We all know that if hair is long enough we can donate it for wigs. But what about the 99.9% of hair that isn't long enough?
There are many ways to recycle hair including making hair booms and hair mats as well as using it for gardening and composting.
Hair booms and mats
It's no secret that hair absorbs oil --- we’ve all had oily hair at some point!
It was this simple idea that led to the concept of hair booms and hair mats. An American hairdresser back in 1989 named Phil McCroy came up with the idea of using hair to stop the spread of oil in the sea.
Essentially, a hair boom is hair cuttings of any length or colour tightly packed into cotton or nylon tubes. When placed in either water or on the shores of beaches, these booms will stop oil from spreading, saving wildlife and the natural landscape.
We will also be getting the machinery to make hair mats. Hair mats can be used in a similar way to the booms, they can be used on land, parks, gardens and even your street or driveway. Hair mats can be used for oil or water and there have already been great results seen when used by plumbers, mechanics, and in local parks.
Recent Oil Spill
This spill in 2021 came from farmland in Northern Ireland, red diesel oil was leaking into the sea. Unfortunately, the high tide took a lot of it away but many of the shoreline rocks had trapped the oil allowing us time to get in and clean it up! At the time of this picture GSC had collected about 400kgs of hair and we used about 30-45kgs of hair over this weekend in the clean up.
We are the first manufacturer of hair booms and mats in the UK and Ireland!
100% OF ANY MONEY MADE SELLING HAIR BOOMS AND MATS GOES TO CHARITY
Gardening and composting
One of the first things we learn about hair is that it is a protein and, like other proteins, it will breakdown when composted. It is also rich in nitrogen which is excellent food for plants.
So throwing away hair is like throwing away food!
We give hair that doesn't make it to a boom or a mat to local farmers and gardeners. But we still encourage you to to try adding it to your home compost! It will enrich your homegrown or allotment veggies.
Please note that hair takes much longer to break down than most of the rest of what you put in your compost. Don’t be surprised when you turn and turn and turn that pile and while everything else turns to soft black goodness your hair may remain as is for up to two years!
Hair is also a key area of interest for us in our Research & Development department.
Green Salon Collective's R&D seeks to advance knowledge around sustainability for the hair and beauty industry. We are especially interested in finding new and unique circular solutions for hair and salon waste.