Scrunchies continued to hold the spotlight into the mid ’90s as a fixture on shows like Friends (remember, Phoebe had a serious scrunchie moment), Full House (it’s hard to imagine the Tanner girls or Kimmy Gibbler without one) and Seinfeld. In fact, Cosmo Kramer liked them so much that, in an attempt to woo a woman he was crushing on, he suggested he might get her “one of those velvet scrunchies” to replace her apparently lesser hair clip.
But scrunchies weren’t just relegated to the upper echelons of Hollywood; the hair accoutrement was also popular with female astronauts looking to secure their hair during missions. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has a scrunchie that was worn by Col. Pamela Melroy as a space shuttle pilot during two separate missions to the International Space Station. It was truly an out-of-this-world fashion moment.
By 2003, the scrunchie had begun to fizzle out, especially in more metropolitan or high-fashion areas. This decline was documented in the infamous Sex and the City episode “Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little,” where Carrie challenged the reality of a New York-based female character in one of Berger’s book. Or, as she put it not so eloquently, “No woman would be caught dead in a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchie!”
By the end of the decade, the scrunchie was actually considered such a faux pas that an artist named David Riley went as far as to coin a special term, “the scrunchie dilemma,” to describe the juxtaposition of having something so practical, useful and therefore mature/adult associated with being immature and unsophisticated, which he discussed during a lecture at the New Museum in New York City in 2011.
While there were few scrunchie sightings in the years that followed (Jennifer Lopez got people talking when she debuted one on American Idol in 2015 and Kim Kardashian was photographed rocking her own stretchy hair tie while out and about in 2017), it now appears scrunchies have officially made a comeback.
They’re now rocked by “it” girls including Hailey Bieber and Bella and Gigi Hadid, along with singers like Selena Gomez and JoJo Siwa, who is such a scrunchie fan that she incorporated a few of them into her hair accessories line.