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Love/Hate: Hair scrunchies

December 19th 2013 / Susannah Taylor


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Susannah Taylor and Camila Fernandez go head to head on a heated debate about the humble hair scrunchie

Love It: Camila Fernandez

I love scrunchies; hands up - I can't deny it. I not only wear them in my hair but they have also come to decorate all the bulbs around my dressing room mirror. I have them in a variety of shades and materials (although "velvet" will always be my fave). I have friends buying me African print ones saying "I saw this and thought of you” - I’m not sure if they mean it as a joke or a compliment but I like to think it's the latter. I even had a mild panic the other day at my boyfriend’s flat, frantically searching around for a hair tie when he said in complete seriousness "Babes, I think you should just have a set of scrunchies here too."

What I love about scrunchies is that they are so obviously from the ’80s/early ’90s. The decades they say fashion forgot; I beg to differ. The prints, the bold use of colour, make-up and even bigger hair is fun if not a little trashy. Fast forwarding to the present, I don't go out wearing top to toe 80s gear but the scrunchie is a blatant nod to those times. It was so wrong, it's right.

I like to throw a scrunchie into the mix when wearing more contemporary items such as Nike Flyknits, a shirt and a cable knit jumper. There is often an underlying ’80s presence in my attire but it's not head to toe.

However, as much as I heart a good scrunchie, I do believe there is a time and a place. Everyday or even out dancing with your friends yes, on the red carpet (I'm looking at you Uma Thurman) no, no, no. I also think that a more mature lady should steer well clear, the irony is lost and it can look dated. I hope this doesn't sound ageist but I'd say the same thing about women who don't wear enough clothes and can end up looking a touch mutton (yes, Madonna.) Similarly, the same applies to young folk who dress conservatively in twin sets and pearls: the scrunchie will just look like you're still living in the past.


The scrunchie can be a tricky accessory to wear but it is a loveable, trashy and fun reference to ’80s times. Channel your inner Kelly Kapowski from Saved By The Bell; what a goddamn stylish babe she was. Long live the scrunchie!

Camila Fernandez is a make-up artist, camilafernandez.co.uk

Hate it: Susannah Taylor

There are many items from the 1980s that should be banned forever from our wardrobes - the shell suit, neon towelling socks, and stone-washed jeans spring to mind as do other hair style atrocities such as the moussed perm, crimpers and gelled spiky hair. Then there is the hair scrunchie, which, although small, for me is possibly one of the worst style offenders on the list.

The hair scrunchie (basically a small piece of elastic with a strip of oversized material, often made from what I think look like off-cuts from 1980s curtains) is in my opinion, a modern day fashion offence. I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Carrie from Sex in the City once said “No woman who works at W magazine and lives on Perry Street would be caught dead at a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchie.” When I interviewed fashion designer Michael Kors recently and asked him his biggest fashion no-no, from out of the blue he mentioned the scrunchie. ‘It looks like an old sock in the hair,’ he drawled, curling his lip.

I find it deeply disturbing that Cressida Bonas, Prince Harry’s gorgeous girlfriend, who could well be about to join the Royal ranks should wear the same style of trashy hair accessory as Vicky Pollard. What next? A shell suit? What’s more, they are about as unflattering to a head shape and hair style overall as a puff ball dress is to a fab figure.


Cressida is unfortunately not alone in wearing a bit of old rag in her hair. Also spotted wearing this offending accessory of late are Brooke Shields, Hillary Clinton and Catherine Zeta-Jones, all of whom seem to be wearing them without a hint of irony. The only people who can slightly get away with wearing a scrunchie are those cool chicks who hang out in Shoreditch in East London - the ones who mismatch dungarees, cropped tops and acid coloured tights in an eighties way.

The irony is lost on Cressida, however, who looks more at home in a bias cut dress. My message to her is to ditch the scrunchie right away and nab a good hairdresser. In the palace, hair is everything – you only need to look at Kate Middleton and the Queen to know that.


Celebirty Images: Getty, Instagram/caradelevigne

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