Well, well, well, are hair accessories (finally) making a comeback?

After what seemed like a decade-long hiatus caused by bed-head manes that couldn’t dare be interrupted by a swath of leather or a slash of plastic, Beauty Insider is seeing a resurgence in hair accessories, with some as finely crafted as this season’s most coveted handbags or sling backs.

And, while spring may well be a season of lighter fabrics and softer looks, the trend in hair accessories this season is towards bold, statement pieces.  “There’s been a lot of hair dressing, and it’s been unusual hair dressing,” said Colette Malouf, whose ornate creations are a mainstay in the category.”  Today people are definitely ready to take some risks and spend some money in hair because of the excitement of the special piece, but it’s got to be a special piece.”

Colette, as well as other influential designers such as Jennifer Behr and Dauphines of New York founder, Summer Rej, are offering hair accessories such as headbands and clips embellished with crystals, designed to be an ornamental focal point of a look instead of just a quiet way to keep hair tame.  The trend has grown over the last couple years; Jennifer attributes it, at least in part, to shows such as Gossip Girl, where the main characters regularly wore standout pieces. “It was people seeing somebody wearing these larger things in their hair, things that were more fashionable, that started people’s awareness of it,” she explained. 

Some of these accessories, like Jennifer’s thin headband detailed with a thick row of lime green crystal flowers and ponytail holders embedded with candy-colored faux pearls, look like something you could wear around the wrist or neckline.  “They are more like hair jewelry,” observes Bergdorf Goodman’s Pat Saxby, who oversees these pieces, as well as cosmetics and fragrance for the store.  Even mass brands, such as Goody, are expanding their jewelry-esque pieces, with bands bearing metal chain-link hardware and beading.  Pat is also anticipating success this season with turbans, from designers including Jennifer and others.

Ornate hair accessories aren’t exactly priced to be purchased impulsively—they often retail for several hundred dollars—but retailers aren’t seeing resistance from customers.  “The quality and the workmanship in the pieces warrant it,” Bergdorf’s Pat explains.  “We have no difficulty selling it—our customer totally understands and they don’t mind spending a little more for a very specific look.”

While the category overall isn’t seeing huge growth—mass retailers saw just a one percent rise in sales last year, according to market research firm SymphonyIRI—it is thriving nonetheless.  “It’s been a really good business for us for a long time,” Pat said.  “It has never not done well. It’s a business that has grown that we support fully.”

One sector of the category that’s particularly strong is bridal.  Designers such as Deepa Gurnani, which is carried at 1,500 stores worldwide and creates private label pieces for Anthropologie, as well as their own line, are finding that, with growth over the past two years, bridal now accounts for 20% of their business.  Retailers in general are stocking additional bridal-skewed pieces—more elaborate, typically with the same type of details found on a wedding veil or dress hem—which often have higher price tags.  The online retailer Shopbop, for example, has expanded its selection to include intricate headpieces by Jenny Packham and delicate pieces with Swarovski crystals by Enchanted Atelier.

On non-bridal pieces, this season’s hair pieces pick up the color trends from the runway-—namely pastels and bright hues of yellow, lime, and fuchsia.  “It’s such a floral pastel girly season and the hair fits right into that,” said Jennifer Behr.

Although some non-hair designers are offering accessories in this category, their labels aren’t what fuel the average customer.  “A designer name doesn’t seem to be as important as getting the right piece to finish the look or feel of a certain outfit,” observed Danielle Minde, a buyer at ShopBop, which carries hair accessories by Missoni, Marc by Marc Jacobs, as well as dedicated hair accessory designers.”  Our customer likes to experiment with fashion and now hair accessories provide a new way to personalize her look.”

There may well be a correlation between hair style trends, such as the bangs of the past few seasons, which might be in an awkward stage of growing out, or hair that’s between requisite blow outs, but that’s not necessarily what’s inspiring people to buy these items.  “They just look really great,” said Pat.  “I would wear them whether my hair looked good or not. They really complete an outfit.”