The Gross Reason Why You Need To Start Washing Your Hair Ties

Your list of items to clean may be constantly growing, but there might be one last place you forgot to look — your hair-tie drawer. If you've never thought to wash these, you're not alone. Whether they spend the majority of their time in your hair or on your wrist, they can accumulate a lot of grime. Putting these through a spin cycle is really important, especially after a sweat sesh.

Mindbodygreen explains that, just like clothes, hair ties can become magnets to dead skin cells, oils, bacteria and products. When you use them over and over again, you're putting the same old dirt and oil back onto your mane. If you've recently showered and washed your hair, using a dirty hair tie can leave your hair falling flat. The outlet notes that summertime is high time to wash your scrunchies since you're likely sweating more. If you've been exercising outdoors, this is particularly important. "Many fabrics absorb sweat and bacteria throughout the day, including hair ties and hairbands, especially during workouts," Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Well+Good.

The main culprits here are your scrunchies. With more fabric and surface area that accumulates debris, these elastics should regularly see the inside of your washing machine.

Dirty hair ties may impact your skin

If you're wondering how this can affect you, it has to do with your pillowcase. Well+Good details a chain reaction that begins with a dirty hair tie that transfers bacteria to your hair and later to your pillowcase, assuming you don't shampoo your tresses. While it's not life-threatening, it's definitely gross. "It's not a major issue for skincare unless the items come into contact with the skin, like headbands, which are rubbing and occluding the forehead and consistently contaminating skin with the combination of sweat and bacteria," Dr. Nazarian adds.

To wash your hair ties, Mindbodygreen suggests gently hand washing them. Simply fill your sink with warm water and a couple of drops of detergent, then let your hair ties sit for anywhere between ten minutes and a half-hour. Roll them out on a clean towel and hang them up to dry.

Dr. Nazarian offers another washing method, saying, "[Your hair ties] should be washed daily, and especially after every workout... For a simple hack, you can put them into the pockets of your clothing and throw them in the wash. They'll stay put and get clean right along with the rest of your clothes."

When washing yet another thing in your home is the last thing you want to do, you have a few other options. Well+Good suggests purchasing hair ties that have copper fibers inside — these naturally repeal various forms of bacteria and fungi. Otherwise, plastic ties will stay cleaner with fewer washes than any that are made of various fabrics.