The 5 Best Eco-Friendly Hair Ties

KOOSHOO’s biodegradable hair ties are our top choice.

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Your constant tress-taming and wrist girdling companion, the hair tie, can take a staggering 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill. The elastic is usually made from plastic and rubber, and often times covered in unsustainable fabrics. But hairy horror story can now be avoided as the versatile hair accessory has received a green makeover.

You can find simple and spiffy hair elastics with firm eco-credentials. Plastic-free and made ethically from sustainable materials, they’re durable enough to be washed and worn many times without stretching into limpiness.

Ahead, the best eco-friendly hair ties that help fashion the perfect nocturnal hair bun or the loveliest loose ponytail. 

Best Overall: KOOSHOO Organic Hair Ties

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KOOSHOO Organic Hair Ties

Courtesy of KOOSHOO

Channel your inner hippie with KOOSHOO’s (meaning feeling good in Norfuk, the language of the Pacific Island Norfolk) flexible and biodegradable hair ties, available in sets of five bands in rainbow hues and other dreamy shades. Durable and very stretchy, these nifty, lock managing loops are 100% plastic free and made from organic cotton and natural rubber, both sourced in India. They’re created from Fair Trade GOTS certified organic cotton (70%) with the remainder comprising Fair Trade and Fair Rubber Association certified natural rubber. They’re hand dyed using organic colors which are OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they are free from a range of concerning chemicals.

These wee bands are hand-sewn in a Fair Trade cut and sew facility operated by nuns in Tamil Nadu, in the southern state of India, with the profits used to fund a cancer treatment center. They’re packed in recycled FSC certified paper packaging and shipped to you. KOOSHOO’s our top pick for any occasion ties.

“I love them; they're wide and flat and comfortable on my wrist, and the joints are sewn closed, which makes them three times stronger than glued hair ties.” ~ Katherine Martinko, Treehugger Senior Editor

Best Budget: Terra Ties Compostable Hair Ties

Terra Ties

Courtesy of Terra Ties

If you’re guilty of losing that odd tie every few days, look no further than Terra Ties which are plastic free, affordable, and come 27 ties to a pack. These sturdy yet soft, unisex ties can be worn while lobbing a ball in the court or for a more dressy occasion. The ties are stretchy and grippy, without any unwanted sagging. Made from natural rubber and organic cotton, they’re shipped in recycled packaging. Easily compostable, they’re a handy companion for all seasons and bad hair days.

Best for Special Events: TAMGA Designs Jayla Scrunchie

TAMGA Designs Jayla Scrunchie

Courtesy of TAMGA Designs

Husband-wife duo Eric Dales and Yana Barankin founded boho chic women’s label TAMGA Designs as forest-friendly fashion. A transparent supply chain, traceable sustainable botanical fibers and decent and fair work conditions for workers drive the brand.

We love their zero-waste Jayla knotted scrunchies made from leftover scraps from the brand's garments. The soft, silky scrunchies are made from innovative fiber company Lenzing’s EcoVero fabric from wood pulp. With a diameter of 24 centimeters (unstretched), it’s great for styling without squeezing hair, sliding easily on unruly locks too. Carbon neutral, these cute ties are available in pretty prints. TAMGA’s 2020 Impact Report lists its sustainability efforts in detail and it’s also a member of non-profit 1% For the Planet.

Best for Sleep: Kohr Organic Bamboo Silk Scrunchie

Kohr Organic Bamboo Silk Scrunchie

Courtesy of KOHR

Silken bedding and pajamas are enjoying a moment. So, there’s no surprise that the trend has extended to hair ties. Our pick for a vegan option is made from 100% organic bamboo silk. The inner biodegradable elastic is a mix of organic Turkish cotton and natural rubber. Its tiny label tacked is made from recycled polyester.

Rather than twist your hair in an oh-so-tight bun, a sloppy braid loosely tied with bamboo silk scrunchie will keep your scalp happy the whole night, while keeping your hair dent free. Available in medium and minis, get adrift onto sweet slumber without squishing your hair.

Best for Workouts: Girlfriend Collective Scrunchie

Girlfriend Collective Scrunchie

Courtesy of Girlfriend Collective

After a sweaty, invigorating workout, the last thing you want is for your hair to cling at the scruff of your clammy neck. Worry not. Girlfriend Collective’s scrunchies are made of scraps from their activewear fabric (that’s certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX), produced in Taiwan from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles, thus zapping waste.

The scrunchies are made in an SA8000 certified factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, ensuring fair working conditions and wages, and no child labour. What’s more, each scrunchie knocks off one water bottle from hurtling into a landfill, prevents 0.73 pounds of CO2 pollution from being released into the atmosphere and saves 0.13 gallons of water. Available in nearly a dozen gorgeous shades (the dyes are eco-friendly), you have enough choices to match with your pilates stretch wear and your jogging togs.

Final Verdict

KOOSHOO’s flexible and biodegradable hair ties available in sets of five bands in rainbow hues and other dreamy shades are our choice of sustainable hair loops. With 27 ties to a pack, Terra Ties’ thin, sturdy and biodegradable unisex ties made from natural rubber and organic cotton are pick of affordable hair ties.

What to Look for in an Eco-Friendly Hair Tie

While scrounging beauty shelves for hair ties and scrunchies seems simple, more often than not they’re not biodegradable and use plasticky elastics, unsustainable materials, and harmful dyes. While you might be tempted to grab that bedazzled scrunchie, its good to keep these pointers in mind.

Materials

Look for friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, Tencel, recycled post-consumer materials, or fabric scraps left over from the manufacturing process. As for the elastic, we prefer natural materials, such as rubber. Eco-friendly dyes are also a plus.

Certifications

These tiny binders’ eco-credentials can be supported by a host of sustainable certifications. Some of the ones to look out for include the Global Organic Textile Standard, OEKO-TEX, Fair Trade Certified, Forest Stewardship Council, and the Fair Rubber Association. However, the many smaller labels might not be certified but can still be transparent about their sustainability practices.

End of Life

Biodegradable hair ties can be composted in your backyard, bin, or municipal system. When it comes to scrunchies, here are several fun things you can do once their elastic pops. Keep it as a cord tamer, bunching assorted wires in place or use it as a money clip. Or slip it between your books as a pretty bookmark.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Considering the number of humble hair ties it's possible to whip through in a year, sustainable scrunchies are a great way to keep your hair neatly braided or in a messy bun. To make this list, we’ve looked for hair ties and scrunchies which use more sustainable materials, both outside and inside, while looking lovely to boot. We also considered the manufacturer's labor and charity practices.

Author Neeti Mehra writes about responsible luxury and is committed to slow and mindful living. She lives a sustainable lifestyle and strives to make kinder choices.