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Your hair can grow food! From linear to circular solutions for Salon Waste

Changing our relationship with waste is a key part of enabling a circular economy. Here we look at a new, and circular life for hair waste from salons
Person getting a haircut
© Elaine Heslop/Jaime Toney/University of Glasgow

Circular opportunities in hair

In a linear model, hair cuttings are simply waste that would go to a landfill. In this step, we see how the Green Salon Collective offers a service to its members that enables hair waste to be repurposed (R7 if you are referring to the R framework). Here the discarded hair takes on a new life. In this step, we will explore opportunities for hair to be re-purposed in more detail.

New life for old hair

Watch the following video from the Green Salon Collective. This explains how circular solutions have been developed for Salon Waste.

This 3-minute video explains the waste streams in a Salon and gives an overview of how they can be transformed from linear to circular flows.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

The video from the Green Salon Collective describes how hair can be harnessed as a fertiliser. Using either the PDF or via the following link please read the “Hair in soil report” to learn more. 

A further use of hair is to make hair booms to soak up oil spills. The following video (9 minutes) describes how they are made and looks at case studies of where they have been deployed including the disaster “deepwater horizon”. The video highlights some of the challenges in deploying circular rather than conventional solutions. 

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Talking point:

  • What challenges can you see in the scaling and widespread adoption of these practices?
© Elaine Heslop/Jaime Toney/University of Glasgow
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