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Is Human Hair Biodegradable?

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Are human hairs biodegradable? This is a question that is common among people who are concerned with the environment and recycled materials. In this article, we will provide you with information about, Is hair biodegradable and some other related questions.

is hair biodegradableHuman hair is made up of dead keratinocytes. They are dead cells due to the hardening keratin they produce while alive (Wikipedia, 2017). Human hair is not biodegradable because it is considered synthetic material. It will take decades for human hair to decompose. Additionally, human hair is likely to accumulate toxic substances exposed during life (Healthline, 2016). Human hair is usually thrown away in landfills. It is a non-biodegradable material responsible for the pollution of the environment .

Therefore, human hair is not biodegradable because it is a synthetic material and is likely to accumulate toxic substances exposed during its life.

Why is it important?

hair care and why is it important

Hair is a waste product that is disposed of daily. Human hair is mainly made up of synthetic materials, which are typically not recyclable. Reducing or reusing human hair is beneficial to the environment and health-conscious because natural fibers are biodegradable. In addition, recycling human hair will save natural resources from producing new threads .

Hair is made of dead keratinocytes that are not biodegradable because it is considered synthetic material, however recycling human hair is beneficial to the environment and health-conscious (Healthline, 2016). Reducing or reusing human hair is advantageous to the environment and health-conscious because natural fibers are biodegradable; recycling human hair will save natural resources from producing new threads (Healthline, 2016).

In soil, does hair decompose?

does hair decompose in soil

No, hair is non-biodegradable. It is polymerized keratin, a protein present in the skin, and is made of amino acids .

In water or soil?

Hair is considered synthetic material because it is composed of dead cells. As such, it does not break down in natural conditions like water and soil.

How is it related to cosmetics?

how hair is related to cosmetics

Human hair is used in some cosmetic products. For example, Swarovski is famous for its crystal jewelry composed of human hair (Swarovski, 2017). Moreover, wigs are also made up of human hair collected from donors who have not undergone any chemical treatments. This is beneficial to people who have experienced alopecia or other medical conditions that cause them to lose their hair (Healthline, 2016).

Is Synthetic Hair Bad for the Environment?

synthetic hairs

 

Is it harmful to have a lot of synthetic hair in your home? What about all of the chemicals used to make artificial hair, such as formaldehyde and acetone? Synthetic hair is made up of chemical products; therefore, it is not biodegradable. It is non-biodegradable when in direct contact with the environment (Women’s Health, 2017).

What is the “hair laundering” controversy?

hair laundering

Recently, Chinese authorities arrested suspects suspected of collecting human hair at barbershops without permission and selling them to hair manufacturers (People’s Daily Online, 2018). On the one hand, this is beneficial because it ensures no loss of natural resources; on the other hand, it is harmful because the collection process might be unregulated.

The incident is similar to the “hair laundering” controversy in 2010. At that time, it was discovered that Chinese companies collected hair from barbershops and sold them to manufacturers without obtaining their consent (People’s Daily Online, 2018).

Synthetic materials are considered non-biodegradable because they have a long shelf life. This is why synthetic material is widely used for the production of various products. In addition, recycling synthetic material is time-consuming and costly (Nature World News, 2017).

Companies that use human hair may be accused of selling fake products because human hair is one of the most expensive raw materials. Human hair is recyclable while its collection is unregulated, causing unknown consequences on health and the environment.

Is it possible to compost human hair?

hair decompost

It is possible to compost human hair, but it is not common because the process is costly and time-consuming. For example, it is necessary to create a biogas digester or an incinerator specifically designed to produce high-energy gas (Han, Shih-Huang, et al., 2013).

What is the best way to dispose of human hair?

Many specialists believe that it is preferable to burn or recycle human hair rather than throwing it in the trash. Human hair is not biodegradable when directly contacting landfills because they are placed under pressure and covered with various layers of soil (Han, Shih-Huang, et al., 2013). One other way is to establish a plant specifically designed to produce high-energy gas (Han, Shih-Huang, et al., 2013).

Conclusion

Human hair is non-biodegradable when in direct contact with the environment. Therefore, it is preferable to burn or recycle human hair rather than throwing it in the trash. Human hair is recyclable while its collection is unregulated, causing unknown consequences on health and the environment. The best way to dispose of human hair is to burn or establish a plant specifically designed to produce high-energy gas (Han, Shih-Huang, et al., 2013).

References

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