Yes, styling your hair with bows can be chic, cool, trendy, and, first and foremost, completely acceptable for a grown woman. Today’s trends, which lean toward favoring a bohemian look, as well as retro influences, are highly tolerant of hair bows. You can work them into a cocktails-night-out-with-the-girls outfit, on a date night, and, obviously, on the most casual day at work. So long as the hairstyle itself is mature enough, a bow will do nothing to detract from this quality it possesses. On the contrary, it will only add a touch of personal flair and gusto – which is exactly what you want to project, as an adult. Right?
#1 The Ribbon Bow & Chignon Powerhouse
There’s nothing that says old school elegance quite like a casual chignon or bun up-do, accessorized with a bow. If there’s any style of hair with bows that will always remind onlookers of the gracefulness of ballerinas, then this one is it. To boot, it’s extremely simple to work out and can function just as well with a casual outfit as with an elegant one. Simply style your bun the way you prefer it, either pulled up, in a sock bun, or in a lowered chignon, resting at the nape of your neck. Add a hair pin with a ribbon bow and you’re all set.
#2 The braid with a bow in it
Braids and pigtails are a wonderfully versatile hair style, because they can look at once carefully thought out and bohemian, spontaneous. You can opt for a simple loose braid, for lazy Sunday mornings when you’re going out to brunch with your girlfriends, or you can try a more complex style, such as the one pictured in the photo below. (This one involves a French braid up toward the crown of your head, ended in a hair bun.) The former style, as well as any other that involves a more complex system of braiding will go perfectly with a chic cocktail dress, or even as a hair style for a maiden of honor.
#3 The head scarf turned headband turned hair bow
If you’re already slightly intimidated by the idea of styling your hair with bows, you might find it challenging to even consider throwing headscarves into this whole combination. However, the image below, a portrait of a girl called Aoyama, spotted in the streets of Tokyo, proves it can be pulled off rather elegantly and nonchalantly. The photo was snapped by none other than the famous Sartorialist – none other than the world’s best known street fash blogger.
And if he doesn’t know brash and bold fashion when he sees it, no one does. What makes this hairstyle and outfit work is the fact that the clothes are entirely casual, with a very slight retro vibe. The headscarf displays a retro pattern, completed by the rockabilly-like oversized bow, yet manages to remain unassuming, in the context of the whole look. Well played for a look that involves styling hair with bows, indeed!
#4 Why not style your hair with bows on a headband?
Usually, when style experts talk hair bow hairstyles, they envision a hair pin, hair clip, barrette or some other similar accessory. However, bows can rest just as easily on hairbands. The trick to pulling off this look is to aim for a lot of volume in your head, at the top of your crown. This way, your face will not be overshadowed by the statement headpiece you’re wearing, no matter how ample the bow is.
More casual styles of dress will require a narrow headband, paired with a modest bow. However, if you want to go full-out rockabilly or 50s/60s vixen housewife, you can make the bolder move and choose a headband with an ample bow. But remember that, no matter how you style such a look, you will still need to compensate with a lot of attitude for its exoticism.
#5 The demure schoolgirl pony tail, spiced up with a bow
Perhaps the most classic way to style your hair with bows is to simply sport a good ol’ pony tail and adorn it with a small fabric bow. It will add an air of youthfulness and carelessness to just about any outfit – though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for something too dressy. Wear it on a regular day to work or to class, but remember to follow a few rules. Unless your natural hair volume and texture can pull it off, don’t attempt a high pony tail.
Stick to one that’s lower down the back of your head. Along those same lines, keep the bow small and discrete and the color as neutral as possible. In terms of colors, it’s always a great idea to aim for achieving a contrast between your hair accessories and your hair color. However, don’t attempt something too bold, or it’ll most likely end up looking tacky and dowdy.