Recycling and recovery: A second life for our hair

Absorbing hydrocarbons, fertilizer, healing, thermal or phonic insulation, … Hair has many unsuspected virtues.

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  • To clean up the oceans

The hair represents a large quantity of waste for the hairdressing salons, then why not to recycle them and to use them wisely ? The idea of Thierry Gras, hairdresser in Saint-Zacharie (Var), is to recover the hair of his salon and transform it into puddings in order to make them depolluting for the oceans, the seas, the rivers and the streams. A 1 kg hair sausage recovers the value of 8 liters of hydrocarbons. This transformation into a sock can be used up to 5 times.

They have unsuspected qualities. They are lipophilic, i.e. they absorb fats and hydrocarbons. Immersed in the ports for example, they will retain the solar oils or oil. A technique used during important oil spills.

In 1978, Brittany experienced a very important oil spill following the sinking of the Amoco Cadiz, during which the Bretons had used hair covered with women’s tights to recover the hydrocarbons.

  • Agricultural fertilizer

Mixed with wool, the hair becomes a mulch mat, which avoids weeding and maintains humidity at the foot of the plants, thus limiting watering. Moreover, the hair, rich in nutrients useful to the plant growth, is a real source of fertilizer and moreover, natural.

  • Thermal and phonic insulation

Consisting of a layer of insulating air, thus avoiding heat loss, hair is a good thermal and sound insulator. In Great Britain, a woman specialized in ancestral techniques of construction, uses hair to renovate houses. It is a thermal and phonic insulator but also a reinforcement to the building materials by being incorporated in the plaster of the walls.

  • Medical and cosmetic use

Composed of 95% keratin which helps to accelerate healing, the harvested hair is used for medical research.

  • Repel animals from fields or vineyards

In the fields or in the vineyards, animals can be a nuisance to the plantations. To remedy this problem, some farmers disperse hair to scare away rabbits, hares, boars or deer. When animals approach plantations decorated with bags of hair, the human scent contained in the hair has a repulsive effect on these animals.


So don’t throw your hair in the garbage, give it a second life!

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A propos de Charlène MERCK