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Human/Animal Hair

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

I read that human hair has 40 times more nitrogen than manure...has anyone used hair for their garden? I think it would be easy to have a local salon give their clippings to you... even if you offered to sweep at the end of the day!
Is it worth it? Anyone?
Julie

Woodland Park, CO(Zone 4b)

You might be able to get salons to give you clippings. I'm not sure if this makes any difference at all...but hair is generally, if not always, cut *after* coloring and perms. So, you get what you get...

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

A good point - I had not thought about the treatments performed prior to cuts. I forgot that they usually use a leave in conditioner, too. I have no idea if these products are ok for composting...

Allen Park, MI(Zone 6a)

I'm going to do an article on composting. Human hair is a great souce of N. However it is slow to breakdown. You should not use any hair that has been treated with chemicials such as coloring or other "stuff" women use on their hair.

Paul

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

Perhaps the hair could be used as a layer in the compost heap. Are you including seaweed in your article? I used some as a topical compost this past year... I am always looking for stuff to add to the compost piles! I used llama dung as a Autumn top dressing on my garden this year... I have heard it is very good. Our heaps have always been table scraps, leaves, grass, & other vegetative scraps. By the third year it is black gold!

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

JRush,

I use lots of dog hair in my compost pile but it does take awhile for it to breakdown!! Don't ask how long I've never paid any attention.

Good source is pet grooming shops. I love it when they groom those poodles in the spring, but you should be able to get a good supply any time. Ask about their dryer lint also if it's a big shop because it contains a good supply which is intermingled with cotton lint making it easier to use. Word of caution, since hair mats together be sure to scatter well.

Judy

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

Good ideas - less likely to have chemicals in the pet hair!

Waterloo, IA(Zone 4b)

I've been a gardener and a barber for 35+ years. I've tried the hair for compost, mulch and animal deteriant. It seemed to never break down in the compost pile ( they've found mummies with hair). The rabbits and birds both have used it to nest in. And the Wind blows it away when used for mulch. I still think there has to be some use for it. I cut mostly mens hair, so the hair is generally chemical free.

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

I hadn't thought of that example - the mummies kept their hair! I trimmed off a few inches of my hair the other day & placed the clump in my compost heap... I would think the heat would break it down, but the mummy thing really puzzles me... perhaps in the absence of moisture? The Egyptians had the entire process of preservation down to an art!

Cape Cod, MA(Zone 7a)

Paul, do you regularly write for garden publications?

Woodland Park, CO(Zone 4b)

Yes JRush, mummies kept the hair because of preservation techniques an lack of moisture. Dry climates do have a tendancy to preserve uhh..things exceptionally well even in the absence of applied preservation techniques.

Allen Park, MI(Zone 6a)

I'm the garden columnist for our local paper and I write the zone 6 garden calendar for organic gardening.com newsletter.

Paul

Cape Cod, MA(Zone 7a)

Very cool. I used to freelance for the local paper here but I would love to write about gardening.

Schwenksville, PA(Zone 6a)

I used to put human hair and urine around the perimeter of the garden and found it useful in deterring deer. Never really sure which one was doing the job just glad that something helped.

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

I have always used the feces from my pet lizard to deter critters, with excellant results. All the critter knows is that he is a large carnivore. You need to place it downwind, so it doesn't waft up through windows or anything. I have heard snake doot works well too, but I hate snakes! I just read that someone used strong cologne to deter deer. I wonder if it confuses bees or butterflies? I find this intriguing!

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