Back to school: Organising hair ties

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

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I apologise to all my readers that only have boys, however today’s post is how I organise all those hundreds of hair ties my girls have.  Yes we have alot which you will see in the photo’s below, but hair ties are one of those things that always are left at school, friends houses, fall out in the pool or vacuumed up, so this supply will diminish quite fast.  Most of the hair ties (all the pretty coloured ones) were given as gifts.  I can’t remember the last time I brought a pink hair tie.  The only colour i buy are the ones which match their school uniform.

As you all know I have replaced my pantry containers with Tupperware, but before this I was using Decor containers.  I re-purposed (love that word) these containers to sort the hair ties by colour.

And used these containers to organise headbands, brushes and combs

 Our bathroom cabinets are quite small they wouldn’t fit all these hair ties in their tiny drawers.  As I am still doing the girls hair for them I find it convenient to store the hair ties in these drawers in this nook below.  Hidden behind my stereo I have a spray bottle with home made detangler (see below) which I use to dampen their hair and next to the cabinet I have hiding a step stool which the girls sit on while I do their hair.

I know because I am going to write about it I am jinxing myself, however, touch wood, my little pretties have not come home with nits. My tips to hopefully prevent these little creepy crawlies:

  • Always wear hair up (I’ve included some hairstyle photo’s below)
  • We wash hair on a Sunday and Friday nights and always just after a swim in the pool.  Nits love ultra clean hair.
  • I use detangler everyday in their hair.

Homemade Hair Detangler

  1. Use a spray bottle, one with a fine mist is great (reuse one of the detangler bottles you may have).
  2. Add 1 part of your favourite conditioner to 9 parts water.
  3. Shake bottle to mix together.
  4. I have seen other recipes using 1/2 conditioner 1/2 water, you’ll get the feel of how much you would prefer.  Especially if you or your child has curly hair you may prefer more conditioner.
  5. Remember to shake bottle before each use.

Ok, i’m not too up on what you call these hair styles but I call this one the inside out braid pigtail style

 I didn’t use the detangler spray this day, you can see all the stray hairs.  The detangler would usually keep them all at bay.  Love this one, it’s a little bit different to a normal plait, I call it the knot plait.

See video tutorial for the hair style above HERE

Hope this has given you some ideas on how to store all those hairties and keep those horrible little nits away.

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Caz Filmer January 21, 2011 - 3:53 PM

Hi Katrina, with three girls my house is full of hairstyles and they seem to dissappear continually!! thanks for the detangler idea – I'll be trying that for sure 🙂

Cassandra Eastwood January 21, 2011 - 5:08 PM

Hi Katrina,with a house full of boys, i would like to know if you spray the detangler into your boys hair to help with the nits? I hope this isnt a stupid question. I am just over the nit thing last year felt like my youngest boy who is the fashionable boy (he has the longer hair) continually had nits and dont want them back again this year. Cheers

Katrina January 21, 2011 - 6:29 PM

It's not a silly question at all. My son keeps his hair really short, he is a real sweater so I am sure this is why nits haven't jumped into his hair yet. However, there is no harm in trying the detangler in your son's hair, will at least be easier for him to comb. Does he wash it regularly? If so, try washing it every 3rd day, nits really like clean hair. Hope this helps!!

The Hungry Housewive January 21, 2011 - 6:25 PM

Thank you for posting! Am about to redo our drawers in the bathroom and I like the idea of the Tupperware (which my family doesn't use anymore anyways). I LOVE to organize but my 16yr old is a slob…drives me NUTS! For make-up, I bought inexpensive office supply organizers (black tray- similar to silverware drawer organizers). Works GREAT! The spaces are long and small which work good for eyeliners/mascaras or small eye-shadows/lip glosses. Thanks for sharing!

Katrina January 21, 2011 - 6:30 PM

I love that tip of using the stationery organisers, will keep that in mind for sure!!

Jenn January 21, 2011 - 6:49 PM

Hi Katrina,

Love your knot plait, can you give us a quick how to please, I would love to try it for my DD's hair.

Also, my hairdresser gave me a tip to add 10 drops each of lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus oil to your detangler mix to keep those pesky nits away.



Katrina February 15, 2011 - 11:10 PM

Lavender, tea tree oil & eucalyptus? what a smelly combo, if I were a nit I wouldn't stick around either 🙂 Thanks for the tip.

Debra January 21, 2011 - 6:50 PM

anither good idea to keep nits at bay is to put some tea tree oil in with the detangler.

Katrina February 15, 2011 - 11:10 PM

Great tip Debra, thanks for that 🙂

Kristine January 21, 2011 - 7:55 PM

See I'm not to sure on the clean hair thing. My kids only wash their hair once a week or so and they seemed to CONSTANTLY get nits last year.. I am dreading back to school this year.

However I am going to try the detangler and Tee Tree oil in their hair each morning… thanks..

Katrina February 15, 2011 - 11:12 PM

Hope your kids are still nit free this year, keep up the tea tree oil detangler and you should hopefully see some difference. See other comments as some readers have added their nit tips too. good luck

Rachel Bradley January 21, 2011 - 8:15 PM

I was told to put tea tree in a bottle of water and spray on hair for nits too. The only down side was the smell! so i'd make sure their hair was washed every night!

I'd also like a how to for the hair! looks great! i have 2 girls and my oldest has thick hair that drives me insane! she is starting prep this year and i'd love to be able to do something that will hold for the whole day!.. love the hair organiser idea, at the moment i've sorted my girls into little containers and store them in tinkerbell lunchbox (it's great because it fits the brushes and bottle of detangler.. but looking for an easier solution, so i might give this a go! thanks for your tips :0)

Katrina February 15, 2011 - 11:15 PM

thanks Rachel, glad you're liking the tips. Go with what works best for you, hope you've got it all sorted now and are feeling more organised 🙂

Sandy August 3, 2013 - 11:57 AM

Oh, yes Kat. Tea Tree is another great product. Though, incidentally Rachel, my daughters adore the smell of tea tree! My youngest is an absolute dear and sometimes goes a little bit wild with the spray.

Katrina August 5, 2013 - 7:55 PM

I have been putting tea tree in the water and so far touch wood it’s been quite awhile since we had any nasties

Nicole January 21, 2011 - 9:10 PM

Hi Katrina, I have the pack of 3 tub with lids from Ikea for my daughter, pink for all elastics, yellow for clips and the white one for the jewlery she seems to collect! love the detangler idea. How do you do the braid on the outside? I can do the old fashoined way, but not this way. My daughter starts school this year, so looking ideas for long hair.

thanks Nicole

Katrina February 15, 2011 - 11:19 PM

Thanks for reading my blog, I'm glad you're getting some good ideas. How's your daughter liking school? Good luck with the hairstyles. I am not sure if you have seen it but I posted a video on how to do the knot plait, check it out if you get a chance 🙂

Leila January 22, 2011 - 7:25 PM

Love the idea, we currenty have a top drawer full of hair ties and a kitchen cupboard that needs sorting (and de cluttering… its on my list lol) so will have to re-purpose some of those containers i would have thrown out and clean up the bathroom drawer 🙂

I'd love a home made solution for spraying of a morning to deter lice.

Katrina February 15, 2011 - 11:21 PM

thanks leila, glad you like the ideas. Its so simple and you'll be surprised at how good you'll feel to be more organised in the bathroom

Carly January 26, 2011 - 6:15 AM

Hi Nicole, my sister used to do inside out braids in my hair all the time when we were kids. you still separate the hair into three sections but instead of pulling the outside piece of hair over the middle piece you pull it under. each time you grab a new piece of hair to add to the braid you continue with the under rather than over method 🙂

Teresa January 17, 2012 - 10:00 AM

Hi Katrina, Love your blog and love todays post. I too can’t wait to try some of the ‘dos” you have shown here today. On the topic of nits, I had one daughter who almost two years ago, was constantly coming home with nits. It drove me and her crazy to the point of tears. I tried everything to deter them and finally my Aunt (who is a teacher in tropical Nth Qld) put me onto a mixture of Neem, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and any other oil to pretty up the smell (we use Lavender). (Neem is not the most pleasant smelling oil). Since the day we began using the Neem mixture we have had not one case of nits (altough most of her classmates have). I recomend this to anyone who wants to deter nits. My Aunt uses the mixture in a cold pressed oil and rubs it into the hair, however, we have been adding the mixture to water and use it as a spray, so be assured both ways work wonders. They key ingredient is the Neem Oil. I researched it on the web before I tried it and even found one site that recomends you add the Neem Oil to your Shampoo and Conditioner, although we haven’t tried that. Good luck everyone !

Storme Martin February 2, 2014 - 10:15 PM

Please can you tell me what Neem is? I live in South Africa and work in a Nursery school and think this recipe will help lots of parents. Wondering if I might find it here. Thank you.

Lisa August 1, 2014 - 9:01 PM

Storme Martin, Google Neem Oil and it is available via an internet store (I think based in Aus). It is sourced (apparently) from a nut in India and has all sorts of helpful uses, but is a winner with Nits.

julieann January 17, 2012 - 9:01 PM

After months of my thick haired daughter bring home nits, I soaked her sheets, combed through her hair. I started thinking that I was the only parent out there who seemed concerned by nits.
I went through the extreme stage of one a week washing and treating her hair fortnightly for nits, regardless of infestation. It is nice to see I am not alone.
We are loving the holidays and the relaxed approach to hair maintenance. We have our hair out, blowing in the wind.
Long live the deterrent. Prevention is the best defense.

Gayemurphy February 10, 2012 - 10:18 PM

After the last few weeks of school – I thought I had a good system worked out for the clips & hair ties – not so! (couldn’t find any between both of the girls!) So I went on the look for the larger sized containers today – as we seem to lose the head bands no matter how I try to organise them “prettily” on the duchess… found some inexpensive ones at a ‘cheap shop’ & when the kids were home from school, I immediately got our eldest daughter to find her “nicer” headbands & put them in it straight away! Am yet to find a permanent space for it – but at the moment if it can prevent the headbands from being stood on, lost or broken – that’s half the battle! So my next challenge is to find suitable containers for the clips & ties, (different from what I thought would work) then find a place to store them that will be useful but not overly accessible by little curious fingers!

Melissa February 15, 2012 - 7:06 PM

Apart from the sprays, the cheapest and easiest way to control and prevent hair lice/nits is to buy a cheap bottle of conditioner, nit comb and box of tissues. Position your child on a stool or floor in front of you and section out their hair. cover each small section of hair with conditioner, nits hate this and cannot move. grab nit comb and a tissue, comb through each part of the section and wipe onto tissue.
You need to repeat this process over the whole head, getting new tissues as you go. This should be done once a week in high infestation periods and trust me not only with you get rid of the different stages of both eggs, nits and lice but their hair will be beautiful. Best of all it doesn’t contain all the pesticides and it’s cheap as!!

Katrina February 15, 2012 - 8:42 PM

I haven’t heard of this technique, thankyou so much for sharing it Melissa.

Nicole Kathleen Kozlovskis September 6, 2012 - 4:18 PM

Hi Katrina! I absolutely love this!! as a mother of 3 girls – all ballerinas – our ties, bun nets, boby pins, hairdryers, sprays, etc etc drawers are always very messy! I am going to put these containers on my shopping list tomorrow and sort out these drawers once and for all! Now I will only have to train the girls to keep it looking like that! I run a Mothers of (Only) Girls group and I would love to put this on our Facebook page if you don’t mind.
Thanks for helping me!!!!
Nicky Kozlovskis

Zoe September 6, 2012 - 9:28 PM

My way of keeping my girls hair ties in order is to use one of those plastic containers with all the separate compartments. It also has a lid s theycan’t get mixed

Zoe September 6, 2012 - 9:31 PM

Sorry on my phone.. it has a lid and can’t get mixed up. I found it in the hardware section of Bigw. I also use the conditioner trick to remove headlice but also add a few drops of tea tree oil as well.

Liliam September 7, 2012 - 2:57 PM

Katrina where did u get the little container for the small ties? I’ve been looking for them in whole sydney with not luck 🙁 I think yours are perfect for my daughter’s drawer too

Caroline Murphy October 2, 2012 - 10:07 PM

we use a small fishing tackle box for hair ties, just a cheap one, but you can choose to make the compartments big or little depending on what’s in it. i love that the lid closes and it doesn’t matter if it gets knocked over and it can be taken where ever in the house we are doing hair. love the braids, must try them out.

Camilla August 3, 2013 - 11:53 AM

I love these ideas and the de-tangler is very useful (I tried it). Though I must admit that my cousin has been a professional (and locally renowned) hairdresser for nearly 30 years and she has distinctly and surely stated that nits don’t care whether your hair is clean, dirty, or indifferent. They just like having a scalp to feed and breed on. Well, that just made my job as a mother slightly more worrying (though I can recommend a wonderful product for nit “extermination” that is all-natural and has never failed me or any of my friends and family members)

Rebecca Pryde September 20, 2013 - 2:49 PM

Hi! I just reorganised my girls hair ties. I have a pic of it! I just got a jewellery hanger thing from Target, Howards Storage world have them too. It hangs over the edge of the shower screen in the main bathroom, and it still just out of reach of Miss 4. 😉 I’ve also got the remnants of clips there too. I do what you do with brushes and hair spray and leave-in conditioner, they are in a container in the bathroom cupboard though. 🙂 I’m the same with you with my girls so far no nits … Miss 4 has been at kindy all this year and not picked it up, and Miss 12 has never had nits … lets cross our fingers they don’t! 😛

Sarah January 5, 2015 - 2:17 AM

My daughter puts a lot of hair product in the children’s hair to ward off lice ad checks their hair regularly. She has had no problems.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 6, 2015 - 9:33 AM

Hi Sarah, that is great. When my daughter was younger i used to use a solution of tea tree oil and water in a squirty bottle as i was doing her hair and it worked well.:) ~ Kate


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