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18 Different Types of Hair Bows

Three pink and white hair bows on a wooden surface.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all decorated their hair with hair bows made out of bones. This hair ornament became popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries when both men and women topped their hair with colossal wigs and flashy hair ornaments to flaunt their status symbol.

In particular, France’s Louis XIV and his court members wore wigs adorned with ribbons and hairbows. This carried on during the reign of Louis XV when hair bows still accompanied men’s wigs, although the wigs became smaller versions.

During the Edwardian era, hair bows became a popular design for hair and jewelry. They fell out of style at the start of the 20th century and were revived only in the 1940s when hair bows were made from lace, silk, and gemstones as well as used in brooches, jewelry, and hair adornment.


Butterfly Bows

A yellow polka-dotted butterfly bow.

Butterfly bows are adorable and very easy to make. You start with a pattern that is similar to a loop bow, and then you add a ribbon body through the center of the bow and tiny antenna at the top. The patterns are all over the Internet, and once you see them, you’ll instantly realize that the little girl in your life definitely needs one.

Button Bows

A close look at a pink button bow.

Source: Etsy

Button bows simply have large buttons in the center of the bow, and since buttons come in so many sizes, shapes, and colors, it is virtually impossible to stop coming up with ideas on how to make these types of bows. Best of all, a single stitch is all you need to attach most of these buttons to the bows, although you can also use a hot glue gun in some instances. Whatever you use, these bows are cute and very easy to make.

Crocheted Bows

A woman wearing a crocheted hair bow.

Source: Etsy

It is easier than you think to make crocheted bows because even a beginning crocheting enthusiast can do it. The patterns usually involve a basic single stitch, and you can easily make them any size you want them. Best of all, they are very inexpensive to make, because one skein of yarn can usually make dozens of different bows.

Fabric Bows

A close look at a gray fabric bow.

The good thing about fabric bows is the versatility you get when it comes to the pattern on the fabric and the color, giving you a lot of choices when it comes to the bows you’ll be making. It does require some sewing when you make bows made of fabric, but usually very little, which means that even a beginning seamstress can make these types of bows.

Felt Bows

A pair of colorful felt bows.

Source: Etsy

Felt bows are super simple because felt comes in a wide variety of colors and is easy to work with as well. Felt is also very inexpensive, so it is easy to make a lot of these bows in various colors without spending a lot of money. All you do is cut the felt into the shape that you want and glue or sew it to an attachment of some type.

Loop Bows

A close look at golden loop bows.

Source: Etsy

Loop bows are easy to make because you can utilize almost any type of ribbon, and all you have to do is loop the ribbon around and around, tie up the middle second, and attach some type of a clip on it to attach to the hair. You can use ribbons of all sizes, shapes, and colors, and you can even use them together on the same bow for a little variety.

No-Sew Fabric Bows

A pair of blue no sew fabric bows.

It may sound complicated, but making a hair bow without sewing a stitch is entirely possible. Using nothing but a hot glue gun, you can make a wide variety of bows of all sizes and shapes. The patterns are all over the Internet, and they are perfect for people who simply don’t like to sew, but who want to be creative and make a few hair bows.

No-Slip Baby Bows

A set of colorful no-slip baby hair hows.

Source: Etsy

These are very simple to make, in part because they are very small and usually use small clips or even Velcro to attach the bow to the baby’s head. You can use almost any type of material to make baby bows, although most people tend to use fabric or silk ribbons because they come in so many different colors.

Pom-Pom Bows

A set of colorful and patterned pom-pom bows.

Source: Etsy

Pom poms can be made out of fluffy material or even ribbon if you make the bows right. Pom-pom bows are very thick and fluffy, so they take up a lot of room on your head. They are also a lot of fun to make because there is a wide variety of ribbons you can use, with many different textures, colors, and designs.

Ribbon Flower Bows

A bunch of ribbon flower bows.

Source: Etsy

These are similar to loop bows except that they are more uniform in shape and similar in color. The loops form a flower shape around the center, and you can use almost anything for the center of the bow to keep it together, including faux gems, beads, and various other items. Great if you wish for something flowery and decorative.

Yarn Bows

A woman wearing a hair bow made of yarn.

Source: Etsy

These are bows you can make by hand because they are simply one piece of yarn wrapped around and around until you get the thickness you want, then wrapping it in the center to get its shape. There are dozens of patterns on the Internet that you can find, and they are all very creative and very simple to make.

Materials Used to Make Hair Bows


Three girls wearing grosgrain hair bows.

Source: Etsy

Pronounced “grow-grain,” this is a type of ribbon that has ridges in it, and it is very sturdy and made to last. It is normally made out of 100% polyester, but it has a distinct pattern on it.


A girl wearing a lace hair bow.

Source: Etsy

Lace is used to making fancier and dressier types of hair bows, and it comes in various designs and colors to suit everyone’s preferences.


A close look at a red bow made from organza.

Source: Etsy

Organza is a sheer type of material that is light and meant mostly for dressier pieces of clothing. Although there are dresses and even bags made out of organza, this is a great material to use for hair bows as well.


A black and red patterned bow made of ric-rac.

Source: Etsy

Ric-Rac is a type of ribbon that is used for decorative purposes, and they are made in a zig-zag pattern with many different colors. They make a beautiful hair bow because of their unique look.


A close look at a black satin bow.

Source: Etsy

Satin is soft and shiny, and it is a high-quality material that is perfect for hair bows. It comes in both light and dark colors, and it makes a great dressy hair bow.


A close look at a white ribbon made of tulle.

Source: Etsy

Tulle is what ballet skirts are made of, so they are light and transparent, meaning they normally have to include another type of material along with the tulle. Tulle, therefore, makes a great accent to hair bows made of other materials.


A woman wearing a black velvet hair bow.

Source: Etsy

Velvet makes great dressy hair bows because it is so soft and eye-catching. They are perfect for more formal occasions.