Sweeny Todd

Had the hair chopped today.  Barber was busy, and my idle curiosity turned to the fate of the vast amounts of hair they must sweep up.  Does it go to any kind of recycling?  Maybe to produce energy, or even compost?  I asked: apparently not.

Does anyone have a process to make constructive use of chopped hair?  If not, why not?

Posted on May 3, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is largely guesswork, but…

    Long, luxuriant hair, when sheared on a large scale, is sometimes used in the manufacture of wigs. I understand India has a thriving wig industry on this basis. But the hair of people like you and me is neither long nor rich enough to be worth wigging.

    Burning hair smells notoriously unpleasant. That means that if you burn it, you want to do it in a properly contained furnace. And hair probably doesn’t burn all that hot. Low-temperature power generation is still a pretty small-scale business, and you’d have to be pretty desperate for fuel before you tried harvesting hair from your local barbers – the total mass produced per shop per day can’t be all that great – compared with, say, coppicing willow trees.

    There may be applications for that hair, but I don’t think you’ve hit on a viable one yet.

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