When did the scrunchie make its way back onto our ponytails? In late 2017, Balenciaga showed a crinkly leather scrunchie stamped with a gold logo in its resort 2018 collection, with Vogue dubbing it the “hypebae scrunchie” while other outlets, like Man Repeller, began to notice the trend, asking, “Is the scrunchie trend making a comeback?”
That same year, Fashionista reported a Frederikke Sofie scrunchie look in March 2017’s Vogue, Bella Hadid donned one during a Nike-related appearance, and Mansur Gavriel featured them in its September 2017 runway show. By the time we entered the year 2018, the trend had officially arrived again, full throttle, as a multitude of stories were published by outlets including Allure, Man Repeller, British Vogue, Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, and Slate, firmly declaring the scrunchie was “back.”
Nearly nine months into 2019, and the trend has continued apace, with scrunchies of every variety appearing everywhere right now. There are furry scrunchies that remind me of Sesame Street, pearl-decorated scrunchies, sparkly days-of-the-week scrunchies, and every kind of printed or fabric scrunchies imaginable (currently I am obsessed with this denim one by Hardeman). Balenciaga has taken the trend to the next level, even offering scrunchie bracelets, which are the same thing as regular scrunchies.
With the scrunchie resurgence in full swing, I’ve also discovered some cool, homegrown brands, including Rat Boi, a Ventura, California–based scrunchies brand made from local, recycled materials. Founder Alexa Coughlin, 29, recalls, “I was getting a haircut over a year ago, and my stylist’s hair was up in this navy velvet scrunchie. I complimented her on how cute her hair looked, and she said ‘Really? I throw it up in this when I’m too lazy to style it.’” Coughlin was inspired and ended up not only wearing a scrunchie every day after that but completely redesigning her own scrunchie — one that used stronger elastic like the ones she grew up wearing and upcycled silk that would be gentle on the hair and prevent breakage.
Another brand, the Chantal Crop, takes thrifted shirts and transforms them into crop tops that each come with a matching scrunchie. “I love how scrunchies let you extend your personal style above your neck,” says founder Chantal Strasburger. “I can have the most badass outfit on, but without a little somethin’ somethin’ topping it all off, it feels incomplete. It also happens to be the best type of hair tie I’ve found for keeping a messy topknot in place, and when it comes time to let my hair down, it doubles as a fun, chunky bracelet.”
For these designers and myself, scrunchies aren’t just hair accessories. In fact, they go deeper than that. Whether one chooses to wear one due to laziness, functionality, a desire to make a statement, or even an attempt to connect with their younger self, it seems scrunchies make our lives a little more enjoyable or easier, so really it’s no wonder they’re back full throttle.
We truly can’t wait to see where this trend will go next.