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Our beloved best friend in running (and in bad/lazy hair days) has landed itself smack-dab in the middle of a Twitter war. You know what we’re talking about, right? That wrist-sized circle made of elastic and fabric you use to pull your hair into one cohesive look.
What do you call it?
It all started with a discussion among the NPR interns that they brought online. “The interns are divided, we need to hear from you. What do you call this item?”
The interns are divided, we need to hear from you. What do you call this item? pic.twitter.com/1wOqOZPJEL
— NPR Interns (@NPRinterns) July 6, 2021
Several main answers came up right away: Hair band, hair tie, ponytail holder, hair elastic. And it turned out people were pretty enthusiastic about their answers being absolutely correct.
Like two-time Olympian Kara Goucher. “Ponytail holder. Any other answer is wrong,” she tweeted on Thursday.
Former pro triathlete Beth McKenzie agreed with Goucher, replying: “Ponytail holder [for the win]! [But] I live in Australia now, so my kids call them hair ties or hair elastics,” with a crying face emoji at the end. (Unrelated: If you’re looking for a dose of cuteness for the day, check out this story about the McKenzies setting up a Zwift ride for their kids.)
Kristin Jenny responded further down thread with her affinity for both hair band and hair tie. “Hope I don’t run into Kara,” she wrote with a laughing emoji.
It even sparked a bit of debate among the Women’s Running staff: Hair tie took the lead over our one ponytail holder fanatic.
The most entertaining part of the various threads was the logic people used to support their stances. Hair band fan DebIsWritingVerseToday wrote “It is not a hair tie because there is no tying involved. Yes, this is the hill on which I will apparently be dying.” To which Patricia Gainsberg replied: “Yes but you use it to tie your hair up.”
Kevin Amaya agreed and had some solid logic to back it up: “It’s called a hair tie. Not bc it’s tied but bc you tie your hair with it.. like it’s not that hard. It’s NOT a pony tail holder bc every time you use it you don’t put your hair in a pony tail.”
Other answers that certainly get credit for creativity: “Best cat toy ever,” “lost forever,” “missing,” “doodad,” or “hair thingy.”
The conversations also diverged into other throwbacks of hair-holding prominence. Anyone else remember these 80s/90s hair clips?
I'll raise you these 80s bad boys. pic.twitter.com/ReEP37tviZ
— Mary Pagones (@marypagones) July 6, 2021
For some women, it is not only a vital part of their running kit but also a good luck charm. Which is why Twitter user K E R calls it her “performance scrunchie.” And Jared Woodford added that his three-year-old calls it an “exercise bow.”
To quote Shakespeare in this incredibly deep discussion: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Because whether you call them hair ties, ponytail holders, hair bands, or elastics, one thing is for certain: I’d never go on a run without one.