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Wrap it up with a bow. That seemed to be the reigning thought for celebrity hairstylists ahead of the 2024 Golden Globe Awards, where hair bows for women perched on ponytails and bedecked textured buns up and down the red carpet. Whether it’s a repurposed ribbon or structured velvet, one thing is clear: We’ll be wearing bows in our hair in 2024.
As for the way you wear them, a quick look at the Golden Globes’ red carpet shows us that it’s entirely up to you. Take Kate Beckinsale’s Barbie-style ponytail that featured a smattering of miniature bows; a look created by hairstylist Scott King. “Kate loves bows and she usually wears a very large one as her signature look,” King explained in an Instagram post. “We wanted to take her everyday look and refine it a bit so I added a bunch of tiny black bows on her ponytail for a subtle flair.”
For an understated, elegant effect, hairstylist Bridget Brager situated a bow snugly under Allison Williams’ textured updo. Hairstylist Brian Fisher aimed high with Zoe Lister-Jones’ look, fixing a big silky bow at the peak of the actress and filmmaker’s pulled-back bob, a flourish that balanced out the asymmetrical neckline and pattern of her Magda Butrym dress. Others took their hair bows in a bold direction. Hairstylist Danielle Priano placed a cardinal red double-layered bow in Rachel Brosnahan’s sleek pony, coordinating with the actress’s Sergio Hudson gown.
Of course, the red carpet isn’t the only place to look for women’s hair bow inspiration. At recent fashion weeks, these hair accessories have pervaded runways and street style in all their forms. Sandy Liang, a force behind the resurgence of the coquette trend (which has 16 billion views on TikTok — and counting), sent models down fall 2023 runways with miniature bows scattered on sleek ‘dos, playing up the femininity of the collection. Mini bows made more appearances on spring 2024 runways, notably on beaded headpieces (and bodysuits and manicures) in Simone Rocha’s collection. Right on beat with TikTok’s ‘balletcore’ trend, pastel pink ribbons were embedded in updos at Christian Siriano’s spring 2024 show, while guys and girls walking for Collina Strada had trails of gauzy ribbons draped throughout their hair.
The street style set has made quick work of embracing the hair bow in all of its forms, whether it’s Lilliputian bows à la Sandy Liang, gauzy ribbons, or bow-shaped hair barrettes. Tastemakers like Elsa Hosk, Leonne Hanne, Hailey Bieber — the list goes on — are incorporating hair bows in looks that range from cutesy to cool, teaming these accessories with everything from leather jackets to cozy sweaters and summery frocks.
Because of the variation in size, materials, and shapes, hair bows aren’t just friendly for various hairstyles, but also any texture, length, and thickness. Yes, you can place them in a carefully crafted updo for a special event, however these accessories are just as statement-making on a slicked back ponytail (or better yet, a ballerina bun) between wash days. Splurge on a designer hair accessory or DIY it with silk ribbon from Amazon — either way, the trick for a statement hair look in 2024 might just be to put a bow on it.
Top Hair Bows of 2024
Jennifer Behr Velvet Bow Barrette
Jennifer Behr’s bows make repeat appearances on red carpets — the brand’s designs were worn by celebs like Sarah Snook and Rachel Brosnahan at the 2024 Golden Globes. This luxurious velvet option became a bestseller shortly after the brand launched in 2005 and remains in demand today.
Price upon publish date of this article: $128
Lelet NY Amy Rosette Bow
The sheer trend is still going strong, so why not cycle it into your hair look? This Lelet hair bow features a gauzy rosette that serves as a chic focal point when you fix it in your hair.
Price upon publish date of this article: $190
Anthropologie Small Velvet Bow Clips
Take a textural — and colorful! — approach to the hair bow trend with this set of 10 velvet bows from Anthropologie. Choose from two sets: One includes bows in a mix of pinks, mauves, and reds; the other in black, grey, blue, and green.
Price upon publish date of this article: $24
Urban Outfitters Satin Bow Hair Pins
Use a flat iron to straighten your hair, then scatter these Urban Outfitters Satin Bow Hair Pins from roots to tips — you’ll have the coolest hair look in the room.
Price upon publish date of this article: $14
History of Hair Bows Trends
Celebrities and tastemakers are breathing new life into women’s hair bows for 2024, however these accessories have long been a fixture in beauty (the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a set of Sumerian hair ribbons that date back to 2600-2500 BC). From the start, their purpose was likely a practical one: To keep hair away from the face. But by the 18th century, and bows had transformed into true accessories — and valuable ones at that. Marie Antoinette’s hairdresser was rumored to spend 20,000 francs acquiring bows for the Queen.
Throughout the 20th century, hair bows made appearances in pop culture and on runways in various forms. Take Judy Garland in the “Wizard of Oz” or Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind” — both heroines sported bows, pushing forward bows as motifs for femininity, innocence, and girlhood.
While these accessories are still a mainstay for young girls, fashion houses and celebrities began to dust off the girlish reputation of the hair bow by the ’80s. Chanel’s fall 1980 show featured a model with three silky bows pinned in the hair — a prim, preppy look we’re seeing reinterpreted today. Dior showcased bows as a polished accessory for sophisticated women, pairing oversized bows with tailored suiting on fall 1983 runways. In the same decade, Madonna took hair bows in a different direction, pairing the accessory with her lace tops, stacks of bracelets, and smudged out eye looks. These punky ensembles gave bows a fresh reputation, injecting a healthy dose of sexy edge into the formerly feminine accessory.
The hair bow continued to weather trend cycles from the ’90s (seen on Chanel’s fall 1995 runway) to the aughts (notably Dior and Valentino fall 2005 runways) and well into the 2010s. But how we’re wearing them — be it as a sweet flourish or a subversive motif — shows that simple ribbon has more to it than meets the eye.
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Meet the Author
Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for Footwear News and WWD, where she writes and edits beauty, fashion and lifestyle stories. She has over six years of experience as a writer and editor for national media outlets including Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She keeps her finger on the pulse of all things related to beauty and wellness, as well as the latest shopping trends and clothing brands. Sullivan has researched beauty trends for over six years, and her industry knowledge informed the product selections on this list.