Near by my home there are barber shops where they throw hair clippings in the dustbin and when the contents are burned it gives a bad smell.

How I can suggest them to properly dispose or recycle the hair clippings, so we can prevent this bad smell.

  • Hair can be used in clay to strengthen it for use on walls or buildings. In "Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time", he uses clay with hair on a large wall covered in clay.
    – rockerBOO
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 14:55
  • Composting seems likely to work but you can easily try ssome and see how it goes). Advice Here and Here and Hair :-) and Here and here + some other ideas Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 9:03
  • December 2021 item from the BBC. Hair from salons has been used in oil spill booms and as an ingredient in compost.
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 8:47

2 Answers 2

  1. There is a market for human hair:

    • Hair can be sold to people who create wigs or hair extensions. There is even an online calculator to determine the value of your hair.
    • Apparently hair is a good animal repellent so some gardeners will gladly take it (altough others say there is no proof for the effectiveness).
  2. Hair is an organic material that can be composted. It will probably slow down composting if added in large amounts, so you need to spread out the hair over a compost heap. It counts as a nitrogen source, so be sure to add some browns (carbon-rich materials such as cardboard for example) to get a good C:N ratio for composting. According to this article there are some disadvantages:

    • hair does take a long time, 1 or 2 years, to break down
    • you may need to be careful with chemically treated hair.

    More info on research on composting hair in this article on sciencedaily.com

  3. Someone suggested to use human hair as a substitute for toilet paper, but personally I'm rather unsure if this was a serious proposal and if it would really work (the post in question currently has a -2 score).


Hair can also be used to clean oil spills. Stuffed into upcycled pantyhose, it serves as an eco-friendly way of adsorbing oil spills which then allegedly can be composted with the help of worms.

Sources: BBC article, Vox video.

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