Ahlstrom and Terre de Couleur develop fiber-based hair cap to curb single-use plastic consumption in the beauty industry

Through a unique value-chain collaborative innovation, sustainable specialty materials leader Ahlstrom and cosmetic brand Terre de Couleur have launched a biodegradable and reusable, fiber-based hair cap for home and professional cosmetic use.

Terre de Couleur had an ambitious goal – to remove or decrease the plastic content in their single-use 100% plastic hair cap without compromising the performance nor the usage experience and comfort of hair professionals and consumers alike.

“This objective was in direct line with Ahlstrom’s journey of ‘from Plastic to Purpose’ where we examine the full customer experience and product performance to not only invent a more sustainable end-use product but to add value in the product’s full life cycle,” said Dr. Clothilde Manzano, Head of New Business Development for Ahlstrom. “Ahlstrom and Terre de Couleur’s direct partnership allowed for a ‘boundless’ view of our Genuine Vegetable Parchment (GVP) paper technology, resulting in more sustainability and sense for the end use.”

“In salons and homes around the world, thousands of plastic caps are thrown away each day because they cannot be reused or recycled,” said Nazish Munchenbach with Terre de Couleur. “In line with our brand values, our objective was to find an accessible and efficient option that had a more positive end-of-life after its final use.”

Thanks to Ahlstrom’s Genuine Vegetable Parchment (GVP) paper’s unique attributes, this hair cap which is composed of 100% cellulose fibers and does not contain chemical additives feels silky and flexible once wet. The cap offers many advantages in cosmetic applications such as shower use, hair mask applications, and hair coloring in professional or home setting to allow:

  • Hair protection
  • Maintains optimal humidity and heat for color or hair care setting
  • Hand washable and reusable
  • Chain-of-Custody Forestry Certified according to FSC® and PEFC™ standards
  • Ahlstrom’s Genuine Vegetable Parchment certified home compostable with OK COMPOST HOME from TÜV and industrially compostable with OK COMPOST from TÜV (EN13432)

“The reuse component of these caps is also a key contributor in its positive sustainability attributes,” Munchenbach further explained. “The caps can withstand more than 20 uses, yet they may fully compost in a 14-day period.”

Beyond their use in professional hair salons, this product replaces the traditional plastic caps in home coloring kits.

“The team at Terre de Couleur has proven the effectiveness of this cap, and we are ready to work across the beauty supply chain to apply these learnings to achieve plastic replacement in other cosmetic applications,” Manzano of Ahlstrom commented.