Used human hair can be a problem. It is disposed of as waste in developed countries. Some individuals even dispose of it through the drainage system, which ends up blocking the drainage system. The accumulation of human and pet hairs on waste streams can be a problem for the environment.
The good news is that it does not have to be an issue. Every savvy gardener understands that composting hair is a free way of converting hair into nutrients for plants. Hair contains nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, sulfur, and oxygen. So can you compost hair? The answer is yes, but there are some pros and cons to keep in mind. So keep reading to find out if composting hair is for you!
Similar to other composting techniques, it can be traced back to Traditional Chinese Agriculture. It was also used in India. Farmers in India mixed human hair with cattle dung to create compost. Waste hair in India was also used to manufacture fertilizers. Farmers also applied it directly to the soil. Applying it directly to soil allows the soil to absorb more nitrogen nutrients.
Is Hair Compostable?
Although hair is overlooked, it is a source of nitrogen nutrients. Hair also contains other vital nutrients, including Sulphur, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. You can compose pet hair and human hair. Learn more below:
- Pet Hair
Hair from pets and other animals is compostable. You can obtain dog hair during grooming. Dog hair can also be obtained during vacuuming. Individuals who own high-shedding dog breeds are in luck. However, you should take care if you will be collecting the pet hair through vacuuming. The vacuumed hair might contain soil and dirt, which will slow down the process. Moreover, it might also have flakes of skin and human hair.
Solid floors like tiles and wooden flooring are ideal since you can use vacuumed dog hair. Things are even better for you if you have a high-shedding dog and you routinely vacuum your floor.
Apart from vacuuming and grooming, you can also obtain hair from dog groomers. All you need to do is ensure that it does not contain waste products.
- Human Hair
Is human hair compostable? You will be glad to know that you can compost waste human hair instead of disposing of it. Huma hair contains vital nutrients. Combining it with composted waste material and byproducts creates a great source of nutrients for plants.
You can obtain waste human hair from hair salons and barbershops. Cat hair is also compostable.
Benefits of Composting Hair
Composting hair is becoming popular due to various reasons. Apart from adding nutrients to the soil, composting hair is also good for the environment. Keep reading to discover the top benefits of composting hair:
- Composting Hair is Good for the Environment
Waste hair is readily available from groomers, hair salons, barbershops, and hairdressers. Composting reduces waste while providing vital nutrients to the plants. Moreover, using hair compost is healthier for the environment than chemicals and manufactured fertilizers.
- Composting Hair Reduces Landfill Waste
Although most people think that organic material, including hair, will decompose in a landfill, the reality is the process is slow. Besides, the nutrients produced when it decomposes will go to waste.
- Reducing Trash in Your Home
Composting hair is a free and cheap way of reducing the amount of trash going into your trash can. You will not have to buy new trash bags when you compost your hair and pet hair.
- A Source of Nutrients to the Soil
Compost hair adds vital nutrients like carbon and nitrogen to the soil. Plants require carbon and nitrogen for photosynthesis and growth. Adding compost hair also helps the soil to retain water for plant use.
- Adds Microorganisms to the Soil
Compost hair contains microorganisms, including fungi, protozoa, and bacteria. Adding these microorganisms to the soil improves aeration and convert nitrogen to a usable form. The microorganisms also repel plant diseases.
Disadvantages of Composting
Let us look at the common disadvantages of composting below:
- Composting hair nee so much work and monitoring.
- It may attract snakes, bugs, and rats.
- Compost hair produces an unpleasant smell.
How to Compost Hair
Composting hair is not as hard as many people think. It is as simple as sprinkling it among the other composing green ingredients. It is advisable to spread it out to speed up the process. You can also place a tarp over the compost pile to speed up the process. The tarp retains moisture to break down the particles.