Many people don’t leave out hair accessories when styling themselves. They may appear small, but hair bands make a difference. Apart from elevating a look, they also tend to have an impact on the environment. Therefore, opting for eco-friendly hair ties means you not only look the part, but you can achieve a small but important environmental win.
Most conventional hair ties come from synthetic materials. You’ll also find that many hair elastics easily break, leading you to throw them out often.
Plastic-free hair ties are the way to go to keep your hair in place without harming the ecosystem. With growing environmental consciousness, we can notice a rise in the durable, plastic-free, eco-friendly alternatives to low-quality products.
Here, you’ll find a range of alternatives to your regular hair ties. This way, you can maintain a zero-waste hair care routine.
When shopping for zero-waste hair ties, look out for:
These materials support a plastic-free and eco-conscious routine.
Many people are on the lookout for zero-waste hair ties and scrunchies. This is due to the rising consciousness of environmental issues.
Fortunately, companies are helping solve this problem by creating eco-friendly hair ties as alternatives to conventional ties.
Below is a list of some of the best environmentally-friendly hair ties and scrunchies. These brands employ various eco-friendly practices to reduce their environmental impact. They also help to reduce textile waste.
Related: If you are looking for a complete zero-waste hair care routine, you can also check out our guide to zero-waste shampoo, eco-friendly hairbrushes, and other tips to go plastic-free in the bathroom.
Materials: GOTS Certified Organic Cotton and Natural Rubber
Kooshoo is a family-owned business founded by two yoga teachers. They specialize in selling sustainable hair accessories for men and women. This brand produced the world's first plastic-free scrunchies and hair elastics. These products also come from Fair Trade materials.
With Kooshoo, there is no hair loss, hair tie creases, headaches, and pulling. Kooshoo employs traditional techniques like vegetable dyeing, hand dyeing, and block printing to make its scrunchies and ties.
The company uses naturally harvested rubber and GOTS-certified organic cotton. This makes the products completely biodegradable. There is no cause for alarm when a Kooshoo hair tie is lost, as it will biodegrade back into the soil.
Kooshoo's organic hair ties and scrunchies are stylish. You can get them in various colors, from neutrals to brighter hues. They come in unique, comfortable designs with a thick band suitable for all hair types. Due to their stylish designs, these items can complement your outfits. They can also double as bracelets when you’re not using them for your hair.
Related read: Is Rubber Biodegradable?
Materials: Natural Rubber, Organic Cotton, and Natural Dye
Terra Ties is a small business that focuses on producing 100% biodegradable, plastic-free hair elastics. The company uses naturally sourced rubber and organic cotton for these biodegradable elastics. Also, you can throw them into compost to break them down organically.
The business uses natural dyes to color the items, making them healthier and safer.
You get softer, thicker bands that last longer than most conventional ties when you buy Terra Ties. They also do not pull or damage your strands.
To reduce constant purchases, you get 27 black hair ties per pack. This can last for a long time. It’s also a good choice for people prone to losing hair elastics. To top it all, products and shipping packaging are made with 100% recycled content. This makes Terra Ties truly zero waste.
Materials: Organic Cotton, Recycled Polyester, and Tencel Lyocell
Tentree is an eco-friendly fashion brand committed to sourcing the most eco-friendly materials for its products. Tentree uses recycled polyester, organic cotton, and Tencel lyocell to make its scrunchies. The company’s upcycled scrunchies blend organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel lyocell.
As a result, the brand can reduce textile waste by upcycling old fabrics. The “InMotion” scrunchie consists of organic polyester and elastane. This brand’s scrunchies come in 3 packs of varying colors.
This company got the name “Tentree” from its sustainable practice of planting ten trees for every item sold. This contributes to the world’s forests and aids in the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Tentree consciously tilts towards zero waste production. It prioritizes contributing to a sustainable environment.
Materials: Organic Cotton and Natural Rubber
Pamper Dreams produces hair ties made of organic cotton and natural rubber. This is in a bid to prevent harmful substances from seeping into the environment. It also reduces waste production.
This particular set of flat hair ties comes in a set of 12. The brand also has offerings in sets of 25 and 5 with materials like bamboo silk and recycled cotton. The hair ties and packaging are 100% biodegradable. You can also recycle them.
Pamper Dreams designs its products to keep your hair in place gently. Whatever you need the products for, whether to tie your hair for exercise or styling, they serve their purpose. The relaxed size is 6.5cm × 0.5cm, and the stretched size is 13cm × 0.5cm. For an extra grip, you can double the bands. With each purchase, you get your new items in recyclable plastic-free packaging.
Materials: Natural Cotton and Natural Rubber
FLON’s natural rubber hair tie is an ideal alternative to plastic hair elastics. It’s a 6-in-1 hair tie pack. The business prioritizes environmental consciousness by also ensuring its items break down. The owner of FLON decided to make eco hair ties since they’re important daily products.
This is a plastic-free, eco-friendly, zero-waste hair tie made of cotton and natural rubber. You can get it in black and white. Each product helps to hold your hair in place while you carry out your daily activities.
Hair ties are elastics that we use to fasten our hair. You’ll usually find people with long hair using them to pull their locks in place to create various hairstyles, from ponytails to something more elaborate.
Generally, these are ideal products for keeping hair away from the face. They also serve as decorative pieces for adornment and exist in various forms. We have regular black hair bands and also scrunchies. People call hair ties different names. Some of these names include ponytail holders, bobbles, hair elastics, hair bands, and hair binders.
Research predicts that the hair accessories market will reach 31.6 billion USD by 20281. Unsurprisingly, bands and elastics take up most of the market share.
As small as hairbands might appear to be, they form an essential part of daily living. Whether you use them to tie your hair up for exercise, create a formal-looking style, or simply get the hair out of your face, they’re functional accessories for many.
Owing to the function of hair elastic, it’s pretty common to come across variants made of plastic materials. This plastic can be in the form of a plastic wrapper or cable tie. As a result, most hair ties in stores today are not eco-friendly. This is because manufacturers use a mix of synthetic materials that are not recyclable.
The synthetic rubbers present in most hairbands come from petroleum-based materials. This creates room for an energy-intensive production process. It can also take years to decompose, thereby contributing to pollution.
In addition to this, many hair binders are not eco-friendly due to their highly disposable nature. Due to the materials they come from, many of them are not durable and, therefore, easily break. This contributes to an increase in waste production in society.
Frequently, they go missing and end up washed away into waterways and then into oceans. Marine animals end up feeding on plastic particles as our plastic waste slowly degrades, posing a great danger to marine life. These particles can also end up in human food, which is clearly not healthy. Studies reveal that plastic debris kills more than one million seabirds and more than a hundred thousand marine mammals.
Hair elastics or bands made of non-natural materials release harmful substances into the atmosphere. As a result, their impact doesn’t start at disposal but also during production. All this calls for the need to prioritize natural materials during production.
Apart from this, the responsibility also falls on consumers to choose sustainable new hair ties. You can also consider these little items as you switch to a zero-waste lifestyle.
Today, we have businesses selling organic hair ties to support a zero-waste hair care routine. They apply a range of sustainable and ethical processes to present hand-dyed, biodegradable hair ties from natural materials. Many of them also uphold Fair Trade practices to ensure they pay factory workers and artisans fairly.
The materials companies use to make hair ties vary based on elasticity and durability. Most hair ties are made of elastic, wool, rubber, or stretchy cotton. Companies often choose traditional elastics for a tight hold. They also incorporate softer materials like polyester and microfibre and add stretch to reduce frizz and tension.
You’ll find a small string of elastic inside the fabric loop for scrunchies, which are hair ties covered with cloth. Then, producers tend to glue the ends together. Usually, their elastic comes from polyester, which is not sustainable. The production tends to depend on non-recyclable materials like polyester from petroleum. Alternatively, you’ll also find cotton grown and dyed with chemicals.
When companies use natural rubber to make their hair ties, they take an environmentally conscious approach. These products are more resilient and have higher flexibility compared with synthetics. As a result, they require more force to fall apart, tear or break.
Companies usually use either natural or synthetic rubber to make hair ties. Of the two, natural rubber is the best. Natural rubber comes from the sap of rubber trees (hevea brasiliensis), which produces natural latex. This is more resilient and flexible than its synthetic counterpart.
Aside from natural rubber being biodegradable, plant-based, and a renewable resource, it’s also softer on hair and doesn't break easily. Another material companies use to make some hair tie variants is cloth. This is the fabric they use to cover the rubber.
Silk fabric is one of the best for hair ties. It prevents friction on hair that can cause tugging and breaking. Silk also allows a gentle glide of the band when taking it out without snagging. Other sustainable fabrics include natural organic cotton and Tencel Lyocell.
The world is transitioning to quality, environmentally-conscious solutions, and it's not leaving out hair products. Biodegradable hair ties that are also plastic-free are made using natural rubber extracted from rubber trees.
Many sustainable hair ties also feature organic cotton. Natural rubber bands can break down and have a lower impact on the environment. They deteriorate significantly faster than synthetic hair bands and are biodegradable.
On the other hand, synthetic rubber that we find in many hair bands doesn’t biodegrade. As a result, they can stay in landfills for years without decomposing. They are also easy to lose and contribute to ocean pollution.
People use hair ties daily. Making a switch from synthetic hair ties to eco-friendly hair products will help meet personal needs while protecting the environment. They are biodegradable and plastic-free, with many also coming in recyclable packaging. So, whether you’re looking for a new zero-waste scrunchie or band, you’ll find something here. These contribute to ensuring a sustainable society.
Research and Markets. (2021, November). Hair Accessories Market. Report.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.