I want to talk to you a minute about hair ties. Over the years, I’ve had waist-length hair, boy-short hair, and everything in between, and I’ve tried every conceivable type of hair tie I could possibly imagine to try to wrangle my frizzy mop. Scrunchies, rubber bands, barrettes, plastic headbands, cloth wraparound headbands, headbands with the little comb things on top, banana clips, those big claw thingies, tiny butterfly clips, handkerchiefs, ribbons. You name it, I’ve tried it. Some of them have gotten the job done well enough, but there’s always something that’s a little off. And then a couple of weeks ago, a miracle happened. I discovered the greatest hair tie product known to wo/man: the miracle of Goody’s Ouchless Flex.
Now, I’ve been a Goody fan for a while now. I use their tiny, clear “ouchless” elastic bands for my braids, and the larger no-metal elastics for ponytails. The little grippies on their Stayput cloth headbands are handy for keeping flyaways out of my face during physical activity. But the Ouchless Flex barrette I picked up on a whim turned out to be truly something special.
In 2009, Goody came out with a line of products called Ouchless Flex, which are made of a flexible, lightweight plastic and have no metal parts. The barrettes (at right), which are the particular product I tried, consist of a smallish oval piece of plastic in front with a flat, straight piece in back. The barrette latches closed by sticking the flat piece through the circle. Now, this is not exactly a new engineering concept. But the flexibility of the plastic means that it can accommodate my thicker hair – and more of it – than rigid plastic versions. It’s more forgiving than the metal clips with the squeezey closure on the end that my hair always catches and rips on. And the flex helps hold onto everything you put in it, instead of having hair slip out like it does with harder plastic.
I used this thing to hold up half my hair in a small bun. It stayed in all day and didn’t require any adjusting. It wasn’t too loose; it wasn’t too tight. The little flyaway bit of hair at the bottom of the bun blended seamlessly with the section of my hair that I wore down, which is something that I find difficult to manage when I’m using a rubber band. It was the best hair day I’d had in months. In fact, it was around 9:00 at night when I realized I hadn’t had to fiddle with my hair a single time the entire day, when I usually have my hair pulled down from whatever the day’s style has been some time early in the evening.
My only complaint is that the barrettes in the Ouchless Flex line only seem to come in a smaller size. I imagine if you have fine or thinner hair, it would probably be sufficient to pull everything back. My hair is very thick and coarse, and I have a lot of it. There’s no way I could get more than half of it to fit into that size barrette. It would be awesome if Goody made a larger version as well for those days when you don’t want a lot of hair on your neck. I would retire most of my rubber bands permanently!
I also noticed that they do make a headband under the Ouchless Flex line. It looks like a traditional plastic over-the-head type, but the bits that go behind your ears can be easily adjusted to relieve the pressure that comes with wearing that type of headband all day. I don’t know why nobody has thought of this before, but it’s brilliant!
Disclaimer: Goody did not provide me with any compensation for writing this review. Although I wouldn’t cry if they wanted to send me some of their delightful barrettes so I can replace my whole, sorry box of metal clips with the Ouchless magical flexy plastic of awesomeness.