out of your face.
- A Bunch of really cool designs.
- The design may distort after being placed on your head.
NOT a bunch of Junk but one of best workout headbands for CrossFit.
Great workout headband for sweat!
Did we leave anything out? Please let us know in the comments below what YOUR favorite headband is. We read each comment and love to hear from our readers.