Regardless of how kind you are to your hair if you’re not careful with the type of hair ties you use to create your ponytail, top-knot bun, or half up half down ‘do, all of the conditioning masks, bond builders, and heat protectants are virtually useless. Aside from giving you a tension headache, the wrong type of hair tie or ponytail holder can also cause breakage and split ends—especially if you have bleached, color-treated, super thin, or already compromised hair.

Aside from the risk of damage, you also want to consider the look, feel, and hold of your hair tie. For instance, what may be adequate for someone with fine hair will probably not suffice for those with extra thick, natural, or curly hair. From metal-free, “ouchless” hair ties to invisible spiral styles, we’ve rounded up some of the best damage-free and comfortable hair ties that don’t compromise on hold.

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