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The Lifecycle of a Hair Tie

Take a moment to look down at your wrist. What you’re most likely looking down at is a hair tie or two conveniently placed for the next time you need to put your hair up. But, have you ever wondered what happens to your hair ties after they are lost or thrown away? Do they decompose or last forever? Does using biodegradable hair ties really make that much of a difference? We’re here to tell you the journey your hair ties make, from being made, to their life after use. (Hint: they have a lot more of an environmental effect than you would think!)

EarthHero - Gold Sand Organic Hair Scrunchies 3 - Hair Tie

History of Hair Ties

From the beginning of time, people have always found some way to pull their hair back, whether it be with strips of leather, ribbons, or pulled back with a pin. Although elastic was created in the 1800’s for shoes and stockings, it was not used in hair ties until the 20th century. As a more modern solution in the mid-1800’s, people began using rubber bands to pull their hair back. This, however, was not a popular pick because of the rubber band’s tendency to pinch and pull on the hair. Once it was discovered in 1958 that elastic could be used to pull hair back, rubber bands became obsolete as the latest hair tie solution, and manufacturers quickly began finding ways to upgrade. Today, almost 65 years later, the hair tie has been revolutionized and fine-tuned to prevent catching hair while staying put and looking stylish. 

Not All Hair Ties Are Created Equally

For your typical elastic hair tie, it all begins with a machine that knits pieces of thread together to form a fabric loop. A small string of elastic is placed inside of the fabric loop and glued at the ends to form a hair tie! The elastic used is made of polyester and rubber to make it stretch and hold its form, while the fabric around the elastic is made of wool or stretchy cotton and dyed with artificial dyes. These materials are not sustainable, and rely often on non-renewable materials like polyester from petroleum, or cotton grown and colored with chemicals.

EarthHero - About KOOSHOO- 6 - Hair Tie

With KOOSHOO and Terra Ties, hair ties are made with a more environmentally conscious approach. These hair ties, while they offer their own individual benefits, are both created using natural rubber and organic cotton dyed with natural dyes, to ensure a lower impact on the environment. From funky scrunchies to classic black elastic-style hair ties, they make it easy to style your hair, without damaging the planet.

Do They Last Forever?

EarthHero - Organic Black Hair Ties 6 - Hair Tie

Once lost (it happens to all of us!) or thrown away and sent to a landfill, the typical hair tie takes around 500 years to begin to decompose. That’s a long time for one hair tie! Think about how many hair ties you have lost or had to throw away in your lifetime. It adds up. The hair ties are offer are biodegradable, and made from better raw materials, making them overall a more sustainable choice for the planet. Plus, they look, feel, and act like your favorite hair tie – making it easy to switch.

Explore EarthHero favorites KOOSHOO and Terra Ties and switch to biodegradable hair tie options that are made with sustainably sourced, natural and organic materials today!

One thought on “The Lifecycle of a Hair Tie

  1. While it may be true that biodegradable materials will eventually degrade in landfills, the landfill is certainly not the most ideal form of disposal for anything that it is at all compostable. Landfills do not have the correct moisture levels, temperature, sufficient oxygen, circulation, carbon to nitrogen ratio, and microorganism diversity that are required for effective biodegradation, also known as composting. Newspapers and even hot dogs from more than 50 years ago have been uncovered in landfills in visually new condition. When materials do degrade in the landfill, they release far more harmful gases like methane and hydrogen sulfide than composting. Even if a product is not backyard compostable, it is still far superior to send it to commercial composting instead of landfill whenever at all possible.

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