It started with Lauren Hall-Lew (an American in Edinburgh) reporting on her daughter’s query about BrE and AmE on head band. Commenters brought in hair band, hair bobble, and scrunchie, and I mentioned sweatbands for sports use, which come as wrist bands and head bands.

I was eventually led to websites selling not just sweatbands, but rainbow sweatbands, and that led me to some more rainbow sportswear, in particular tube socks. So it turned into a gay rainbow day. (There’s a firm called, wonderfully, Pride Socks.)

But first, the head band thing. Lynne Murphy (an American in Brighton SX) took this up on her blog Separated by a Common Language (on BrE / AmE differences), in “hairy subjects, part 2: hair accessories”of 2/13/07. In particular, she covered head band (which is common to BrE and AmE) and the BrE special case the Alice band (the horseshoe-shaped head band depicted in Tenniel’s illustrations for the Alice books)


(these things are just called head bands in AmE)

and hair band for a ponytail holder, which has a number of names.

Colorful hair bands (black’s the standard color):


Lynne knows these as elastics in her variety of AmE.

Wikipedia has hair tie as the cover term for a hair fastener:

A hair tie … is a gadget to fasten hair, particularly long hair, away from areas such as the face. This is usually done as part of a hairstyle such as pigtails, bunches, ponytail for straight, wavy and loosely curled hair and referred to as afro puffs, bunny tails and “pineapples” for highly curled and highly textured natural hair.

This includes the gadgets mentioned so far, and also hair bobbles

and scrunchies:


A scrunchie (or scrunchy) is a fabric-covered elastic hair tie used to fasten long hair. Large, elaborate styles and diminutive, unassuming forms are available in many different colors, fabrics, and designs. They were particularly popular from the late 1980s into around the mid 1990s. (Wikipedia link)

On to sweatbands, of the wristband and headband variety. Plenty of examples to view by googling on “sweatband”, but I’ll go right to the rainbow ones. A rainbow sweatbands set (two wristbands, one headband) from Unique Sports:


A similar set is available from Suddora. And then more rainbow sportswear, namely tube socks from Pride Socks:


Jock pride!

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