How to Use Elastic Bands on Natural Hair Without Causing Breakage

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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