Learned: Fixing Hair Ties

Don't you hate it when this happens to your hair bands? 

image.jpg

I do. And in the past I always thought it meant the end of the tie, but no longer! I seriously just bought these ties and I love the color and the tightness of them. I was determined to salvage this tie in some way because I knew it boded ill for the rest of the pack and I want my money's worth dang it! I mean, they were under three dollars, so what else am I to expect? Haha; Nevertheless, I still wanted to fix it.

I noticed that the two ends of the band had been melted together. So I took a lighter to it. I quickly realized that would not work because the flame was not nearly precise enough and melted the material around the fuse point.

I then thought of how in the olden days they cauterized wounds by heating a knife red hot and searing the flesh together. So I took the lighter to my pin knife. I quickly realized that would not work because the tip of the knife wouldn't get nearly hot enough and the heat I did put it through discolored the blade.

Then I thought of how in electrical systems engineers use a soldering iron. Since I unfortunately don't have one, I took a paper clip, unbent one end, and cut of the plastic wrapping of that end with my knife. Then I took the lighter to the far tip. I quickly realized it would work perfectly.

Since I couldn't use use two hands to hold the band ends together, I taped it down to the metal edge of the sink. The heat in the paper clip only lasted long enough to get about two seconds of melting time, so I had to reheat it seve times. I also had to maneuver the band and retape several times so I could get all the way around it.

Finally, I finished and picked it up to test the fuse's tensil strength. I stretched it and... it snapped. I tried soldering it again and it snapped again.

Then I thought of how I'd seen engineers with soldering irons hold a rod of metal in the other hand. I realized it wasn't just a bad fusing that made it break initially; there simply wasn't wnough material to hold it. I considered my options and wondered if I had some nylon thread; nylon will melt and fuse together whereas cotton will just burn.

Nylon wasn't to be found, but never fear! polyester thread I had in plenty. It melted beautifully.

I fused the band together by itself a third time and then wrapped it in polyester thread. This was a mistake. While some of the thread melted where I wanted it to, the rest broke away and fused at the ends and created a mess. In the end, I piled little bits of thread onto where I wanted to add material and melted it down that way. In the future, I plan to have a single long thread in one hand and feed it onto my "soldering iron."

It isn't pretty, but when I stretched it to chek its hold, it worked wonderfully.

The broken bits where the white rubber is showing through are where I accidentally burned the fabric. Really want to avoid that actually; it weakens the band. 

The broken bits where the white rubber is showing through are where I accidentally burned the fabric. Really want to avoid that actually; it weakens the band. 

Thus concludes my adventures in fixing a hair tie.