Best Running Sweat Headbands Reviewed

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When you are looking into runner wear you are generally looking for something that can do one of two things. You want something to protect you from the elements the temperature, the sun, and the wind. The other thing you are looking for in wear is something that can prevent or manage complications caused by a build-up of sweat. That’s what makes headbands so appealing because it can do both of these things.

A bad headband will accumulate sweat, or worse will cause you to sweat more. Good headbands should wick sweat from your forehead. Preventing sweat from falling into your forehead is a lot more important than you may think. Sure it prevents a lot of discomforts but it also keeps your vision clear which is essential to runner safety. It is a very similar case when it comes to the elements. Proper headbands will reduce the amount of glare from the sun and make sure you can see while you are running. Knowing your surroundings is essential whether you are running on the streets or trails and headbands can be a great asset in that endeavor.

We have narrowed our list to only the headbands that we believe will meet the satisfaction of our runners. We want our runners to know we only want the very best for them so we also included our criteria by which we judged. We feel with a proper handle on our mindset we allow you to better judge for yourselves. We also have our thorough and helpful FAQ to address the questions you may have about choosing the perfect headband.

Last Updated: August 10, 2018
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By Mark Smith:

We have a great new update! With much more research we've updated a few items. New headbands include: Salt Armour Face Mask, Nike Dri Fit Head Tie, RiptGear Headbands, and BLOM Women's Headband. Remaining items have even more information, as well. We hope to make your researching easier! Happy running! 8/10/18 We went through and gave our FAQ a major overhaul. We want our information to be as up-to-date and as useful as possible to our readers so we made sure each question went in-depth and had helpful thorough answers. We also updated our top 3 to more accurately reflect the standings in our list.

Buff UV Headband
  • Buff UV Headband
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Polygene Odor Control Tech
  • Price: See Here
Bondi Band Tapered Wicking Headband
  • Bondi Band Tapered Wicking Headband
  • 4.1 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Moisture wicking design
  • Price: See Here
Under Armour Graphic Mini Headbands
  • Under Armour Graphic Mini Headbands
  • 4.1 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Silicone Grip Strips
  • Price: See Here

 10 Best Running Headbands

 

 


Buff UV Headband

The Buff UV Headband is built for active sports from runners to yogis. The headband offers hair and sweat management with COOLMAX PRO quick-dry fabrics that wick away moisture and block UV rays while keeping you cool. Buff adds a Polygiene treatment to resist odors with bonded seams to reduce irritation. Click to see our full review below!
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Comfort:
The Buff UV Headband will keep you comfortable in a number of ways. The 95% UV protection material keeps the sunburn away from your face. The COOLMAX PRO fabric with the polygiene treatment wicks away moisture, dries quickly, controls odors, and lets your skin breath. With minimal seams, you won't have irritation points bothering you. The wide width will cover your forehead all the way down to behind your ears. Sun rays will not scorch you nor will sweat run down your face or neck. The flexible fabric forms to the form of your head and stays in place while running, biking, or even water skiing.

Style:
The headband comes in nearly 100 different prints. You are sure to find a pattern unique and perfectly fitting to you. The design is simple and easy to wear.

Cost:
The headband is inexpensive and perfect for casual athletes. Amazon offers some great deals on these headbands (just click the link above! ^) but the Buff website also has some great sales!

The bottom line:
This headband will hold out through your sweatiest workouts — and comes in a variety of eclectic prints. Best for: Running, cycling, hot yoga.
Pros
  • No headache factor - comfortable
  • High rate of sweat trickle prevention
  • High anti-slipping rate 
  • 95% UV Protective
  • Insect resistant
  • Super lightweight and compact
  • Polygiene Odor Control
  • Easy to hand wash
Cons
  • Best to wash by hand and air dry

Bondi Band Tapered Wicking Headband

The Bondi Band Tapered Wicking Headband is a go-to product if you are looking for a simple design. It is functional and effective and available in a variety of simple, solid colors.
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Comfort:
The Bondi Band Tapered Wicking Headband is a versatile staple for most athletes. It can be worn alone or under a hat, helmet, or visor. It is soft and comfortable for long-term wear without giving you a headache. The material is stretchy, breathable, and fits most head shapes and sizes. Petite heads beware! It may be too big which could cause the headband to fall off easily. It can be worn for indoor workouts or outdoor activities. The moisture-wicking material keeps wetness off the head and hair out of the face. The headband is best for outdoor activity where moving air can let moisture evaporate. The thinner material is not made for cold temperatures, but can certainly be worn in winter. Also, the thinner material may not hold all sweat off the face depending on how heavily you sweat when you work out.

Style:
The Bondi Band is available in over 20 solid colors. It is also a unisex piece. You are sure to find a color to fit your workout attire. The simple, sleek design gives a sporty look for both short and long hair.

Cost:
This product is made in America! It's versatile for both gym workouts and outdoor activities. You will find a practical price for it on both the Bondi Band website and Amazon (Link above!).

The bottom line:
Indoors and outdoors, the Bondi Band does a great job in wicking away sweat and keeping hair out of your face. The stretchy material keeps it in place without being too tight.
Pros
  • High anti-slipping rate
  • Comfortable
  • Sporty
  • Able to hold hair in place
  • No headache factor
  • Multi-season
  • Effective for a multitude of hair styles and types
Cons
  • Thinner than traditional headbands
  • Not small enough for petite heads

Under Armour Graphic Mini Headbands

The UA Graphic Mini Headband is awesome for athletes who simply need to hold their hair back and out of the face. They area available in fun colors to fit your style. And they are sold in packs of six so you will always have a headband when you need one. The design of the Graphic Mini is small, simple, and effective!
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Comfort:
The UA Graphic Mini is made of soft elastic for long-time comfort with grippy silicon UA logos for anti-slip functionality. The material is moisture-wicking for a cool, dry feeling. You can wear them for an easy yoga session or you can wear them for a high-energy swimming session. The headband will stay put in both situations!

Style:
The Graphic Mini comes in a six pack of varying colors and patterns. At 1.25cm wide, the headband has a slim, sleek look that won't feel bulky on your head.

Cost:
A six pack will cost you less than $20 on Amazon which makes a great deal for any athlete! (Link above^)

The bottom line:
The UA Graphic Mini headband securely holds hair away from the face in a slim design and fun colors. And if you're the type to always misplace hair ties and headbands, this six pack is perfect for you!
Pros
  • Cooling effect with moisture-wicking fabric
  • Sets of six avoids constant losing of headbands
  • Slim and sleek design
  • One size that fits all
  • Comfortable
  •  High anti-slipping rate from grippy UA logos
  • Effective for high-intensity workouts - even swimming
Cons
  • Headache factor is light to moderate

Under Armour Braided Mini Headbands

Under Armour Braided Mini Headbands
The Under Armour Braided Mini is a go-to headband for a variety of activities. The braided design is cute and keeps the band in place on your head. The grippy spots on the underside of the headband prevent sliding around. Plus, the four pack means you will never be without a headband!
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Comfort:
This headband is especially awesome in bad weather and keeps everything in place. The design is simple yet stylish, and the logo can be hidden by your hair if you aren't feeling it on a particular day. The “stickiness level” of the one made with a grip strip was just the right amount, according to users. This headband was the right amount of tight. It will never feel like it will slide off, but it certainly isn't so tight that it will give headaches. Keep in mind that this is a very skinny headband. Its best purpose is for holding your hair back, because it isn't built to keep sweat from dripping down your face!

Style:
These are really unique-looking because of the braided pattern and bright colors. The woven fabric keeps the band from slipping and they have a bit of an 80’s aerobics look which is very impressive and vintage-like. The headband is made with bright colors and has the signature insignia of Under Armour. On the underside of the headband, you will find silicone logos for added grip and security. Add to this that while the material stays in place, it also feels very breathable and your head will never feel overheated or suffocated. You can buy these bands in sets of four. They are slim bands and are ideal for keeping hair, and specifically, fly-aways back and away from the face. The material is a combination of Lycra and polyester.

Cost:
With its amazing features, the UA braided mini head band is definitely a must have. The price is one of the best in the market at less than $10 for a 4-pack on Amazon. (Link above!)

Final Verdict:
Best for any and all types of physical activity with a simple and sleek design and fun colors!
Pros
  • Good for all types of exercises
  • It’s not headache inducing
  • High anti-slipping rate
  • Very comfortable
  • One size that fits all
  • Wicking fabric stays dry and light
Cons
  • Not designed to keep sweat off the face


Salt Armour Face Mask

Salt Armour Face Mask
The Salt Armour Face Mask is built for both winter and summer athletes - runners, bikers, and skiers in the cold or sports players in scorching summer sun. This product is an epic versatile piece that can be worn as a headband, a face mask, a neck buff, a do-rag, a balaclava, a pony tail, a beanie, and more. With a massive variety of prints, you can find the perfect bold statement to inspire you to run faster and work harder. You can even inquire about getting your own custom print!
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Comfort:
In winter, the face mask will keep your head warm as a shield or balaclava. In summer, it will prevent sunburn as a neck gaiter or bandana. It is lightweight, SPF 40, moisture-wicking, and breathable. Made of 100% polyester microfiber. 100% seamless. 10+ ways to wear it. Stain resistant and odor controlling. Protects against wind. Quick drying. Lateral stretch. One size fits all adults. Machine washable. The Salt Armour is a winner!

Style:
Prints come in a large variety of colors and designs geared towards both men and women. You may even choose a simple neon green reflective design for safety in low lighting.

Cost:
Face shields cost $20 each but come with a zero risk lifetime warranty!

The bottom line:
Perfect choice for the versatile athlete. Useful for both winter and summer workouts. Easily affordable and available in a variety of prints.
Pros
  • 10+ ways to wear it
  • High sweat trickling prevention rate
  • Very comfortable
  • It's headache free
  • Has moisture wicking qualities
  • SPF 40
  • Protects against wind and sun
Cons
  • Wash exactly as instructed
  • Some reviews claimed the product was too thin for cold weather


Nike Dri Fit Head Tie

Nike Dri Fit Head Tie
This is a versatile piece that can be worn on your head, neck, wrist, or waist. With the tie back, the band can be worn as tight or as loose as you want. And in a large variety of color choices, you can choose whichever vibrant or subtle head tie you like best.
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Comfort:
While not all will like the tie back, some will appreciate the ability to make the head tie as tight or as loose as they prefer. Dri Fit fabric wicks away moisture to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable. The tie is made of 92% polyester and 8% elastane. The wide band will soak cover your forehead, soak up sweat, and allow moisture to evaporate as you exercise.

Style:
These head ties are reversible so you can wear a calm solid color one day and a bold print the next! The sleek, sporty design with the tie in the back will make you look cool and powerful with each workout.

Cost:
At about $20 each, these head ties are great for any level athlete who simply wants to keep hair and sweat away from their face.

The bottom line:
Nike made a good product yet again. At a great price, this versatile head tie will fit anybody while the color choices will fit anyone's style.
Pros
  • Simple and stylish
  • Doesn’t move during training
  • No headaches
  • Very comfortable
  • Can be tied as tight or as loose as desired
  • Reversible for solid color or print
  • Can be worn on head, neck, wrist, or waist
  • Wicks moisture
  • Soaks up sweat and allows moisture to evaporate
Cons
  • Beware of fake sellers if buying on Amazon - a few reviews complained of overcharging, dirty head ties, or incorrect items

Mizuno Breath Thermo Wind Guard Headband

Mizuno Breath Thermo Wind Guard Headband
While Mizuno products are well known in sporting gear, we cannot forget that they produce headbands, too. The company produces stylish quality thermal headbands, which are also wind resistant. This band comes into play when it is very cold outside as it keeps your head warm while looking sporty. Made from the Breath Thermo proprietary Mizuno fabric that converts sweat to heat. This type of band is available in 3 different colors and is available in reflective styles so anyone can easily see you while running in low light.
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Comfort:
With Mizuno Breath Thermo fabric, warmth is a guarantee while running. The materials capture escaping body heat vapors. Through physical reactions in the yard, generate heat and overall warmth. The headband contains high moisture transfer fabric that wicks and repels moisture. The shell of the headband is wind resistant to protect you from the elements. Materials consist of: 51% nylon, 29% polyester, 13% polyacrylate, and 7% polyurethane.

Style:
The Breath Thermo sports a simple design made for function. Athletes have a choice of three colors to match their style.

Cost:
While the Breath Thermo is slightly more expensive than some headbands on this list, it is one of the best winter headbands on the market.

The bottom line:
Overall, Mizuno headbands do a great job of keeping you warm and dry in winter conditions. This is a great headband for any athlete looking for a simple, straight-forward, and effective piece of gear.
Pros
  • It can be used at night or in low light since it has the reflection ability.
  • It is also suitable to be used during cold environments as it keeps you warm while converting sweat to heat.
  • Comes in 3 different colors that makes it easy for anyone to make a pick they want.
Cons
  • It is one of the more expensive headbands, but the features it possess makes it a great catch altogether.
  • Perhaps better for colder climates (freezing temperatures or below) when athletes sweat less.

Nike Printed Headbands

Nike Printed Headbands
Nike is one of the most famous American brands when it comes to sporting gears. With beginnings in 1964, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman began a quest for a lighter running shoe. Through the years, their business grew into what it is today. Along with shoes, they developed headbands to hold up to the intense workouts of athletes everywhere. Here we have the Nike Printed Headbands. Made of form-fitting fabric at a mere 1/2" width, they will securely hold hair away from the face for a long duration of time.
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Comfort:
The elastic material consists of 65% polyester and 35% spandex. The stretchy material will form to the shape of your head while the rubber grips on the bottom will hold the headband in place. And since these headbands are sold in packs of six, you will never be without one.

Style:
The slim 1/2" wide headband gives a sporty look with both bright and subtle colors. With each 6-pack containing six different colors, you can change your headband day to day depending on your mood.

Cost:
At about $15 for a pack of six headbands, this product is easy to afford. And since they are machine washable, you can wash a wear again as often as you need.

Final verdict:
Nike Printed Headbands are a go-to product, especially if you consistently misplace headbands and hair ties. For a low price, you can stock up on a quality piece of gear.
Pros
  • 1/2" width for minimal size with high effectiveness.
  • Has a sleek design with a sporty look and a variety of colors.
  • Stretchy fabric creates a snug fit that will stay in place with the help of rubber grips underneath.
Cons
  • Some complain of slipping off when used for a long time.

RiptGear Headbands

RiptGear Headbands
Designed in Virginia, USA, near the nation's capital, these headbands combine style, comfort, and function. These headbands are wide, so if you prefer narrow bands that don't cover your ears or your forehead, this is not the piece for you. The fabric is soft and stretchy but not super tight. If you practice a lot of yoga or exercise classes, this would be a suitable headband for you.
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Comfort:
Equipped with no-slip grip, these headbands will not slide off your head while you are exercising. RiptGear's unique blend of materials combines with a brushing process to keep headbands in place. The sweat-wicking properties of the headbands keep you dry and free from wiping pesky sweat from your face. After you work out, just toss them in the wash (machine wash cold and tumble dry low) and they will be good to wear again. Made of softer-than-cotton microfiber, polyester, and spandex, the RiptGear headband makes a great choice for both working out and every day wear. The gentle fabric fits nearly any head size and will not give you a headache from being too tight.

Style:
These headbands are available in 13 different colors that will not fade as you wear and wash them. Some colors are solid while others come in brilliant patterns to fit your style.

Cost:
At $10 a piece ($15 for a 2-pack), these headbands will pay for themselves as you wear them time and again.

The bottom line:
The RiptGear headbands are best for yoga or group exercise classes. Prints are geared towards women, as most patterns are feminine. Well worth the money considering they are well made and comfortable.
Pros
  • Wide and made of soft fabric that will not give you a headache.
  • Will cover forehead and ears, if desired.
  • Bright colors and prints.
  • No-slip grip.
  • Sweat-wicking abilities.
  • Machine washable.
Cons
  • May slide off, depending on head size and shape.
  • A few reviews complained of quality issues - check for certified seller.

BLOM Women's Headband

BLOM Women's Headband
The BLOM company is a fairly new enterprise setting out to re-imagine the humble headband using principles of style, comfort, and versatility. Beginning in 2015, the company created the versatile Blom Multi Headband for all kinds of women. With immediate sold-out success, the company continues to create products with the same principles as their first prototype. The Multi Headband can be worn 12 different ways for each of your needs.
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Comfort:
The moveable knot and pleated design gives you options in how you wear the headband. You can fold the headband in half or thirds for variations in width. It can be more a turban to keep you warm in winter or a narrower headband for summer days. The fabric consists of premium quality and silky soft rayon viscose fabric made from natural wood cellulose that wicks the sweat away for maximum comfort. The fabric is soft enough that it won't give you a headache after wearing the headband for long periods of time.

Style:
With nearly 30 color options, you will be able to find a headband to fit your style. These headbands only come in solid colors. A few have varying colors between the knot and the band.

Cost:
At $15 each on Amazon (link above!), these headbands are worth the money since you can wear them for so many occasions.

The bottom line:
If you like wide headbands, this is the one for you. You'll be able to wear it for everyday duties and workouts.
Pros
  • 12 ways to wear the headband
  • Foldable to wear wide or narrow
  • Soft rayon made from  natural wood cellulose to wick away moisture
  • Soft fabric will not give headaches
Cons
  • You may have issues with it slipping off your head

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The Criteria Used When Choosing The Best Headbands For Running

Sizing

You would think that is simple to choose a running headband that fits your head, but it is not that easy if you want to get the best performance out of it. Make sure the headband is the perfect size so it doesn’t interrupt your workout session by constantly needing readjusting because it is too big, or that it causes you headaches because it is too small. Headbands usually come in one-size presentation, and probably you will not have to worry too much about the size, but always have in mind that everyone’s head is different.

Think about the type of headband for the specific activity you are planning to do. Something to consider is the intensity of your workout. For extremely hot and sweaty workouts (runnings, CrossFit, rowing, etc) you’ll want a headband that has high-quality wicking, but for a more low-key workout like yoga or jogging, this won’t be a necessary quality to consider.

Style

The style can be very important when you are planning to buy the perfect headband, there are things you want to consider that can define the specific style of headband: your hair color, the outfit you usually wear while you use the headband and the type of running you are doing.

You want to feel great when you are wearing your headband, if that happens, it can bring a positive effect on your workout routines. You feel great, it makes what you do great!

Headbands are an accessory that can make you look great, and you can perfect your own style by braiding your hair, wearing a pony and experimenting other hair styles. You set your own limits. Try using colors that contrast with your skin tone and your hair color.

The type of running/activity you are doing is also very important to consider, if you run at night, a reflective headband will be suit you perfectly; if you do intense running, a thicker and more absorbent headband should be considered; if you run everyday, you may need an easy-to-clean headband.

Durability

Just as important as the size, the quality of the headband is a decisive factor when you are deciding to buy the best headband. We all are looking for the best deals, but sometimes lower prices, unfortunately, mean lower quality.

The material of the headband is very important, if you sweat a lot, you will be interested in getting a headband made of a fabric that provides sweat control. Think about the conditions you will be facing while running with your headband, if its winter season, you may want to get a headband that is wide enough that you can cover your ears with it; but if is summer you may want a headband that is thin but sweat resistant and provides a cooling effect.

You want to choose a high-quality headband if you need something that will outlast the the riggers and constant use involved is consistent running. High quality of material and great resistance.

▪Thicker headbands tend to work a bit better with wicking sweat away. Thin bands can work for flyaway-taming — if they don’t slip, but they may not always draw the sweat away from your head like thicker materials often will.

▪Paying more for brand names doesn’t always mean high quality. There are plenty of great options out there that won’t make you say “Wait, how much? It’s just a headband!”.

 

Other Important Factors To Consider While Shopping Around

If you want to head in a different direction with your shopping around for the best possible product, really consider what some of these reviews have to say about some of the products, written by people who have actually used them. Finding the right fit that will stay right where is supposed to while you run will also depend on factors such as the shape of your head, your type of hair, and of course the intensity level of your exercise. Your needs as a runner will dictate which band is the perfect one for you. Some runners don’t like a thin band because they report that they move around too easily, while others don’t like the thicker bands because they say they don’t allow for maximum breathability.

If you are an all out athlete looking for a band that will keep your hair in place, out of your face, and keeps the sweat from burning your eyes, you know the importance of a high-quality headband. As mentioned above, high quality doesn’t always have to mean high price or name brand!

There are plenty of options when you are trying to decide on the perfect headband, there are all kinds of them that can be worn for a multitude of occasions.

As in any other sport, what you have to do, is to determine what is the main purpose for buying the product you need, in this case, headbands. Depending on the sport, the size of your head, the length of your hair, the conditions you run in (indoors/outdoors), and the ambient temperature (seasons) among other considerations, you can choose what you prefer in terms of materials and style.

Decent breathability:

Picking a sweat resistant headband makes a real difference for your performance.

Right size:

Having the right size is the most important thing to consider. Too lose? It’ll slide right off! Too tight? It will squeeze your head and give you headaches. Your headband needs to be like the baby bear of Goldilocks…..Just right!

Right price:

You don’t necessarily have to always go straight for the big brands, not always the most expensive are the best headbands. Find one that fit  your needs and your budget.

 

FAQ

Below are the questions that we ran into most frequently when we were doing research for the list. We try to address the questions as generally as possible to make them helpful to a wide range of readers. For more specific answers we recommend looking into user reviews and guides in regard to a specific product.

 

Q:  Whats the best way to wear a headband?

A: The biggest part of adjusting to a new headband is getting used to the way it feels while you run. You’ll probably have to mess with it a bit before you feel like its 100% right. We recommend that you put it on while you are still preparing so you will become used to it before you are running. Other than that our only tip would be the make sure your hair is pulled above and out and the headband is placed below it. This is the optimum style to wear to keep the hair out of your eyes and not pushed down against your head. Other than that, wear it the way that feels most comfortable to you and is the most accommodating to your style of running.

Q: Will a headband efficiently keep my head and face free of sweat?

A: None of the headbands on this list should give you any trouble with sweat. We have a list of the very best headbands here and the best headbands don’t drip sweat onto their wearers. If you end up with a headband that has a sweat accumulation problem then you need to get a different headband.

Q: What is the best way to clean my headband?

A: When it comes to washing we always give the same advice. Read the care instructions. It is so important to wash your gear via the provided instructions. Especially since washing incorrectly will cause additional wear and tear and you want your gear to last as long as it possibly can.

Q: Do headbands provide adequate protection from the wind and the cold?

A: What often escapes people is that the same insulation in a headband that provides its proper sweat management is also the insulation that keeps you warm. Making sure the headband sits securely and snugly on your head is all you need to do to ensure your ears stay warm from cold snow and wind. In running keeping warm is just as important as keeping cool so you want to make sure to dress and layer properly.

Q: Can I get headbands in child sizes?

A: There are a variety of brands that offer a large array of child and adult sizes and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an option that suits. If you are having a bit of trouble the important thing to keep in mind is that sizing is not uniform, in people or brands. Try having your child try some smaller, or larger, adults sizes. Look until you find the perfect fit and that is the headband that will provide the most protection for your child.

 


 Here are some sources we used while conducting our research

We use many different resources while trying to provide the best information to our readers. Some are clinical sources, some are brand specs provided by manufacturers, and some sources are even other sites which may specialize in particular information which is relative to our subject.

Sources

  1. Fit Mom In Training, The Ultimate Headband Guide: Finding a style that works for you, Fitness blog, Aug 27, 2013
  2. Spright.com, Do Workout Headbands That Stay On Exist?, Informational website, Dec 01, 2015
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