Tying up baby and toddler hair is no small feat. From wrangling them to sit still long enough to tie their hair, to ensuring you don't damage their hair, and of course making sure you it's ouchless when pulling out – it's a pretty overwhelming task! Here is a list of the best hair ties for toddlers and babies that are comfortable and offer a strong hold!
Most Long Lasting Toddler Hair Ties: WillingTee
We purchased this set of 200 hair ties over a year ago and they quickly became our favorite hair ties. Aside from simply being an amazing, budget friendly buy, the hair ties themselves are durable and long lasting.
In my experience, the plastic elastic ponytail holders or thick nylon kind get stretched out fairly quickly. These hair ties don't – which means we go through way fewer of them. We also find these keep the hair in place incredibly well.
The big downside on these, compared to a thicker style, is they are more likely to pull your child's hair if you don't hold the hair shaft while undoing them. With that said, my daughter has very curly hair, and we only have an issue with hair pulling if we leave them in overnight.
For special occasions, my daughter loves to pair these with this pack of hair bows. This gives her a ton of different ways to style her hair with her outfits.
- Material: Nylon + rubber
- Sizing: can purchase 2 cm or 2.5 in diameter
- Style: rainbow packs
- Comes with 200 or 400 pieces
Good to know
- Most durable / longest lasting while retaining shape
- Good for thin or thick hair
- Huge selection of different colors that always match outfit
Best No Pull Hair Ties For Toddlers: J-MEE Thick Seamless Hair Bands
J-MEE Thick Seamless Hair Bands are great gentle hair ties for babies and toddlers made from a soft material and the perfect size for little's hair.
They also work fantastic for curly hair or very thin hair. My baby girls hair has the tiniest of ringlets that often get twisted up in thinner hair elastics and these are one of the best ouchless hair ties we've found.
These are said to be made from a cotton material, however they feel more like wound up pantyhouse (nylon). Regardless, they definitely don't leave any creases or damage the hair.
Additionally, you can choose from rainbow colors, just black, or more “neutral” to match your child's hair color or just generally great hair ties for baby boy or baby girl.
- Material: Cotton (but seems like nylon)
- Sizing: about 2 inch wide
- Style: rainbow, black, or neutral
- Comes with 100 pieces
Good to know
- Best for thick and/or curly hair
- Some reviewers had quality issues (i.e. colors were mismatched or didn't come with 100 pieces)
- This style in general (not related to brand) tends to stretch out the fastest
- Seamless design
Best Scrunchie For Toddlers: CLAIRE'S Small Ballet Hair Scrunchie
If you prefer the scrunchie look, then CLAIRE'S Small Ballet Hair Scrunchie's are a great starter pack! You'll get 7 scrunchies in various shades of white, gray, black, and pink.
They are smaller than adult scrunchies, but may not hold thick or heavy toddler hair in place like other picks on this list. If you find that's the case, you can pair these over one of the smaller hair ties on this list.
Kids will love the soft scrunchie no-pull and no-damage design too! Plus Claire's offers a ton of great scrunchies in velvet, silk, and fun prints that are worth checking out!
- Material: Polyester + elastic
- Sizing: Outer Diameter ~3 in/7.62 cm + Inner Diameter ~1.5 in/3.81 cm
- Style: scrunchie
- Comes with 7
Good to know
- These are smaller than adult srunchies so they will not fit in adult/ultra thick hair
- Soft nature may lead them to slide around / not hold hair as well as some of the smaller hair ties on this list
- No damage and no pull design
Best Starter Hair Tie Set For Toddlers + Babies: Lizioo
These 790 piece toddler hair tie sets are perfect for figuring out what your child likes and dislikes.
Inside you'll get six different styles of hair accessories including three different types of hair ties and three different types of hair clips.
While we don't love that 600 of the pieces are the plastic hair ties, which tend to lead to more breakage, we do love love the price point for getting to test out so many styles.
Additionally, while the plastic elastics aren't our “go-to” hair tie, we don't mind using them at the bottom of a braid, on days we know they won't make it home, or when doing a more intricate hairstyle that requires a lot of hair ties so they serve their purpose to have on hand.
With that said, it does include two of our favorite hair ties, making it the best way to see what your child likes.
The pack comes with a ton of bright colors at various retailers linked below. However, through Amazon you get a bonus pack of little girls barrettes to choose from:
- Material: Mix of plastic and nylon elastics and barretts
- Sizing: varies but approx. .7 to 2 inch
- Style: multi-colored
- Comes with 790 pieces
Good to know
- Bulk of the set comprised of plastic elastics
- Three different clip-on barrette packs to choose from
- Includes a little bit of everything
Best Baby Hair Ties With Bows: CELLOT Toddler Bow Hair Ties
This bow hair tie set comes with 20 colorful bow hair ties toddlers will love styling!
Additionally, you can choose between a 2 inch diameter hair tie for thin hair or a 2.75 inch diameter hair tie for combination or thicker hair.
The bow is glued onto the hair tie and has a bit of a learning curve to get it “right” as you don't want to pull it and risk breaking it off. Instead place the hair bows where you want it, then pull the elastic and tie off the hair.
- Material: Nylon elastic
- Sizing: 2 inch or 2.75 inch
- Style: 20 colors with attached bow
- Comes in a 40 or 80 piece set
Good to know
- Bows are glued on and can be pulled off
- Lots of vibrant colors include
Best Spiral Hair Tie For Toddlers: Teleties
Spiral hair ties are great because they don't damage the hair or leave creases. Plus the material is one of the most durable on the market and hypoallergenic/doesn't collect bacteria like traditional hair ties.
This style hair tie tends to hold well, but gets stretched out quite a bit after use. Which is why Teleties is our go to brand for this style.
They're made from a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material – compared to traditional polyurethane competitors use – which actually allows them to shrink back to their regular size when placed in a bowl of hot water and retain that shrunken size for weeks.
While competitors, like invisibobble, claim to do the same, we personally found they never quite returned to their original size and after using it one or two times post “shrinking” they were just as stretched out.
Teleties come in tiny (best for little kids), small, and large sizing as well as mixed packs if you want to try some for yourself. They also come in a ton of colors:
- Material: thermoplastic polyurtehane
- Sizing: tiny ~ 2.5 cm; small is ~4.5 cm
- Style: spiral
- Tiny pack comes with 5, small pack comes with 3
Good to know
- Tiny size is great for little kids
- Ultra durable / hard to break
- No pull and no damage design
- Can shrink back to regular size if stretched out
- TPU material is hypoallergenic and antibacterial
Best Plain Elastic Hair Tie for Toddlers: Goody Kids Polybands
While the plastic elastic / plastic-y style hair tie is definitely my least favorite, it's necessary for some hair styles. Goody's Kids Polybands are my top pick thanks to their pretty colors, affordable price, and decent quality.
They are made from rubber which offer more of an “ouchless” damage free hold compared to cheaper competitors.
- Material: rubber
- Style: rubber band
- 500 per pack
Good to know
- Tiny size is great for little kids hair but poses the largest choking hazard of all the picks on this list
- More durable and stretchy than competitors of this style
- Works well for thick or thin hair
How To Choose The Best Hair Ties For Babies + Toddlers
Material + Elasticity
Hair ties comes in a ton of different materials and elasticity. In most cases, something that's gentle and soft prevents hair breakage.
Additionally, finding the right elasticity ensures a secure, yet comfortable hold. When the elasticity stretches out too much, hair tends to fall out easily. On the flip side, if the elasticity is stretched too tight, it can cause hair pulling when toddlers jump and move around.
In my experience, once you find the right brand for your toddler, you tend to stick with it.
Generally speaking, hair thickness and length dictate what size hair ties you'll need.
Thinner hair typically requires a smaller hair tie, while thicker hair needs something a bit bigger both in circumference and diameter of the actual tie.
Additionally, where you plan to use the hair ties can vary the size too. For instance, if I'm just tying off the ends of a braid, I'll need a smaller hair tie than if I'm tying off a large bun holding all of my toddler's hair.
Of course, toddler's love a fun and colorful design and should be considered, however prioritize the right material and size first.
We find that fun colors are great with my toddler, but if she wants to “style” it up some more, she can always add a bow or barret on top of the tie for a bit more flare.
Durability + Safety
A durable woven or TPU design is generally going to be our suggestion here. This way if the elastic snaps, it's still protected inside the outer material and you can just toss it.
Another thing to consider is the fact that some hair ties may be considered choking hazards for babies and young toddlers. If your child is still in the “mouthing” stage, we suggest sticking to something without small beads or anything tempting to place in their mouth.
FAQs about toddler hair ties
When can you use hair ties on babies?
It is OK to tie baby hair as soon as your baby has enough hair you can use hair ties!
Just keep in mind that hair ties can still be considered a choking hazard due to their small size. Additonally, babies have fine hair, so you want to choose something ultra soft to avoid any damage.
Are hair ties safe for babies?
Hair ties can actually be considered a choking hazard during the first couple of years of life as most are under 3 centimeters in diameter and 6 centimeters in length.
With that said, depending on where you place the hair tie it can be out of the babies reach.
Beyond that here are some safety tips for using hair ties on toddlers:
- Avoid overly tight hairstyles to reduce the risk of hair pulling or the elastic snapping
- Regularly check hair ties for signs of wear and tear
- Supervise toddlers while hair ties are in / do not let your child sleep in hair ties
- Teach toddlers to not put hair ties in their mouths or flick/fling them
- Avoid using on wet hair to prevent damage to already fragile hair
What are the best hair ties to prevent damage for kids?
Additionally, traceless hair rings or spiral shape ones are another great option to prevent hair damage. The best part about these, if you get this brand, is the fact you can shrink them back to their original size when they get stretched out.
Are rubber bands good for toddler hair?
No, rubber bands aren't good for toddler or baby hair as they typically break or damage the hair. Additionally, these typically hurt when pulled out.
Which hair ties cause the least damage?
Generally the thicker and softer the hair tie, the least amount of damage it will cause.
What can I use to tie my baby's hair?
Items sold as hair ties are your best option for tying your baby's hair to reduce damage and maintain a strong hold.
While ribbon won't damage the hair, it won't stay in place on a baby's head. Rubberbands are another item people tend to reach for, but this is extremely harsh and damaging to children's hair.
How to tie toddler hair so it doesn't hurt:
Pull the hair into place, then hold firmly just above where you plan to place the hair tie. This ensures a strong hold that doesn't pull at the root. Place the hair tie where you want it, then twist it, bend the new opening over the hair and repeat the steps until there is no slack in left in the hair tie.
To remove a hair tie without damaging or pulling the hair, pull the outermost elastic up with one hand and unwind it, while the other hand holds just above the hair tie, keeping the roots of the hair sturdy. Repeat until the hair tie is undone and out.
Final thoughts on hair ties for toddlers + babies
Finding the right hair tie for toddlers and babies primarily has to do with finding the right size and style for their type of hair. Generally hair ties for babies and toddlers should be about 2 to 2.5 cm in diameter and you'll want something thicker to avoid damaging their delicate hair.
For thin, fine hair we suggest these thick bands. Though they tend to get stretched out and don't last as long as others on this list. We find they also work best with thin/fine hair types.
For the best buy where versatility in hair styles/types and durability meet, you can't go wrong with this pack. While not the most durable, they don't get stretched out as easily as the previous mention and don't pull like elastic hair ties.
Lastly, if you're not losing hair ties and want something that's extremely durable, can be shrunken back to its original size, is waterproof, and hypoallergenic then Teleties are our favorite. While not the cheapest, they certainly last the longest!
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