Spiral Hair Ties: Yes or No?

spiral hair ties can cause hair damage

If you’re an Instagram junkie or a fashion aficionado, you may have heard of spiral hair ties. These plastic coils went from an obscure accessory to a hot new fashion trend seemingly overnight. But are spiral hair ties worth the hype?

Touted as a hair tie that holds up, won’t damage your hair and doesn’t cause headaches, spiral hair ties largely owe their share of attention to influencers and pop icons fueling the fad. Let’s examine spiral hair ties and what this trend really means for your hair and for the planet.

Plastic Spiral Hair Ties

Plastic spiral hair ties resemble old-school phone cords. Those who remember landline telephones from the ‘80s and ‘90s can likely conjure up an image of a slinky-like cord stretched within an inch of its life. Plastic spiral cords have since made various appearances in the cute-kitsch fashion motif, appearing on teenage arms as colorful bracelets and on keyrings as lanyards.

When it comes to our hair, however, those springy coils become a death trap. Badly tangled hair can lead to devastating breakage. This is especially prone to happen if plastic spiral hair ties are used to secure hair in active settings, like for a gym workout or a volleyball match.

Spiral hair ties are also largely made out of plastic, which is bad for your wallet, your hair and the environment. With repeated use, plastic spiral hair ties lose their elasticity. This means you’ll be tempted to add more loops for a tighter grip, which can crease and break your hair beyond repair. Of course, this also means spiral hair ties have a shorter lifespan and will need to be replaced frequently.

Spiral Hair Tie Origin

Spiral hair ties have been around for nearly a decade, though they’ve only recently made the rounds on social media, sparking the trend. The idea initially came from a business student in the UK who, in preparation for a “bad taste” party, unclipped the coiled phone cord from the emergency phone in her dorm and put it in her hair.

How to Use Spiral Hair Ties

Spiral hair ties work in a similar way to elastic hair ties. The spiral tie is looped around hair as many times as necessary to secure a ponytail or bun. Unfortunately, spiral hair ties don’t offer much in the way of flexibility when it comes to hair type, length and thickness.

Creaseless Spiral Hair Ties

Creaseless spiral hair ties claim to solve the dreaded ponytail crease or bump that gets left behind when you let your hair down. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because unfortunately, it is. Spiral hair ties still leave behind a noticeable crease, despite claiming otherwise.

Spiral Spin Screw Hair Tie

A spiral spin screw hair tie is a two-pronged hair pin that’s shaped like a corkscrew. These pins are twisted into the hair to secure it in place. Spiral spin screw hair ties don’t work for all hair types. They can be quite uncomfortable, and, as they’re essentially a piece of metal being twisted into your hair, they can cause breakage.

No Tangle Spiral Hair Tie

While spiral hair ties claim not to tangle hair, this often isn’t the case. Spiral hair ties aren’t suitable for all hair types. Fine hair that is prone to breakage can still easily get tangled in the coils of a no tangle spiral hair tie.

No Crease Hair Ties

Scrunchies, ribbons and spiral hair ties are all considered no crease hair ties. Unfortunately, hair that’s been secured for an extended period of time will often still show a crease when taken down. These options are also less versatile across applications, and when it comes to intense athletic activities, they simply don’t hold up.

Are Spiral Hair Ties Better?

No. They are not. While spiral hair ties tout features many of us want in a hair tie, these claims often simply aren’t true. Spiral hair ties may work better on some hair types than others, but they lack the versatility to make them a safe and effective option for all. Aside from still creasing your hair, causing tangles and breakage and losing elasticity over time, plastic spiral hair ties aren’t an eco-friendly, sustainable option either.  

Even the Best Spiral Hair Ties Do Some Damage

spiral hair ties can do some damage

Not all spiral hair ties are made equal, but even the best ones can still damage your hair. The coiled shape intrinsically makes this type of hair tie prone to getting hair caught between coils, resulting in tangles, breakage and split ends.

Phone Cord Hair Ties: Just Trending or Actually Tragic?

Phone cord hair ties may be trending, but they spell tragedy for your hair. Ditch the plastic spirals for a hair tie that works in every setting, no matter your hair type.

TIY hair ties were developed by a pro volleyball player with athletes in mind. TIY products are fully customizable to work for any hair length, type and texture. Simply unravel the length you want, cut and tie a loop that works for you. Made with a high-quality elastomer core, your TIY hair tie will keep your hair in place, damage-free, no matter what. 

Contact TIY here with questions or visit us online to learn more. You can also follow us on Instagram or Facebook for pro tips and hair advice.  

1 comment

  • Kat

    Actually, I’ve found that they last longer and don’t cause breakage. Particularly, for curly hair. All you need to do to get them back to their original shape is put them in a hot cup of water or blow dry them with hot air. This actually makes them last LONGER. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken or snapped regular elastic hair ties and had to replace them after just a couple of months. Once they’re stretched out, they become useless. They don’t hold my hair up and eventually break, usually IN my hair. Spiral hair ties are much better. They’ve lasted longer for me, left me with no headaches, don’t break and do not cause breakage.

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