The Naruto headband, or forehead protector as it's more properly called, has many different functions. Although it is supposed to be used to protect the forehead during battle, the prime focus of the protector seems to be to show allegiance or past allegiance to certain villas in the Naruto anime. Many people have been curious about whether wearing the forehead protector on a part of the body has any significant meaning. The answer is no.
The Naruto headband consist of a cloth band that wraps all the way around the head and ties in the back. To the front of the headband is a forehead length metal plate that is affixed to the cloth and is designed to protect the forehead from damage. It is specifically designed to deflect sharp projectiles or other objects.
While a few characters of the anime series wear the Naruto headband as it was intended, there are some that do not. Female characters typically where the protector as more of an accessory. For example, Ino wears it as a belt and Sakura wears it, quite literally, as a headband. The male population is half and half. You almost never see Naruto without his forehead protector. He wears it with pride and honor. While other characters, such as Shikimaru and Rock Lee, do not see it as necessary to wear it the way it was intended. This is not met with much opposition from the village. As long as the protector is displayed somewhere on the body, it looks to be alright.
The most important aspect of the Naruto headband is the fact that it shows allegiance for or against a village. The metal plate on each forehead protector is inscribed with the symbol of a village. Just looking at the protector can help you distinguish where the ninja wearing it comes from and whether they are a friend or foe. Rogue ninjas wear the forehead protector of the village that came from with a line scratched through the symbol. This signifies their origin, and that they are now an enemy of the village.
The Naruto headband is one of the most interesting and talked about accessories of the ninjas of Naruto. It's also one of the first items that people buy when they start putting together a cosplay costume. There are very few characters that do not wear a protector at all, all of which are either citizens or rogue ninjas. There's no question that the forehead protector is a very important part of the Naruto anime series.