A forehead protector (額当て, Hitai-ate) is a headband composed of a metal plate and a band of cloth. Forehead protectors are worn by most shinobi and are engraved with the symbol of their hidden village. Forehead protectors have been worn since at least the time of Asura Ōtsutsuki, though there was no engraving then.
Forehead protectors are usually worn as a sign of pride and fealty for one's village. Ninja consider it an honourable, important part of their tradition, and make a point of wearing it at all times, especially when sparring with a comrade from the same village. Although not wearing a forehead protector is frequently viewed as disrespectful to one's village and peers,a ninja who does not wear one may still be loyal to their village. Similarly, to have one's protector removed is to denote one's unworthiness to the name "ninja", as Naruto did to Boruto for cheating during the Chūnin Exams. When a ninja is to be stripped of their position from the Shinobi Organisational System due to a transgression of protocols, they are to relinquish their protectors as well, as Boruto, Sarada and Mitsuki were to give up their forehead protectors for their unauthorised entrance to Iwagakure (despite Naruto personally praising them for their noble actions).