Sweaty Bands – What are they?
I discovered Sweaty Bands thanks to the expo associated with Chicago’s Hot Chocolate 15/5K run during the first weekend of November (yes, I had to take a break from my Extra Life marathon to go). They are, basically, headbands designed for active people. They come in thick or thin, and the website boasts about 900 different designs, from animal prints to blinged-out styles. Prices range between about $10-$20, with the wide ones being on the higher end, but the ones you like will probably run $12 or higher. The company also offers a “Tailgate Collection” with team colors and lets you create custom Sweaty Bands for fundraisers or companies. At a slightly cheaper price point, you can purchase a “Mystery Grab Bag” for $7.50, which nets you a randomly-chosen headband that might be slightly damaged or irregular, or of an older style. Sweaty Bands are also available in stores and on Amazon.com; you can locate a better selection through the website at www.sweatybands.com.
How do they work?
I have no idea. I mean, they’re headbands, right? The big selling point is that they don’t slip. But I can’t for the life of me figure out why they work. My guess is that the velvet that lines the inside provides a certain amount of traction that keeps the headband in place. You put the thing on your head, and it stays there. This works whether you’re wearing it on your forehead near the hairline, or on top of your head. Elastic makes it stretchy to fit around your big noggin.
Do they really perform as advertised?
Yes, they do! I bought one thick band (blue) and one thin one (sparkly and brown), and wore them to my dance classes – Zumba, including a full two-hour Zumba Jammers dance party (a Jammer is a certified Zumba instructor that specializes in creating choreography and holds jam sessions), and S.W.A.G. (think of it as hip-hop Zumba with songs you actually know from the radio). Although once or twice I adjusted my headband due to a minor amount of slippage, neither ever fell off or even felt too loose! I’m the type of chick who never wears ponytails, because I look pretty stupid in them, and I’ve never worn headbands because I can’t find any that would stay on through a high-impact workout – until now. To my surprise, the wider one worked better for me than the thinner one.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Sweaty Bands are hand-washable and designed to hang dry. I have already accidentally machine-washed my brown sparkly one, which got mixed in with my dirty workout clothes when I dumped them into the washer, and it seems fine.
File these cool fitness accessories under “things you never knew you needed but now can’t live without.” Yes, they’re a bit pricey. And I found that despite looking at something like 500 different Sweaty Band styles at once, I still couldn’t find the style I wanted (a simple hot pink to match the stripe in my cross-trainers). But still, Sweaty Bands come in some super-cool designs and they’re my new best friends.
I just love S.W.A.G., short for Sweat With A Groove, but chances are you’ve never heard of it because it’s totally local. I’m sure Mike and Ceci, its founders, would love to make it as popular as Zumba. So here’s a little sample for you, thanks to a video that features Mike and a few of the people I work out with every week, representin’ at the Beats Provoke Movement studio in Skokie, Ill.