In Belgium, you can recycle your hair after

Originally published at: In Belgium, you can recycle your hair after | Boing Boing


For some reason that dangling headline made me think “… after you die,” which I had two reactions to:

  1. “Good idea! Why cremate perfectly good hair when it could go to wigs for cancer patients”


  1. “Wasn’t there a brief funeral scene in Water World where they were salvaging a dead person’s hair before recycling the body into a tank of goop?”

If animal fur works then they should look into collecting fur from pet grooming businesses. Have you seen how much hair you can get from a large double coated dog? The amount never ends.


Locks of Love is a US charity that collects donated hair for making wigs for children who have lost hair from cancer, burns or other medical conditions. I think you need a foot or two for it to be worthwhile. A friend has given yards of herself over the years. Four stars on Charity Navigator.


So don’t dispose of it after you clean out that shower trap.

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As long as it stays out of my Soylent Green…

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Huh? That has not been my experience, so why do you think it was stated here? Maybe it was mis-translated.

What I read there is, “Hair is made up of 95% keratin, a protein that gives it elasticity, resistance, flexibility and water insolubility.” That means it is NOT water-soluble.

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Or maybe someone saw Superman IV and thought that kind of hair strength is just typical.


(Ok, maybe you weren’t referring to the strength thing but that stood out to me.)

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It should have read “you can recycle your hair in the hereafter”.

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The project said on its website that hair has powerful properties: one strand can support up to 10 million times its own weight, and as well as absorbing fat and hydrocarbons, it is water-soluble and highly elastic due to its keratin fibres.

Maybe typical hair is very different from mine, but this sounds like complete BS.

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I just chuck mine out of the window, so the birds can make nests from it. (My hair is a lot like sheep’s wool)


I saw about this project before on the television or some other news segment. The hair mats that are being made are currently being tested for collecting oil and other pollutants in the harbor, with the idea being that if the tests work, plans can be made for larger, industrial scale production. Barber shops and hair salons can then earn an obol or two by selling the bags of cuttings swept up from the floor.

And to the best of my knowledge, there’s nothing stating that pet fur clippings can’t also be used, @Grey_Devil. The hair doesn’t have to be a certain length, or a certain condition. It’s just the keratin that is important.

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