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Paper Not Foil: What You Need To Know (And More)

After much anticipation, the New Zealand based Paper Not Foil has launched in North America!

If you somehow haven’t heard of it, Paper Not Foil is the world’s first eco-alternative to hair foils and plastic wraps.

Reusable, degradable, recyclable and compostable, this holistic hairstylist approved aluminum foil alternative hits all the sustainable marks. But there is so much more to know! Here are the top takeaways from the Launch + Learn Webinar linked above.


Set your alarm! Paper Not Foil LIVE DEMO happening tomorrow, October 23 at 2PM EST on our Facebook Page. Follow us on @SimplyOrganicBeauty!

PNF is All-around Eco

Although the name says paper, Paper Not Foil is actually made out of construction waste.

In addition, the manufacturing process is as eco-friendly as possible. No water is used and it is powered by solar energy. This means from manufacturing to disposal of Paper Not Foil, you are lowering carbon emissions, eliminating toxic runoff and saying goodbye to processes that strip natural resources.

Then, when you do decide to dispose of it, it turns to dust, with no harm to our environment, people, plants and wildlife.


Tech Tips from the Expert

  • Hold Paper Not Foil towards the top for full control.
  • Only use the length you absolutely need—cut in half or in threes for short hair, medium-length hair or new growth.
  • If you’re concerned about slippage or bleeds, clip either side of the paper at the bottom to act as a lever.
  • And don’t be alarmed by small wear + tear after wash! Paper is meant to degrade and may crinkle slightly, for example, after the first wash. This doesn’t affect performance or results.

Best Cleaning Practices

Clean Paper Not Foil in the way that is most convinient based on your personell and salon space.

Rinsing at the basin is great for slow days, while machine washing might be the go-to for days you can’t get a free second. You can also keep a full bucket of water by the basin and after coloring with Paper Not Foil, throw them into the water to soak during the day so the dye can begin to soak off.

You can either machine dry or hang to dry. Air drying is suggested and it only takes Paper minutes to dry. If you need to reuse the same Paper in one day, you won’t be held up.

If you use the machines to wash or dry at all, be sure to include a few dirty salon towels in with the load.

How About Fashion Colors?

When working on clients that want brighter and bolder colors—mainly your reds, purples, greens and blues—Paper may stain. Founder Amanda Buckingham doesn’t recommend reusing them on lighter hair colors such as blondes.

However, since Paper Not Foil is completely degradable, you don’t have to feel bad about tossing them after one use if that is what your salon is most comfortable doing. We suggest saving them for the next bold color client that you get!

When to Dispose

Paper Not Foil is part of Recycling String #2, meaning it is one of the most common and widely accepted products. Basically, this means you can rest assured that if you put it in the proper bin, it will be recycled.

However, whatever you do with Paper, it will eventually break down into dust. This makes it a great option for composting, but if it does end up in a landfill, it will degrade within months. So even if you throw it into the trash bin, it won’t clog up landfills or waterways.


As with the adoption of any new product into your salon, there will be an adjustment period. Amanda Buckingham says she doesn’t like to complicate it more than it’s worth. Paper Not Foil is a truly customizable product that will allow you to work and reuse in the way that is best for your salon. You will simply be forming a new habit–one your customers and the earth will thank you for!

Dying to try? Shop below!


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