Do Headbands Count As Hats & Headgear? (Explained)

Headbands are often seen as a more casual alternative to hats. They are often worn with sporty outfits or when doing activities like yoga or running.

However, plenty of women also rock headbands as part of a more dressed-up look.

Men, on the other hand, don’t tend to wear headbands as much as women. When they do, it is usually for practical purposes, like keeping sweat out of their eyes while playing sports.

So, what do you think? Do headbands count as hats and headgear?

Here’s Why Headbands Count as Headgear:

Headbands are regarded as headgear and can even be used to replace hats when they are being worn purely for ornamental purposes. In situations where hats are needed for protection from the sun, however, headbands cannot be used to replace them.

What Is The Difference Between a Headband and a Hat?

Hats and headbands are both good. They are helpful in different situations depending on the weather and depending on the specific needs you have.

While a hat covers the top of your head, a headband, on the other hand, leaves the top of your head exposed. This can be bad if temperatures fall below freezing when your head must be covered.

It can be great when temperatures are above freezing but below 45 degrees when you want to improve airflow and let your head feel cool.

A headband will also provide a covering and warmth for your forehead and ears.

Because a hat traps heat under it, it will keep your head warm and help maintain normal core temperatures. Additionally, a hat will shield the sensitive skin of the scalp, eyes, and face from the direct sun. This important safety feature helps prevent harmful exposure to UV rays. Ultraviolet rays from the sun cause skin problems ranging from sunburn to skin cancer.

Because hats can keep the head and body warm, they are great for winter use. Headbands are good for keeping the ears and forehead warm while still allowing the head to be cool.

What Kind of Headbands Are Good In Winter?

Headbands come in various styles, and various materials are used to make them.

In general, a good headband will have the following features:

  1. Four-way stretch to create balanced pressure all around the head. This will prevent pressure points that can lead to headaches and make the headband more comfortable.
  2. The sweat-absorbing fabric keeps the sweat from running down into the eyes.
  3. Soft velvet fiber protects the hair from breaking and becoming fuzzy.

In addition to these elements, a good winter headband will also do the following:

  1. It will keep the ears warm and cozy. Wider and thicker headbands will do a better job during the winter because they give more coverage and offer better insulation from the cold.
  2. It will still fulfill the role of keeping your hair back if that is your priority.
  3. Headbands are also good in winter when they allow sweat to be absorbed during walks, runs, or workouts. Even though it may be winter, your body will still produce sweat when you do any form of exercise!

Here are the most absorbent materials that winter headbands are made from:


This material is a popular choice for headbands because of its high absorbency.

It is also highly praised for quickly wicking away moisture – so much so that women can even wash their faces while wearing it!


Cotton is always on the list of absorbent fabrics. The same is true for headbands, but although cotton absorbs sweat, it does not pull moisture away from your skin and doesn’t dry easily.

Excessive sweating should not be much of a winter problem, though.

Terry cloth

This material is used a lot for towels as well.

It consists of many protruding thread loops that allow it to absorb a lot of sweat.

What Headbands Can You Use To Replace Your Hat?

As the fashion scene continues to evolve, so do the styles of headbands. You can even opt for replacing hats with headbands, especially if your only purpose for wearing a hat is to make a fashion statement.

Kate Middleton, for example, successfully replaced her hats and fascinators with “hatbands,” which are essentially elevated headbands that often have adornments and paddings. Even the Duchess of Cambridge proves that hatbands can be worn for various occasions where hats have been the tradition.

She has worn hatbands to Christening ceremonies, weddings, and Christmas and Easter church services. You can therefore use headbands to replace hats on occasions that would be worthy of hats.

If you use hats for warmth or as protective headgear, there is a lesser chance you can find a headband that can replicate these qualities. You would have to wear a hat when you need it and a headband when you prefer.

Are Hats Or Headbands Better In Summertime?

With summer temperatures often soaring and the possibility of blackouts, many persons head outdoors to try to stay cool.

Staying cool requires headgear absorbing sweat and pulling moisture away from your face. Staying cool also might require keeping the direct sunlight off the scalp, eyes, and face.

When it comes to hats and headbands, both have their pros and cons. Hats are a great choice for keeping the scalp, eyes, and face free from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Staying out of direct sunlight will also help to prevent your skin from drying out.

Headbands might seem the clear winner regarding sweat absorption, but hats also come with attached sweatbands. A sweatband is a lining inside a hat or cap that absorbs sweat. It helps protect the hat from sweat damage, but it also doubles as sweat protection for the eyes.

Where the hat loses points for summertime use is its inability to allow air circulation. Things can heat up under a hat during the summer without good airflow! The headband also scores less because it offers no direct heat and sunlight coverage. That would mean leaving vulnerable skin exposed to the harmful effects of UV rays.

Are Bandanas Considered Headbands?

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a bandana as a large, colorfully patterned handkerchief.

So can a bandana be considered a headband? The truth is there are ways you can fold a bandana, so it looks and works like a headband.

Some headbands are also commercially made with bandana material as their padding.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes the terms we take for granted have more meaning and implications than we think. That is certainly true when it comes to words that relate to headgear.


Hats vs. Headbands

Kate Middleton’s Signature Accessory: the Hatband

The Right Hat Can Help Prevent Skin Cancer

What Is The Best Fabric For Making Sweatbands?

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