Four Classic Bandana Hairstyles

Now that the whole neck scarf thing is back in a big way people are looking for more and more ways to style neck scarves. One obvious answer? Put them in your hair! Bandana styling was the OG way to style a neck scarf, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t pull most of these styles straight out of 4 year old me’s repertoire. Still! I think there are SO many ways to put neck scarves in your hair. Adding them can really add a personal touch to your outfit, something that says you really thought about what you put on (even if it only takes a minute to do). I used a traditional style bandana in this post, but I’m on the hunt for a nice tropical print on with bright colours (pro-tip, thrift stores have a million and one neck scarves for $1 each). Brighter, bolder prints are a lot more ~in~ right now than the traditional bandana look, but I think what matters is how you style it, and the look you’re going for. Here are my four go-to, very quick and simple ways to put a Bandana in your hair.

‘the classic’

This is the style you most often see – the one where if you google bandana hairstyles you get an overload of YouTube tutorials that show you the infinite ways you can wear your hair with this style… but not actually how to make it look nice.

The trick to the classic is to tuck in the ends. I can’t stand having the floppy bits on top of my head, it just screams 2006. The actual retro style of this never seems to have long floppy bits, sometimes theres a little end poking out but usually its quite tucked away. Verrrrry recently I realized the trick: spread the ends wide, pull them over the knot and then tuck them in on the other side (see picture 2). The end result?

There’s a cute little knot on the top of the bandana that looks a little like a bun! It’s not so big that it overpowers your face (like loose ends do), and it looks more like a cute little headband than anything else.

the biker

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Another classic – the biker is basically a backwards version of the previous look. Instead of putting the bandana under your hair, you just tie it around your head over your hair. It’s a good alternative who find a bandana doesn’t fit nicely under their hairline and ends up pushing up a little bump of hair on the back of your hair. In this case I make sure that the bandana is nicely folded and looks really flat, and I think it helps that I have bangs underneath it.

It’s a look that’s maybe a little bit harder to style. A good jean or leather jacket would definitely ~go~ with it, but it might make you look like you’re dressing up for halloween. You really gotta pick your battles with this one. I think it’s probably the most flattering of all of them, so it’s a shame it’s so hard to style outfit-wise.

‘the phoebe’

At first I was like ‘why does this look remind me SO MUCH of friends???’ and then I googled it and realized I had copied the look from Phoebe, how dare I! It’s SUCH a cute addition to a very casual ‘getting your hands dirty’ kind of outfit – the one you would wear to garden or paint or do anything outdoorsy and/or creative. It’s VERY phoebe, now that I think about it. Also one of my favourites to keep on the back burner.
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Since I have short hair now, I’ve put my hair up into pig tails. It’s not my ~favourite~ look but I think it works with the bandana. In this case, you start with a completely open bandana, fold it once diagonally, then put it on your head by facing the top of the triangle towards the nape of your neck, and tying the two sides of the triangle under your hair.

Result??? Low-key Phoebe Buffay, high-key Little Red Riding Hood, at least in my case. I actually LOVED this look though, and I’ll definitely be repeating it the next time I don my overalls and head to work in the garden (which actually DOES happen, do I live in a fairy tale???).

‘the bun’

I didn’t know what to call this one so it gets a SUPER sucky name. The gist of it is tying your bandana around your bun. For those of you with longer hair, you have two options: 1) Keep the bandana rolled up and tie it around your big ol’ bun a few times and then knot it, or 2) Only pull up half of your hair into the bun in that cute half up/half down look, that way the bun isn’t too big for this. How it works:
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Open your folded bandana ONCE so it’s just a bit wider than usual, wide enough to fit over and around your bun. Then, wrap the ends overtop and around your covered bun, and then tie it.
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For some reason I don’t have a finished look here……. WHY??? I promise it looked cute. In this case I could only put half my hair up in a bun but that’s just because it’s too short for it to all fit. Still cute.

Are you guys into the comeback of the bandana? I think I’m actually really here for it! I love ANY accessory that’s affordable, easy to style, AND easy to wear over and over and over again. Let me know what your favourite look is!

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  1. I am such a fan of the classic but have never seen the bun- might have to check it out; I’m a huge fan of scarves/bandanas! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Have an awesome Friday

    • It didn’t work for me for SO long! I thought it only started working because I had finally grown my hair own long, so I’m really happy it still stays in my head with short hair! I feel your stuggle though


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