PONYTAIL HOLDER UPDATEPONYTAIL HOLDER UPDATE

I want to give you an update on my ponytail holder story

In that post, I set out to share with you how one ponytail holder was enough for me: How when we live with less, we better track and care for our belongings, including trivial items. I shared how the same ponytail holder has served my needs for close to a year, and why I was considering switching to French metal barrettes when it wears out.  But then, many of you commented, emailed instructions on how to make my own or offered to send me their extras 😉

“When it eventually gives out, go onto Freecycle and see if you can find someone who will give you just one ponytail holder. Heck, I have too many ponytail holders – unused, even – and need to purge. I’ll send you one if you like!”

I realized that I failed as a blogger to get my point across. Heck, The point of that post was not to beg for extras nor do I need Freecycle for a ponytail holder: I can just bend down and pick one up from the street if I choose to keep wearing them… they are everywhere.

I have since collected visual proof for fun.

I have found 100 hair things… in parking lots (the most common place), in national parks, at the beach, on a public bathroom floor, on a university campus, on sidewalks, during Coastal Cleanup… a renter left one hanging on my nightlight, a friend dropped one on my steps 😉 …

What did I do with all of these? I picked them up and donated them.  But I did put one aside for a good use…

 

 

I had been waiting three years to grow enough hair (i.e., a 10-inch ponytail) to be able to donate it. This week, I reused an envelope to ship it off to Art of Wigs, which upcycles hair into wigs for cancer patients (it’s the only company I found that would recycle hair that has been highlighted in the past). If you live in Europe, here is another option for you.

 

We usually compost our family’s hair but I found putting it to a good use to be so much more satisfying… And my shorter hair, has already saved me on shampoo, conditioner, water and electricity! It’s all good 😉

 

What will you be upcycling this week?

I want to give you an update on my ponytail holder story

In that post, I set out to share with you how one ponytail holder was enough for me: How when we live with less, we better track and care for our belongings, including trivial items. I shared how the same ponytail holder has served my needs for close to a year, and why I was considering switching to French metal barrettes when it wears out.  But then, many of you commented, emailed instructions on how to make my own or offered to send me their extras 😉

“When it eventually gives out, go onto Freecycle and see if you can find someone who will give you just one ponytail holder. Heck, I have too many ponytail holders – unused, even – and need to purge. I’ll send you one if you like!”

I realized that I failed as a blogger to get my point across. Heck, The point of that post was not to beg for extras nor do I need Freecycle for a ponytail holder: I can just bend down and pick one up from the street if I choose to keep wearing them… they are everywhere.

I have since collected visual proof for fun.

I have found 100 hair things… in parking lots (the most common place), in national parks, at the beach, on a public bathroom floor, on a university campus, on sidewalks, during Coastal Cleanup… a renter left one hanging on my nightlight, a friend dropped one on my steps 😉 …

What did I do with all of these? I picked them up and donated them.  But I did put one aside for a good use…

 

 

I had been waiting three years to grow enough hair (i.e., a 10-inch ponytail) to be able to donate it. This week, I reused an envelope to ship it off to Art of Wigs, which upcycles hair into wigs for cancer patients (it’s the only company I found that would recycle hair that has been highlighted in the past). If you live in Europe, here is another option for you.

 

We usually compost our family’s hair but I found putting it to a good use to be so much more satisfying… And my shorter hair, has already saved me on shampoo, conditioner, water and electricity! It’s all good 😉

 

What will you be upcycling this week?

  1. Ratna says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 4:56 pm (#)

    as usual, very inspiring 🙂

  2. jo says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 5:13 pm (#)

    Bea you are so inspiring, I love your outfit could you share with us what you purchased on your October clothes shop, your intuitive ideas keep me inspired on the zw journey , and keep me out of the mall. Your hair looks wow !

  3. constance says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 9:04 pm (#)

    thanks for asking that question, I actually find minimizing my clothing one of the most difficult things to do.

  4. Hannah Ransom says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 5:24 pm (#)

    I shaved my hair so that I don't have to deal with ponytail holders or bobby pins!

    I like the short hair on you. I bet a bob cut would suit you well.

  5. maggie says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 5:42 pm (#)

    we're taking leftover molding from our living room and constructing shelves with hooks for our kiddos to hang up all their fun dress-up clothes. some of that molding is also being used to craft a frame for our TV niche and dress it up a bit. 🙂

  6. Sarah says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 6:16 pm (#)

    I think the bigger problem – which I feel you did represent in your last post – is that we treat little hair gadgets like they don't really mean anything, we think 'oh, I have a million, no big deal', when really they do make an impact on the environment because they are waste! By turning your hair elastic into a prized possession – which is what every possession we deem worthy to create and own should be – you created a new attitude towards this simple little item, and strove to protect it and love it, instead of just throw it away. I've seen this mindset before in a friend – she only owned two bobby pins, and she kept track of them and took care of them. I didn't understand at the time, but now I only own three hair elastics and I understand it a lot more! Yes, it is just a hair elastic, but it is the attitude behind the madness that is the important thing.

    And congrats on your new hair. I just cut mine as well, it was too short to donate, and as I've donated many times in the past I didn't feel too bad letting this one go. Locks of Love will also accepted highlighted hair – as long as it hasn't been bleached.

  7. Anonymous says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 12:39 am (#)

    You get it. It makes me laugh that blog readers have been sending in ponytail holders–as if the idea is to exploit a loophole rather than to live without excess.

  8. Lor says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 6:59 pm (#)

    Une histoire géniale, Béa ! Bravo pour ce geste et ce super look, du même coup…

  9. Anonymous says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 7:27 pm (#)

    All the hair items you donated were most likely thrown away. Really, why would they resell it? It's not hygenic.

  10. Anonymous says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 7:45 pm (#)

    They could easily be washed and made like new!

  11. Anonymous says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 9:59 pm (#)

    Maybe they could be, but they aren't. None of my local thrift stores resell used hair ties. They are thrown in the trash along with thousands of pound of other things that people donate under the mistaken impression that they are saving items from the waste stream.

  12. Anonymous says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 4:05 pm (#)

    Start annual neighborhood yard sales! You'd be surprised (or not) what folks will buy; if you don't want to sell, leave out with "Free" sign. Of course, you won't have anything to sell/give away once you've reached ZW, but there's a home somewhere for almost everything that has any use left in it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 4:49 pm (#)

    I agree about the yard sales. At my last garage sale I put out an old used hairbrush and some old used hairbands and clips. I never thought anyone would take them…but they did! When someone doesn't have enough money to buy new then they will happily upcycle your old things for their own use.

  14. Aimee says:

    November 14th, 2013 at 3:19 pm (#)

    Agree! I was stuck as to what to do with used beauty items, including a huge box of half-used eyeshadows and varnishes. I took them with me to the community sale where I sold off old clothes and appliances- people bought them! €0.50 an eyeshadow, people even bought lipsticks! So even if more official channels won't take them, never underestimate the usefulness of selling things on at the right price.

  15. Laura Gail says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 8:40 pm (#)

    You look beautiful, Bea! This new look suits you! 🙂

  16. Anonymous says:

    November 12th, 2013 at 8:42 pm (#)

    bravo bea pour ce magnifique geste de soutien pour celles qui en ont vraiment besoin. ton geste m'a donné à réfléchir.
    J'aime aussi ta collection de photos d'élastique. il est vrai que peut n'en avoir qu'un et n'avoir plus qu'à se pencher pour en trouver un nouveau.
    Merci pour ta créativité, elle me donne des ailes, modestement mais surement.

  17. SarahN @ livetolist says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 7:37 am (#)

    I shaved my head about a year ago – and so I have so many used hair clips I can't use (still). They aren't donate worthy so I haven't tossed them, whilst I decide to grow my hair out or not (it's still rather short). Sadly my hair when I shaved it wasn't long enough for this cause, but some of my other friends donated their hair (we all shaved to support a friend). I write about it on my blog.

    However, I bought two wigs. I no longer need them, so I can donate those to a wig library for cancer patients to try and borrow.

  18. Anonymous says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 9:57 am (#)

    Fret not, Bea! I think your point came across very well in the original post: One is enough! And even though I could not bring myself to downsize to just one your post made me cut back considerably, I haven't bought any new ones ever since but picked two or three lost ones from the street (and washed them in the washing machine prior to use). I also gave the away the excess – just put them in a box with a "free" sign in front of the door and they all were taken, so no worries about any thrift store not wanting them. The takers apparently wanted them and thought they were fine.

  19. Anonymous says:

    November 15th, 2013 at 8:16 am (#)

    I agree, your point came across very well in the original post. It inspired me to downsize my daughters hair elastics and clips by 50% and I also keep better track of them. I gave the other half to friends with babygirls, so they're being reused. Thanks for your ideas, Bea.

  20. Anonymous says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 11:51 am (#)

    I got the point in the previous pony tail post, that's why I didn't comment.

    It's true I'm not down to one elastic only, nor do I have countless ones lost about, but I made some changes to better keep track of the few I have.
    I remember the teenage years when I had to wash elastic bands – they were getting dirty. Nowadays, no elastic reaches that stage. You were right: it's the perfect symbol of consumerism, the throw away society, made to be used just once etc.

    Last December I made the cut and donated the hair. Unfortunately, I did not find any place in Europe so I shipped it to US. As if there are no cancer patients on the Old Continent…
    Perhaps the ZW community could come up with places where we could donate the hair in Europe? At the time, I could not find anything, though I spent the time searching…

  21. Nya says:

    November 20th, 2013 at 9:19 am (#)

    I don't know about other European countries, but in France you can donate your hair to Any d'Avray and in Belgium, to the Coupe d'éclat initiative.

  22. Anonymous says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 4:09 pm (#)

    Got it.
    Thank you for donating your hair. I wonder how many folks will now be inspired by your actions.

  23. Anonymous says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 7:43 pm (#)

    Bea I am a shopaholic ,I find comfort in purchasing , it is an issue with my self worth on a deep level, it is a turmolic compulsion. When I found your blog I saw a light and I feel I am slowly reforming my ways I am so glad of your advice , many thanks.

  24. Constance says:

    November 13th, 2013 at 9:03 pm (#)

    congratulations!

  25. Anonymous says:

    November 14th, 2013 at 4:19 am (#)

    LOVE the sweater. I have been looking for exactly that… was it thrifted??? We need a wardrobe update with visuals please. LOVE your hair 🙂

  26. Dmarie says:

    November 14th, 2013 at 2:00 pm (#)

    gotta love this post. When my daughter has a ponytail holder "blowout," i.e., when one stretches past capacity and elongates permanently, I use the holder to keep electrical appliance cords organized. One twist onto the cord and then the holder works as well as a purchased velcro strap for keeping cords under control.

  27. Tales from the Back of the Pack says:

    November 14th, 2013 at 6:23 pm (#)

    I haven't downsized yet either (daughter and I both have longer hair), but when I thought I had run out of hair bands instead of buying new I took another look around. AMAZING how many I came up with! They were hiding in my kid's backpack, my purse, my gym bag, in the car, under the couch… I have a whole new stash without having to consume more. When these have given up their elasticity I will definitely move on to barrettes. Thank you for a great post

  28. Anonymous says:

    November 14th, 2013 at 9:47 pm (#)

    It's all about how you think about "things" isn't it? We're so conditioned to being consumers, that we actually have to train ourselves to be resourceful, to REFUSE to be a consumer, and to "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without".
    Thank you.

  29. Anonymous says:

    November 15th, 2013 at 6:52 pm (#)

    Nicely put.

  30. Anonymous says:

    November 17th, 2013 at 11:50 am (#)

    Yea, nicely put. In my own proces of about 2 years now I really struggled with refusing plastic bags. Purely a result of bad planning. So my ZW proces wasn't going great. Downsizing and donating never was a problem, but those plastic bags!!
    This morning I realise something big. I may not be there yet, but the proces has changed me to the core. Not only in the private setting but also as a professional. Upcycling I do find a new and enjoyable experience. Thank you Bea for sharing and inspiring.

  31. AMD says:

    November 14th, 2013 at 11:52 pm (#)

    Thank you for this post. I wasn't ready when I read the first post about hair bands, but I am now. Just put 13 in the donation box. I've noticed the Salvation Army down the street accepts and resells them.

  32. Horse Mad says:

    November 15th, 2013 at 5:52 pm (#)

    Thank you so much for your hair donation and for blogging about the process. This is Stephanie Caillabet, owner, of The Art of Wigs and we have your donation save and sound and will be putting your beautiful hair to good use. We are so very grateful that you found us!

  33. Anonymous says:

    November 16th, 2013 at 6:40 pm (#)

    Super idée!!! Je vais mesurer mes cheveux et regarder si je peux le faire. Here in the Netherlands we can send them here
    http://www.haarbank.nl/haar-doneren/informatie-over-haar-doneren

  34. Erin Bigler says:

    November 18th, 2013 at 12:29 pm (#)

    Whaaaaaaaaaaat?! I love it! I have gone from waist length to pixie cut more than once but always on a whim and usually in a weird spot. Last time I went for it I asked my husband to chop it off with kitchen shears while we were camping. I'd love to donate it next time. And your cut looks amazing!

  35. Anonymous says:

    November 18th, 2013 at 9:00 pm (#)

    just wondering, what happened to fashion friday? i loved that post!

  36. Anonymous says:

    November 20th, 2013 at 3:41 pm (#)

    yes please do fashion Friday again soon.

  37. Gris Bonheurs says:

    November 19th, 2013 at 10:02 am (#)

    Très joli geste !

  38. Anonymous says:

    November 19th, 2013 at 6:39 pm (#)

    I love the shorter length, it frames your face wonderfully.

  39. Anonymous says:

    November 20th, 2013 at 9:20 pm (#)

    Love it! I too downsized my hair bands and you are so right – when you only have a few you keep better track of them! I donated my hair to "Children with Hair Loss" because they accept colored/highlighted and grey hair. Only 8 inches too! http://www.childrenwithhairloss.us/donate-your-hair/

  40. Paula says:

    November 23rd, 2013 at 8:54 pm (#)

    No upcycling here at the moment, but I have found plenty of things in the streets recently. A jacket, a scarf, a beanie. I need to wash them and then I will donate them at a homeless shelter.
    It was really strange: like harvesting from the street in a way.
    The photos you took of the ponytail holders are a beautiful collage!

  41. Vitor Castelo says:

    November 24th, 2013 at 9:42 pm (#)

    One word: BRAVO! 🙂

  42. Anonymous says:

    November 27th, 2013 at 1:31 pm (#)

    We take our son on walks around town and pick up trash. One time we found a beanie hat and took it home to wash for him. He needed one and it was saved from the landfill. Almost like our efforts to clean up were rewarded. I'm not so sure others would see it that way but we strive not to take anything for granted. So excited to be posting on here! Thanks for allowing us to do so. 🙂

  43. Chevanne Scordinsky says:

    December 1st, 2013 at 3:44 am (#)

    I used to have my head shaved and used shampoo bars without even conditioners. I'm in the opposite direction of trying to grow my hair, but in the process, I am trying to find natural and sustainable products that are more zero waste. In order to style my hair, though, it seems I must acquire things like headbands and brushes. It's a bit frustrating to be adding to my haircare products, but I'm trying to be choosy about purchases. No up-cycling for now, but I'm going to take advantage of some collaborative consumption to use up old products or quickly use new ones while I research alternatives. As always, very inspiration and a great ending. 🙂

  44. Anonymous says:

    December 4th, 2013 at 9:56 pm (#)

    I cut up old tights into strips. They make great hair ties!

  45. phen375 says:

    May 28th, 2016 at 5:16 am (#)

    phen375

    “[…]PONYTAIL HOLDER UPDATE | Zero Waste Home[…]”

  46. fluiflo says:

    June 28th, 2016 at 4:29 pm (#)

    Commenting on an old post here but I thought I’d share what I’ve just discovered! Hair sticks/forks/chopsticks/a pencil, there are ooodles of tutorials online. I have really thick hair and managed to secure my hair in a bun with 1 bamboo chopstick. My hair was clean but not straightened like it usually is and it worked so well. I’m also planning to buy a metal hair barrette when all of my plastic clips inevitably break, there are some lovely handmade ones on etsy that I have found

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