Search Cool of the Wild Start typing...

How to Wear a Buff in 14 Simple Styles

How to wear a Buff

How can one bit of material be so darn useful? The multifunctional headwear that is the Buff, is one of the most simple bits of outdoor kit you will ever buy, and there are more ways of putting it to good use than you might realise. So if you want to join the headband heros of the outdoor world and get yourself buffed up, then it’s important that you know all the different methods of how to wear a Buff properly.

But before we demonstrate how to get in the buff, it’s worth noting that there’s not just one type of tubed cosiness to cover up with. Since the dawn of the Original Buff back in the 90’s, loads of different and very cool Buffs have been created: fleece-lined, windproof, Merino, long, reversible, knitted and even a UV buff that offers protection from UV rays – to name but a few.

Why are Buffs so great?

Well, aside from their innate versatility, they are also pretty good at controlling the temperature of your head. The moisture-wicking properties keep sweat under wraps, preventing the cooling of excess moisture and thus lowering the chances of losing body heat. They are thin enough to fit under helmets easily with no uncomfortable seams, and are made from non-itchy microfibers.

How to wear a Buff

ways to wear a buff

Share this image on your site

The Buff in these images is made from 100% Merino wool; a natural and sustainable fabric that, as well as being breathable, has excellent thermo regulation properties.
Woman wearing a Buff as a neck scarf

1) Neck Buff

Unlike more conventional scarves, the neck Buff doesn’t become irritable or itchy, and there’s no chance of it unravelling or loosening leaving chilly drafts down the back of your neck. Simply pull it over your head and let is sit around your neck.


Woman wearing a Buff as a face mask

2) Face mask

If the conditions are really cold, pull it right up over your nose and mouth; the breathability of the fabric also applies to your own breath and it won’t get wet and sticky like other fabrics.


Woman wearing a Buff as a balaclava

3) Balaclava Buff

For ultimate head protection in winter conditions, rock the balaclava Buff. It sits well underneath helmets without any uncomfortable seams or creases. To wear a Buff in balaclava mode:

  • Pull it over your head so that the bottom of the opening sits underneath your chin and top sits across your forehead.
  • Then take a piece of the fabric from the front of the neck area (about half way down the full length of the Buff) and pull it up over your nose making sure that the bottom opening stays underneath your chin.

Woman wearing a Buff for sun protection

4) Sun protection

This simple setup prevents sweat rolling down your forehead on hot summer expeditions. The tail at the back also protects the back of your neck from the sun. Choose a UV Buff for added protection.


Woman wearing a Buff as a sweat band

5) Sweat band

Wearing your Buff as a sweat band is great when out jogging to prevent sweat from dripping into your eyes. The Buff band makes you look the part too! Fold the Buff in half, then in half again and then in half one final time and pull the band onto your forehead.


Woman wearing a Buff as a head band

6) Headband Buff

Folded into thirds, the headband Buff is a good option when you don’t want a full Buff beanie on but still want some protection over your ears. It’s also good for those with long hair to help keep it from falling into your face.


Woman wearing a Buff as a bandana

7) Buff bandana

Wearing a Buff bandana works well under a cycling helmet, and the ingenious and simple twist can be adjusted to fit. Create the twist as follows:

  • Place your right arm through the loop of the Buff and hold onto the left opening at the top.
  • With the Buff hanging on your right arm, put your left arm through the left opening and hold on the right opening at the bottom.
  • Keep hold of the fabric (with both arms still inside the Buff), then move your right hand left and your left hand right so that both hands are now not inside the Buff but are back in their starting position. This creates a twist in the middle of the fabric that you cab adjust to make a head-sized bandana.

Woman wearing a Buff as a beanie hat

8) Buff beanie hat

Twisting the middle of the Buff makes a great fitting and stylish double-lined Buff beanie. Once you’ve put a twist in the middle of the fabric, simply fold the Buff in half so that it’s double layered with the twist on the crown of the head. This style can be worn with a helmet and is also good under the hood of your jacket to add some layering when hiking in the winter.


Woman wearing a Buff as a bobble hat

9) Bobble hat

For a single-layered Buff beanie hat with a bit of style,  tie a loose big knot in the end of the Buff and put the untied end on your noggin like a hat!


Woman wearing a Buff Legionnaire style

10) Legionnaire style

This way of wearing a Buff provides excellent protection from the sun to your head and neck. Saturate it with water and the cooling properties will remain as the water evaporates. It’s similar to the sun protection method, but fits more closely around the back of the head. To wear your Buff in the manner:

  • Put the Buff on your head as if wearing it in sun protection mode (at the top of the article).
  • Tuck the tail of the Buff in on its own opening then pull it out at the base of the neck at the back.

Woman wearing a Buff as a hair tie

11) Hair tie

Embrace the scrunchie style ‘do’ and get those unruly locks under control. A hair Buff is ideal for big hair days! Gather the Buff up into a band then wrap it around your pony-tail as many times as you can / need.


Woman wearing a Buff as a head band

12) Hair band

Wear it as a hair band to keep your hair out of your face. Also a good option if you have wet hair in cold conditions – the band will leave much of your hair free to dry whilst still providing some warmth to your head and ears. Either fold the Buff neatly or just gather it up to create a band.


Woman wearing a Buff as a wrist band

13) Wrist sweat band

Use to wipe away sweat or wear it on your wrist just in case you might need to use it in any of the other ways listed above!


Do wearing a buff as a neck scarf

14) Dog Buff

Yes, there are also dog-specific Buffs available. Well, if you’re camping with your dog then you don’t want them missing out, do you?!

Now that you know your options for how to wear a Buff, you can tell all your friends how to twist, folds and form your Buff into the most multifunctional headwear out there!


How do you wear a Buff?

With all these different ways to wear Buff headwear kicking around, we’re sure that there must be even more out there that we don’t know about. So if you happen to know how to tie a Buff bandana in a way that we don’t, or you have the latest styling tips on how to wear a Buff with long hair, then we’d love to hear from you.

Find the latest price at:
Alpine Trek | REI

Joey Holmes

Joey Holmes
Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

Open Menu