KOOSHOO Rounds: an FAQ about our Glue
To avoid any sticky situations, we want to be fully transparent about the glue we use in our Rounds.
KOOSHOO Flats (shown above) are hand-sewn and we're able to do this because, well, they're flat. Two pieces of flat fabric can be sewn together to create a bond so strong under pressure that they will not snap - (think 5x stronger than any round hair tie you've ever used, trust us, we’ve done the stress tests in a lab!)
And while our plastic-free, biodegradable Flats are still a favourite, we knew there was a huge demand for a KOOSHOO hair tie in a traditional circular shape to further round out our hair game. Unfortunately, a round shape cannot be sewn closed, it can only be glued. We were stuck.
KOOSHOO Flats Hair Ties in Classics
For months we reached out to glue manufacturers and chemistry professors across the planet in search of a compostable, plant-based glue. While these glues exist, we discovered that none of them have the strength to bind textiles, especially when it comes to a product that needs to bear a load like a KOOSHOO hair tie. At least not yet.
This effectively leaves one option for binding this type of round hair tie: Cyanoacrylate Adhesive. In other words, superglue. There’s a reason it’s called “super,” but we didn’t see it that way. So we did a deep dive and ultimately decided to work with CA for our much-loved Rounds in the safest way possible while we invest in research and development, with the goal of transitioning to a plant-based solution within the next 12-24 months.
To put your minds at ease, here are some answers to the FAQ we get about CA.
Q. What is Cyanoacrylate Adhesive?
A. Cyanoacrylate Adhesive is a family of strong fast-acting adhesives with industrial, medical, and household uses. This quick-bonding glue is used in everything from woodworking to medicine.
Q. Is it toxic?
A. This adhesive is generally considered non-toxic. In fact, some variations have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for direct skin contact applications, like in first aid.
Q. Is it harmful to my health?
A. CA poses zero health concerns. Once the product has dried in the manufacturing process, it won’t ever become liquid again - so it is effectively harmless. If you have used a round hair tie in the past, it was sealed with CA. The health of our customers is as important to us as the health of our workers and the planet.
Q. Is it harmful to my hair?
A. Once dried, it is not harmful to hair or skin. And like with all KOOSHOO products, the Rounds are gentle and soft on hair, meaning no snags or hard edges at the adhesion point for the hair to get stuck or tangled in.
Q. Is it biodegradable?
A. The short answer is no. However, because of the strength of the adhesive only the most miniscule amount is used in the creation of a hair tie. So while the glue itself will not quickly biodegrade (everything, technically, will biodegrade eventually), the other 99.8% of the hair tie will. If you’ve ever used a round hair tie, it too was sealed with CA. However, unlike the KOOSHOO Rounds, the rest of that tie was not made from plants.
This is not the perfect solution, and we are committed to finding a better one. Full strength and 100% plant-based is our goal and we hope to make it happen within the next 2 years.
Q. Is it harmful to workers?
A. KOOSHOO has always put the planet and its people first (see all Sustainability commitments here). We focus on ethical treatment, fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable practices that empower both the creator and the consumer.
With that in mind, we took extra care to ensure that the ethical and cultural values of our manufacturer in Japan aligned with ours. Japan is known for their meticulous standards when it comes to the health and treatment of artisans, and we chose to partner with a family-owned business with the same commitment to quality, integrity and craftsmanship without compromise. We chose to spend the extra money to ensure the highest standards at all points on the supply chain and this ultimately resulted in the strongest round hair tie in the market.
Here’s the science: While cyanoacrylates pose as a possible mild irritant, they immediately polymerize and become inert when exposed to moisture (including the water present in the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract). The glue is applied while wearing simple protective equipment (gloves, goggles and mask) - so the workers are never in direct contact with the glue or fumes.
However, to further ensure that the safety of workers is fully upheld and health risks are further reduced, we ensure that all work is performed in well-ventilated areas and with protective equipment including masks, gloves and goggles. In other words, the risk of mild irritation is very low, and we do everything we can to mitigate the small risk even further.