Monday, June 15, 2009

It's a Hair Affair ...

My family is THE BEST!! Not only have they supported and encouraged this blog ... they actively participate. Case in point ... this post. The idea for this article came from my California family (a special thanks to R for always being on the lookout for new, green ideas).

You've heard the "green" mantra a gazillion times ... Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. You'll notice that "contribute to the landfill" isn't included. That's because living a green life means trying to avoid garbage. We even try to avoid biodegradable garbage because landfills are anaerobic environments and without air, items can't decompose. So, we find new uses for things ... we recycle, we compost ... we try, very hard, not to toss out anything.

And that brings us to today's subject ... Hair. Yep, hair! If you have hair, then you probably cut it ... and comb it ... and brush it. And that means that there is hair ... cut hair, hair in combs and brushes ... which is no longer being used. What happens to it? Usually ... it gets tossed out. But did you know that it can be reused and recycled? Yes indeedy ... here are some ideas:

  • Nests. Birds love hair for nesting material. Scatter hair from brushes and combs, and hair clippings, in the yard for their use. Don't forget the hair from your dog or cat ... it can be tossed in the yard as well. Birds will pick it up and use it. And don't worry about what they don't use ... it'll decompose.
  • Snail Repellent. Having trouble with snails in your garden? Just toss some hair around the plants ... snails will go elsewhere.
  • Deer Repellent. If you're lucky enough to have deer in your area, you might not feel so lucky when they start munching on your plants. To discourage them from using your yard as their favorite buffet, scatter hair around.
  • Hair Mats. Here's an amazing video about cleaning up oil spills with mats made from human hair. If your salon isn't already participating in this program ... ask them to:

  • Locks of Love. If you have long hair, 10 inches or longer, and are considering a shorter "do", donate your hair to Locks of Love. This organization helps kids with cancer who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
  • Compost. Did you know that human hair can be composted? Yep ... it makes a great, slow release fertilizer. Who knew!
  • Stuffing for pin cushions. Human hair, because of it's oil content, makes a great stuffing for pin cushions. The oil keeps the pin from rusting.
  • Arts and Crafts. Okay ... this last one is for the die-hard repurposers among us. I've read that hair can be used in weaving and needle felting. It can be used to make clothing and furniture. Some people have used it to stuff pillows and even mattresses.
Hair ... it's one less thing in the landfill.

By the way ... be sure to stop by on Wednesday for another "Change The World" challenge. And there's still time to accomplish this week's challenge (to read it, click HERE)

As always ... I would love to hear from you!


  1. Our pet pig is shedding now, and I recently noticed some birds collecting his hair out on the back patio. Obviously, they were nesting; and I guess pig hair appealed to them (who would've thunk it?).

    Anyway, I've been using his "compost" to fertilize the yard (roses love it!) but never thought about spreading hair around to get rid of the snails. Beats chemical snail bait any day. As always, thanks for sharing!


  2. Did not know about the snail thing, since I have 2 german shepherds that are "inside/outside" dogs, they are always blowing their coats. Now I can put that to good use!

    Victorian era women also used hair in jewelry. Lockets and such. I have even seen bracelets and parts of necklaces made from human hair.

  3. I throw my hair out in the yard for the birds to take away. There is a place up in alaska that put human hair in long tub like things to help clean up an oil spill. It was really cool!
    When I die one of my friends is going to shave my head and give it all to locks of love.

  4. Here's another wonderful article on hair mats ... from our bloggy friend Heather:

    Thanks, Heather!

  5. Great ideas. I have been using it for compost and spreading it in the yard for birds. I have also read that it works to keep rabbits and raccoons out of your garden. I did not know about the use for oil spills, will have to check with my hair salon the next time I'm there. Thanks for the info.

  6. Very interesting, and a little creepy at the same time!! For some reason, once hair is no longer on someone's head, it's kind of gross! These are great ideas though, and I will share them with others!

  7. These are great tips, especially about the snails that munched up the plants. My dog has got a lot of hair. Will that work too for the snails and slugs?

  8. Rae ... as I understand it, dog and cat hair works just as well. I haven't tried it out myself.

    Take Care!


  9. I agree with Andrea--creepy, but interesting!