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How to Wear a Fascinator and The Best Hairstyles to Go with It

How to Wear a Fascinator and The Best Hairstyles to Go with It

The weather may be getting cool here at Brisbane’s B Hair but hairstyles are hotting up with the Autumn/Winter Racing season.

A day at the races is a great excuse to get dressed up and sport a gorgeous hairdo. And nothing says racing hair, or special occasion, more than a stylish ‘fascinator’. The question though is how should you wear a fascinator and what hairstyles should be worn with them.

We’re going to give you the low-down on all things fascinator and the best styles to go with it.

What’s all the fascination with fascinators?

A fascinator is a small headpiece that is often made from beads, ribbons, jewellery, feathers or flowers and can be attached to a headband, comb or clips.

Fascinators are the ultimate hair accessory, that can complete a stylish outfit.

Since they aren’t as big as a hat, they still give you the opportunity to show off a gorgeous hairstyle and won’t give you helmet hair.

They can also give you extra height and potentially make you look taller and slimmer.

How do you wear a fascinator?

Traditionally fascinators are worn on the right hand-side, though it may be better to consider which side you part your hair on and cover your part with the headpiece.

Generally fascinators tend to look best when worn to the side or the back of the head.

A flattering look on most people is to line up the fascinator with one eye, tilted slightly forward and positioned just above the brow.

That all being said, the rules are made to be broken and the more seasoned fascinator wearers and fashion forward racegoers can wear fascinators almost any old way.

Buying a fascinator

Start with choosing a colour palette that complements your overall outfit.

Heavier materials such as felt are generally better for cooler months and lightweight materials like straw are better for spring and summer.

You should also consider the colour of your hair.

If you have dark hair, a dark headpiece will tend to get lost.

Try the headpiece on with your whole outfit to check that it all works together.

In terms of size, choose a size that’s right for the occasion.

The bigger the occasion, the bigger the fascinator. Also keep in mind your own level of comfort when it comes to attention you may receive, and whether you may potentially block anyone’s view.

Consider how you will be travelling to the event and if you will need to take the fascinator on and off to get into a vehicle.

Also, will you need to get dressed in your outfit before or after you have your hair done and have your fascinator in place? Is there an outfit you can easily slip in and out of after your hair is done?

Types of fascinators

There are loads of different fascinators you can choose from. Check out some amazing ones from our friend Desley Walker at Joli Boutique. The main types of fascinators include the following:

Barette fascinator – these use a sectional clip or a spring clip to attach to your hair and work well with elaborate hairstyles.

Headband fascinator – this is where the decorative elements are attached to a headband, which is usually visible and sits halfway between the ear and the top of the head. This type works well with simpler hairstyles and long hair that’s left out.

Comb fascinator – the fascinator secures to your hair via a small comb that is usually hidden within a fancy hairstyle.

Mini-hat, or cocktail hat – these are the small version of a hat and are often secured via a comb or elastic band. These can also work well with elaborate hair styles.

Elastic – to Show or Not to Show?

If your fascinator is secured by elastic there are a few things you should consider, namely to show or not show.

Many fashionistas will tell you that showing the elastic is akin to show your bra strap – that is, not so stylish. Most choose try to hide the elastic within their hairstyle.

That being said, you may want to be able to easily remove your fascinator and leave your hairstyle intact.

In that case, ask your hairdresser to style your hair in a way that won’t be ruined by removing your fascinator, but also won’t bring to much attention to the elastic.

Everyone does agree though, that you should never wear the elastic under your chin, unless you want to look like you’re wearing a kids party hat.

Doing Your Hair

Generally speaking freshly washed hair won’t work as well as day-old hair that contains natural oils to help mould your style and keep it in place.

Your hairdresser can provide the best advice on this.

Choose a style that is in proportion to your face, hair thickness and fascinator size. For example if you have masses of thick curly hair but a small fascinator, then you may elect to have your hair slicked back. 

For the best look, consult a good hairdresser and book yourself in for styling – don’t forget to bring your fascinator with you to the hairdressing appointment.

However you may prefer to style your own hair. How you go about this will depend on the fascinator and the style you choose, but here are some general tips.

Hold your fascinator against your head and decide the exact placement that will look best.

If using a comb or clip fascinator start by parting and backcombing your hair in the area where you will attach the fascinator. If you have straight or sleek hair you may like to use a texturising spray to give more grip. 

Style your hair and secure your fascinator, digging your clip or comb (if using them) into the backcombed section. Use a little hairspray to further set any clips or combs to your hair.

If not using a headband fascinator, you should try and add extra bobby pins.

Adjust the hair around the fascinator (hiding any elements you need to) and spray lightly with hairspray.

The Best Hairstyles with Fascinators

Here’s some great looks that work great with fascinators.

The Donut bun

This bun style is easy and sleek and uses a hair donut accessory to provide the necessary volume.

You can wear your donut bun in the best position to complement your fascinator – up high, down low, off to the side or in the centre.

Keely's upstyle on the weekend by Andrea #bhair #upstyle #hairup #bulimbahair #partyhair

A post shared by b hair (@bhair_) on


Braids in any form are on trend, whether all up, all down or half up and down, they always bring glamour to your hairstyle.

Textured buns

If you are after a bit of volume or want to add texture or interest to your hair, while still looking chic, you can try a textured bun.

Lighter and brighter for Tracey today in the salon! #balayage #summerhair #lovestyle #fresh

A post shared by b hair (@bhair_) on


The beloved pony, whether long and sleek or textured, can look great with a fascinator.

Like the bun, the pony can be worn high, low, off to the side or in the middle.


Texture and volume can be added to any look with the addition of curls.

Wear it out

Despite what you may hear to the contrary, you can wear your hair out on race day.

Short hair styles, bobs and long hair all can look great if the hair is in good condition and styled to be sleek and shiny.

For a gorgeous style look designed just for you book an appointment with the B Hair team, located in the popular Oxford Street precinct of Bulimba.

You can also drop in and have a chat to our friendly team, we’re right next to the Oxford Tap House at 77 Oxford Street, Bulimba. 


B ready to achieve a perfect
looking hair at B Hair.

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(07) 3217 9225
Unit 7, 77 Oxford St. Bulimba Brisbane, QLD 4171
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