Wednesday, July 31, 2019

How To Make & Repair Ball Hair Bands (aka Ballies)

Hair ballies, ball hair bands, whatever you call them, these are the hair bands I loved in childhood.  All 3 of us girls wore ponytails and braids with these growing up.  They were so much easier to use, prettier and more comfortable than plain elastic hairbands and they always stayed in place.  I love using them on my own very thick-haired daughter now.  

The challenge is finding them.  When I was a kid every drug store had big packages with lots of colors and sizes available.  It's taken me some serious online & beauty supply store searching to find any the past couple of years and the selection & quality has been pretty limited.  The few I'd found were pretty wimpy and fall apart quickly.

I grew tired of having the elastic stretch out like this:

Or having them just come apart after a couple of months of wear.  The ones I had as a kid lasted for decades, but the ones today don't make it past a few months!

I figured there HAD to be a way to reuse the beads to make new ones and came up with this technique.  After months of using them, I can say my DIY'd hair ballies really hold up well - way better than the factory made versions. 

And I also figured out how to make the perfect hair ballies from scratch, using silicone beads.  These are perfectly sized, really durable and can be made in tons of colors.  They're the same kind that I used to make my silicone baby teethers.  

I used the 19mm size since we wanted to make hair bands that were for "big girl" ponytails, but the smaller 12 or 15mm would be ideal for smaller size hair bands. 

It's also very easy so anyone can do it.  I was able to make a bunch in all sorts of colors to match my daughter's outfits:

Now I'm sharing how to do it!

- 2mm Elastic Cord (found in most craft stores)
- Plastic balls from hair bands or silicone beads
- Ruler
- Scissors

Cut a piece of elastic cord that's 12 inches long (25.4mm):

String on two beads and arrange them so the balls are 4 inches apart.  Cross the open ends of the elastic.  Fold the top strand of the elastic over the lower end and bring it down under the middle of the other side.

It helps to weigh down the balls or have someone hold them in place to keep things from shifting around.  It will look like this:

Bring the open ends upward and tie in a basic knot.

Knot again, pulling very tightly.

Snip the law ends close to the knot and the band is done. 

It literally takes less than a minute to make one, so you can make a bunch in no time.  Bring on the ponytails!


  1. Wow! I hadn’t thought of these types of hair holders in ages! Yes, I grew up with these too. Thanks for the tutorial I’m pinning it. I may need to make some of these for myself!

    1. They're an oldie, but a goodie! I still wear them myself, but now I don't have to steal them from my daughter;)

  2. es marabilloso aprender a reciclar cosas que aveces pensamos que ya no tienen uso. que mucho los usaba y los volvere a usar.

    1. Es marabilloso aprender a reciclar cosas que aveces pensamos que ya no tienen uso. que mucho los usaba y los volvere a usar

  3. Thank you. With coronavirus just beginning to make it's presence at our hospital, I unexpectedly need useful items that I can make rather than order. We are suddenly wearing masks and face shields everyday at work. I need to wear my hair back but removing a rubber band from my hair after work has been ripping my hair out. I have the beads on hand and will cut open a couple of thin elastic headbands I already have. Your instructions save me from any need to search in stores during a time of community spread. They also save me from online ordering that can take so long to arrive. Thanks again

    1. I am so touched to hear my tutorial is helping you at such a critical time. Thank you for sharing this. Prayers that you stay healthy & safe and for all those you are helping. God bless you!

  4. Thankyou. I've been unable to find these in Australia. I'll be getting beads and making some, today. Finally put my mass of curls into a ponytail. Ready for summer.

  5. Hi thanks for this it’s great. We are going to try and make some. However I would like to try with the metal clasp in the middle, where the knot is. Does anyone know the name of the metal clasp? I need to find out where to buy them from? Thanks

    1. I'd look for crimp beads that are used in jewelry making. Not sure what the actual name is for that part of the band. It was tricky enough to find out the official names for these hair bands now that they're so elusive to find in stores!

  6. “This article takes me back to my childhood and reminds me of the fun and beautiful hair accessories I used to wear. The hair balls mentioned in the article sound like a great fixing solution, especially for those with thick hair. it's great to see that these accessories are still used and appreciated today. I love the idea of passing on these hair care traditions to future generations. This barbershop is a great resource for those who want their hair to look beautiful and it's great to see how they incorporate in their offer such a wide range of hair accessories.


Getting your comments brightens my day. I'd love if you left one:)


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