The History of the Scrunchie

Monday, February 13, 2017

 Author Shannon Anderson
The fashion world changed completely in 1986 when Rommy Revson invented the scrunchie, which at that time she called “Rommis.” Ever since then, scrunchies became one of the most popular accessories in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, taking over female characters’ hair on various television series and movies. The trend crossed over off screen, when celebrities like Paula Abdul, Debbie Gibson, and Madonna (who iconically wore a giant velvet scrunchie in her film Desperately Seeking Susan) started wearing scrunchies on red carpets to spice up their outfits. 

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Scrunchies became even more popular in pop culture when the girls of Full House started wearing them in their every day outfits on the show. They were even brought back during Fuller House. They were also seen throughout many different television series’ throughout the nineties such as being worn popularly by Pheobe Buffay in Friends, and by the girls of Saved By The Bell. Interestingly though, the popular television show Sex and the City mocked this fashion trend in a season 6 episode saying “No women who works at W-magazine and lives on Perry Street would be caught dead at a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchie.”  Sex and the City claimed that scrunchies are not for the elegant upper class, but for creative women who want to express themselves without caring what others will think. 

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In the 1988 film Heathers, the red scrunchie acts as a symbol of power and popularity. It originally belongs to Heather Chandler, the meanest, but most idolized girl in school. Once she is dethroned, the red scrunchie gets passed on to her best friend Heather Duke, who becomes even meaner with the new power. At the end of the film, Veronica Sawyer destroys the red scrunchie in a move that symbolizes the end of the mean girls' dictatorship. Of course in real life wearing a scrunchie does not mean that you become the Queen Bee of your friend group, but it can help you channel your inner Heather confidence (maybe minus all the evil bits).  

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Scrunchies are still around, but have seen a significant decline in the media. The most scrunchies we've seen on our televisions recently is on the Olympic gymnasts. Many celebrities still wear scrunchies to rock the high ponytail looks such as Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Selena Gomez to name a few. However lately, our longing for the past has brought about a new revival of the trend in street style outfits and even high fashion runway and print.  

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We always grab a scrunchie when we're putting our hair up or half up, because it gives the hair volume without destroying it with products. The best aspect of using a scrunchie however, it that you won't be left with horrible hair elastic dents (that actually also break and damage your hair!). Its strange to think about how not everyone wears scrunchies everyday like us, but we like to think that we live in a world with the Tanner sisters, Pheobe Buffay and the Heathers, where we all rock our scrunchies together.  

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