It’s something I’ve tried to ignore for some years now—far too long. Its existence is a contentious one, ranked right up there alongside lensless, oversized, plastic glasses; Girl Talk; dogs in sweaters; and leggings worn as pants.
The headband has been enjoying its reemergence (see: Marc Jacobs’ $50-plus plastic ones), but it wasn’t until the past few years that it really broke through with a new trend: Headbands worn around the forehead, hippie-style. (Or Native American. Or flapper. You choose.)
I started spying this look on the unwashed heads of Silverlake and Los Feliz gals first, in the Echos and Little Joys and Cha Cha Lounges. Then it crept its way into the spotlight via the unwashed heads of Mary-Kate Olsen, Mischa Barton, Nicole Richie and Erin Wasson.
They come in all varieties--leather, feathered, beaded, braided, sequined, string, even lamé. American Apparel sells them for $13. And they can be fetched for $14 to $28 at Urban Outfitters (whose chairman, by the way, is zillionaire Rich Hayne, a well-known mega-conservative who has contributed money to numerous senators who vote for legislation against gay marriage, including former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who made controversial statements in a 2003 Associated Press interview equating gay marriage with incest, pedophilia and, most famously, “man-on-dog.” This is all especially unnerving when you consider that the hipster movement has fueled Urban’s extreme popularity and by the youth who’ve chosen to believe they are being anti-establishment by shopping at a store that hawks exclusively Obama tees next to copies of NYLON and Catcher in the Rye. The store also recently pulled pro-gay marriage shirts off its shelves.)
The worst, though, is when you see the kidlets running around with several yards of yarn wrapped around them, resulting in some sort of mushroom-cloud hair effect. Not good.
It’s really bound to end up as one of those “what the hell was I thinking?” moments—the same thoughts you had when looking at photos of yourself in a scrunchied side ponytail, or drop-crotch pants, or Mia Farrow haircut circa Rosemary’s Baby, or any other trend you were really just not cool enough to pull off.
I thought the headband trend was starting to die out, only appearing on the noggins of teenaged baristas and Lab shoppers every now and then, but then came the news that Mischa Barton recently inked a deal to produce her own range of hair accessories with designer Stacy Lapidus. The only thing: Nicole Richie has also began to churn out her own overpriced hair pieces for her House of Harlow 1960 line—which supposedly has come between the pair’s (obviously very close) friendship. Barton’s line has already launched and asks for anywhere from $90 to $200 for a piece of string with some crap on it. When speaking to Women’s Wear Daily on her new headbands, Barton said, “People want to see that you can deliver and do, like, a good job.”