It’s probably been a while—like, decades even—since you’ve worn hair bows, but you might want to give them a second chance. If the red carpet is any indication, the accessory is making a major comeback, and we’re not mad at it one bit.
Oversized bows have been showing up on the heads of nearly every starlet in Hollywood lately, from Anya Taylor-Joy and Beanie Feldstein to Zoë Kravitz and Sydney Sweeney. Ariana Grande has been riding the trend train particularly hard, opting for color-coordinated bows during her TV appearances as a coach on NBC’s The Voice. Bows have also popped up in OOTD videos on TikTok, so you know it’s about to be big.
The hair bow resurgence may feel sudden, but after two years of minimal glamour and events, it makes sense that we’re looking for something that feels more polished and pretty—plus, bows pair perfectly with a classic fluffy blowout, the unofficial hairstyle of 2021. Hair accessories have been on the rise since 2019’s padded-headband craze, and this feels like a fun update that’s a little more unexpected. We can also thank the Gossip Girl reboot and TikTok’s obsession with preppy style and “old money” vibes.
Beauty nostalgia has run rampant over the course of the pandemic, and hair bows are both a throwback to retro glamour, as well as to the hairstyles we wore as little kids. Celebrity hairstylist Gregory Russell—the man behind Anya Taylor-Joy’s bows—says he loves bows as an easy way to dress up hair and add a ’60s feel. And of course, they’re the perfect accessory for the holiday season.
Bows may seem prissy, but there’s actually surprisingly versatile. A big silky bow is glamorous, a loose ribbon can be more boho, and a comically oversized bow like this one from Vaquera is actually edgy. Of course, how you style your hair makes a huge impact on the overall vibe as well. Russell loves a bow paired with a half-updo, a ponytail, or a low messy style to contrast the bow.
“If you’re worried about looking too styled, I would make sure there is a messy, effortless texture to your style to balance the femme feeling of a bow,” says Russell. “Products I recommend for a nice messy and effortlessly texture look are the Pureology Style + Protect Texture Finished Spray, which is lightweight and adds body and shine without crunch, but also the Style + Protect Mess It Up Texture Paste for a medium hold that adds texture and depth to the look.” As far as bows go, Russell recommends brands like Lelet and Jennifer Behr, since they’re easy to use.
Ready to try the trend for yourself? Below, a slew of bows to get you started.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty writer at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.