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4 Strange Uses for Human Hair

Human hair has a lot of uses, and while most people are familiar with the most obvious one – to make beautiful human hair wigs – very few people know of the other uses that human hair has. From the avant garde to more industrial cases, human hair can be used for a variety of different things including manufacturing, environmental cleanup, and even farming.

1. Human Hair Used as a Way of Cleaning up Oil Spills

In the late 1990s, NASA started researching how to use hair to help clean up oil spills in the ocean. The idea was that the individual strands are able to adsorb oil (the oil doesn’t bond with the hair, but it accumulates on the surface) and make it easy to remove it from the ocean quickly and efficiently. NASA worked with a hairdresser from Alabama to test the idea and the viability of use in major oil spills around the globe.

2. Human Hair Used to Grow Food

At first glance, it might seem a little gross to use human hair to grow food. However, one company used discarded human hair as a material for small mats that covered plant roots to help protect them from insects and harsh weather. The mats were weaved with the hair strands and acted as a barrier to the plant’s roots.

3. Human Hair Used to Test Chemicals

Cosmetic and care companies have vast research teams that have to test out the chemicals they use in their product developments on real hair. Since early-stage chemical tests don’t use actual volunteers, they purchase hair strands to experiment on. These strands have to be in top condition, though, and must meet strict requirements.

4. Human Hair Used as a Material for Furniture

As odd as it sounds, an ex-hairdresser has found a way to use human hair as a component in a new building material for furniture. Since hair is an incredibly strong and resilient material, the hairdresser, Ronald Thompson, thought it made sense to use it in other ways. He initially designed it as a way to replace fiberglass, but stated that it could be used in other ways in the future. The first product made out of the new material was a piece called the “Stiletto Chair“.




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