Image Source: Getty/ Edward Berthelot
There's nothing like a good hair accessory to dress up a regular old hairstyle. Hairbands, claw clips, and barrettes add instant flare to every look, but one accessory has made such an impact this year that it's made its way into every corner of our lives. TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram are being flooded with bows as they adorn candle sticks, wine glasses, and every hairstyle imaginable.
Hair bows aren't new, but for many, it's been quite a few years since we last wore one, which is likely why we're so obsessed by them. "As young girls, we often wear bows in our hair, and it's a simple way to dress up any outfit," Camille Friend, celebrity hairstylist and Prose spokesperson, tells POPSUGAR. Over the last year, however, the trend has exploded, seeing a 163.2 percent search spike on Pinterest in just one month. From the Alice + Olivia runway at New York Fashion Week to red carpets, it's become a fast favourite.
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"My prediction is that it's going to be a huge trend for awards season," says Laura Polko, celebrity stylist and expert for John Frieda Hair Care's House of Frieda. Celebrities like Sydney Sweeney, Nicola Peltz Beckham, Zoë Kravitz, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Lopez have all backed the hair trend, wearing the decorative ribbon in a myriad of ways. Sarah Jessica Parker even curated her own line of vintage bows with her brand, SJP Collection, after taking the internet by storm with the floor-length stain accessory that she wore to the annual New York City Ballet Fall Gala in October 2023.
The Best Hairstyles to Wear With Bows
There is no wrong way to wear a hair bow — that's part of what makes the trend so special — but there are a few fan favourites. "Bows work well with high or low ponytails, half-up styles, and hair-back looks," says Friend. "They add a touch of elegance and chicness to any hairstyle."
Polko's favoured style is half-up, half down, "paired with a put-together wave," she says. "It looks really nice." To tone down the girly nature of the trend, she recommends playing with the colour and pattern of the bow itself, as well as the style you pair it with. "If you wear a black blow and the rest of your hair is undone, you get that hot, cool-girl hair, and you are good to go." See Nicole Kidman's look at the 2023 Met Gala, for reference.
Image Source: Getty/Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan
Tips For Keeping Hair Bows in Place
Hair bows with attached barrette backings or ponytail holders can easily stick anywhere in your hair, but they're not immune to slipping and sliding. To avoid this, Polko recommends spraying the barrette with the John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray (£7). "I spray on the clip so it really locks in, and as it is drying, it stays in place."
If you don't want to use hairspray, Friend says dry shampoo can also do the trick. Applying the product to your roots gives your hair some grip. "Tie your hair in place with a hair tie, and then add your bow hair accessory," she says. "This should help keep it secure."
Best Hair Bows to Buy
You can take a piece of crafting ribbon and wrap it around the base of your ponytail or bun to get the look for less, but if you're on the market for a special bow you can wear again and again, we have some recommendations. The Emi Jay Bow Barrette (£13) is made of a sheer-chiffon material and comes in a variety of colours. For an ultra glitzy option, the New Look Crystal Diamonté Bow Barette Hair Clip (£6) is show-stopping.
Image Source: Getty/Theo Wargo
To get that stacked bow look, as seen on stars like Hailey Bieber, all you need is a pack of the Urban Outfitters Jemima Bow Clips 4-Pack Set (£12). To quickly add a bow to any ponytail or bun, you can also try the Next Bow Scrunchie (£8). And if your goal is to copy SJP's iconic look, Etsy has some great options, like the Twin Craft Store Black Velvet Hair Bow (£57). Happy accessorising.