How can I reuse or recycle lots of hair elastics/bands/scrunchies?

We’ve had an email from Donna:

My 12 year old daughter has just had her long long lovely hair cut off and when we got home from the hairdressers, she cleared out a big box of hair bobbles, loop bands, Alice bands, scrunchies, ribbons, all sorts of things like Claire’s Accessories threw up in a box and told me she’d “never need them again”! They’re all used as far as I know so I don’t think a charity shop would want them. Would anywhere else take them?

(Heh, shop vomit.)

Perhaps Donna’s daughter will be better keeping on top of her new ‘do but I regularly need elastics when my (supposedly short) hair gets a bit long – so if I was her, I wouldn’t throw *everything* away. An alice band and clips/barrettes are always super useful for those days when everything’s pointing in the wrong direction.

If she has a lot of them, chances are most of them will probably be in good condition – how about washing them and encouraging her to sell them at a car boot sale? You could declutter some other stuff at the same time :)

I’d yoink the ribbons for craft stuff and the little elastics that are essentially a fabric covered elastic band as useful as gentler-than-normal elastic bands – I’ve heard them used in place of elastic bands in a number of household applications, but the only one I can think of at the moment is around the bottom of bouquets — the elastic is less likely to damage the stems. Any other suggestions for that?

And what about other ways to pass on or reuse all Donna’s daughter’s hair bobbles?

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10 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle lots of hair elastics/bands/scrunchies?”

  1. I have three daughters and our house is full of these things. Actually, I think they’re breeding. I always end up having to remove them from the vacuum cleaner, they end up stuck round the brush rotor if you don’t see them lying just under the edge of the sofa!
    I’ve found that the poor quality of most of them means that they only last a few weeks in some cases and then get binned.
    I have used a few in the past to bind my spanners and screwdrivers together in my toolbox just to tidy it up a bit though.

  2. Bellen says:

    I’ve seen many craft sites showing headbands decorated with fabric flowers, old pieces of jewelry, etc and then you have a ‘new’ headband – even for short hair

    Fabric covered scrunchies used as bracelets seems to be quite the thing with the 10-12 year old set in our area – some add ribbons, etc to dress them up and some BFF make them in opposite colors (ie red on one, blue on the other) and use them as friendship bracelets

  3. Linda says:

    Wash and dry, remove any stuck hair and donate to Women’s refugee or Homeless Shelter for people fleeing bad situations. A few pretty hair things could really make the day of a girl whose Mum has had to leave a bad relationship in a hurry.

    Elastics are also useful at a preschool for doll’s hair.

  4. bookstorebabe says:

    For folks who make bracelets out of fabric or leather or whatnot-for the closure, sew a button or bead on one side, and on the other, the hair elastic. It loops over the button to close it nicely, and has enough stretch to ensure that it’ll fit a range of wrist sizes.
    Use them anywhere you would use a rubber band. Oh, say you have a pair of tongs in the utensil drawer in the kitchen. I loop a rubber band around them, because otherwise the open tongs inevitably decide to jam the drawer!
    I like the wash them and give them to a shelter idea, and the yanking off the ribbon for crafty stuff idea. And yes, keep a few. My daughter has gone from long hair to short and back to long, her hair grows so fast! When she had short hair, she vowed it would stay that way. Now that it’s long, she’s saying the same thing.

  5. Jim says:

    My wife has a whole box of old hair products and “things”, I need to figure out what to do with these things, for her sake!

  6. Hazel Edmunds says:

    I actually went out and BOUGHT a load of these things (cheap, naff ones) to tidy up my husbands growing collection of cables for connecting computer to ….. (you name it he’s got a special cable for it) none of which, I am assured, can he possibly do without EVER. Any collection of similar things can be tidied up hair bands,

  7. C M says:

    If you have a local freecycle group, post a message to offer to anyone who would want/need them for their kids.

  8. Jessica says:

    My reuse of Scrunchies ties in with an efficient way of home cleaning “dry-clean-only” clothing. Place the clothing in a pillow case and tie shut with the Scrunchie. Wash in cold water on the delicate cycle.

  9. Jill says:

    I have two daughters who used have waist length hair until I had their waist length hair cut very short like a boy I got rid their hair elastics bands and scrunches

  10. supergeeky says:

    I use hair binders all the time but I hate when they stretch out. I typically save those to close food bags (like chips and salad mix) instead of twist ties. I also use them to keep cords together and even keep some in my purse for emergencies in case mine breaks or someone else needs one. For scrunchies same thing and you can wash them so it’s a bonus. As for hair gems and ribbons you can use them for crafts or creating jewelry. Cloth headbands can be used as curtain tie backs or you can use them to create things like decorative scarves and belts. Regular headbands are useful for hair dying jobs and hair cuts if you do those things at home. Also useful if your hair gets stuck in your face while cleaning, nice to use the headbands to get the hair out of your face. Anything you don’t see using try selling or donating.

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