Can You Compost Hair? What You Need To Know!

If you have a backyard yard and prefer to make your possess compost rather of buying it, you might have considered making use of hair. But is it compostable? The excellent news is—indeed, hair is really much compostable, and it is quite nutritious.

But it requires a very long time to decompose. In this manual, we’ll discuss about the ins and outs of utilizing hair for composting. We’ll protect tried-and-accurate techniques of accelerating the decomposition method, the execs and cons of animal fur, and far more.

What Is Composting?

Some folks may well presently be common with composting, although other people may well not understand the approach. Composting the procedure of recycling organic and natural squander, such as scraps (peels, pores and skin, and stalks), plants, leaves, and, of training course, hair. Above time, organic and natural goods crack down and flip into vitamins and minerals for your greens, fruits, and bouquets.

But you cannot just toss whatsoever you’ve acquired in the trash bin into the compost pile and expect it to flip into fertilizer. Certain products like meat, eggs, fats, onion peels, and poisonous vegetation are NOT advised for composting.

Woman hair
Image Credit: Pixabay

Just How Good Is Hair for Composting?

Even though it may not seem like a lot, human hair is actually an extraordinary fertilizer. The purpose: it is prosperous in sluggish-releasing nitrogen (a key part in any pile), which tends to make it a ideal substitute for dear commercial-quality mulch. On average, hair is made up of 46% carbon, 7% hydrogen, and sixteen% nitrogen. Include over-common ranges of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen, and you are going to see why it’s so hugely valued amongst gardeners.

Hair does a wonderful occupation of delivering assistance for plant roots and guarantees steady expansion by making the soil softer, enriching it, and assisting it keep much-necessary dampness. If you dwell somewhere up north in which the soil is very thick and tough to perform with, even a little little bit of hair additional to the mix will make a difference.

How Long Does Hair Take to Decompose?

Alright, now that we know that hair is, certainly, a great source of nitrogen, let us speak about the decomposing process: how extended will you have to hold out for it to turn into compost? On regular, hair takes 1–2 a long time to crack down (or up to 100 a long time, depending on the setting). That’s because it primarily is made up of keratin, a very resistant protein. Thankfully, there are ways to velocity up the approach.

For example, to avoid lumps/mats from getting shaped, don’t place every single final little bit of hair you have into the bin. When dispersed, hair decomposes much more quickly. Yes, hair need to only make up for a quite tiny percentage of the inexperienced natural waste. Also, make certain to aerate the pile 2–3 occasions in the course of the very first 7 days. As for the “climate” inside of the bin, it need to be fairly moist and warm.

Therefore, the hair will crack down even more rapidly (and this applies the two to human and pet hair). Finally, make a habit of turning the pile 1–2 occasions a 7 days. If you stick to all these policies, the hair will decompose considerably quicker (in a thirty day period or two). And you will be able to incorporate it to your veggies/fruits and flowers to encourage development. On best of that, the hair will preserve weeds and pests at bay.

Morning woman hair
Image Credit: Pixabay

How to Compost Hair: A Detailed Guide

Don’t have a compost pile nevertheless? Then you need to make it very first prior to adding the hair. Begin by locating a dry spot in your backyard that is safeguarded from direct sunshine. Preferably, there ought to be a drinking water resource close by. Up coming, add whatever organic squander you’ve acquired, starting up with brown waste (carbon—dried leaves, hay, and paper). Keep all the person parts as tiny as feasible.

By performing that, you are going to assist the decomposing procedure go smoother. Bear in mind: brown waste is mainly dry. So, make confident to moisten them a little bit. Inexperienced squander (nitrogen—fruit/veggie scraps, freshly cut grass, and manure) arrives following. Ultimately, include the bin with a tarp to entice the moisture inside of. Alright, so, what about hair, you might question? When is the perfect time to insert it?

There are no “secret formulas” right here: just sprinkle it more than the other greens ahead of you protect the pile. To obtain the very best results, see that the bin contains enough browns. And bear in mind: the excellent cargo/nitrogen ratio is thirty:1. Or, if you don’t have the time to hold out for months, nothing’s halting you from making use of hair in its uncooked form. Just insert it to the soil and it will feed the crops by gradually releasing nitrogen as it’s decomposing.

Human vs Animal Hair: Is There a Difference?

Hair operates the same way, no matter whom or what it arrives from. So, if you have a pet or a cat, do not be reluctant to place its hair/fur to great use. Instead of placing it into the trash bin following grooming the pet, add it to the pile. And do not fail to remember to verify the vacuum cleaner. If you are the lucky mum or dad of a bushy doggy (like a spaniel), there will be plenty of hair squander in it, together with some filth.

Do you have a artificial carpet? Then we recommend towards making use of the vacuumed hair, as synthetic fibers will not decompose. This also implies that if you have synthetic hair (like a wig or hair extensions), it simply cannot find its way into the bin, as it’s made from vinyl, PVC, silicone, and other non-biodegradable resources. Artificial hair will do much more harm than good.

border collie on couch with dog hair
Image Credit: Julia, Zavalishina, Shutterstock

Hair From Salons and Groomers: Check Before Using It

Hair from saloons might be contaminated with dyes, sprays, and other products. That can have a unfavorable effect on the compost. Also, if the pet/cat has long gone via a flea/worm treatment method not too long ago, hold out for a week or two just before employing its hair.

Nonetheless, hair that has been freshly washed will be good for your compost pile. Examine with the stylists and inquire them to give you all their clipped hair. This way, you are going to do them a favor and get luggage of hair for free of charge.

Does Hair Type Matter?

No, it does not. You can go with straight, curly, long, or brief hair, and it will not make a difference. As extended as it’s organic and you are incorporating it in tiny parts, there’s nothing at all to fret about. It can appear from your hairbrush, the vacuum cleaner, or, let’s say, a pet rabbit. You can even use hair clogs from the shower drain or the sink (gross, we know).


Composting is at the heart of present day-working day gardening. When carried out proper, it will not only support you cultivate expansion in the backyard but also maintain the environment healthful. Reduced emissions and more healthy soil are just some of the rewards of composting. And let us not fail to remember that compost is substantially more affordable than industrial fertilizer items.

Now, for the most element, human squander shouldn’t be wherever in close proximity to a compost bin nevertheless, as we uncovered nowadays, hair is an completely diverse tale. A large supply of nitrogen, it will be a key element in turning a pile of natural and organic squander into quality-high quality compost. So, instead of throwing it away, help save as a lot human/canine hair as achievable, add it to the compost pile, and watch your preferred crops increase like mad!


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay