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The History of Scrunchies

Scrunchies have made quite the comeback in recent years, but do you know the history behind this retro fashion item? In 1986, a nightclub singer and pianist named Rommy Revson wanted a gentler alternative to uncomfortable, damaging plastic and metal hair ties. While house-sitting in the Hamptons, she was inspired by the waistband of her pajama pants and came up with the idea for the scrunchie. She sewed fabric around a piece of elastic, creating the first scrunchie. (The prototype and the sewing machine she used to make it are both in the Smithsonian Museum.) Curious about the name? It turns out that Revson named her product after her dog! She earned her first design patent in 1987 and sold the license to Scünci International, an existing hair accessories company. They initially called the creation Scünci, but later added the “r” because it was easier to say and sounded better. The hair accessory exploded in popularity and became an icon of the 1980s and 1990s fashion scene.

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