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Old 06-21-2020, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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Saw a video on FB about composting and it said hair is a good source of nitrogen. But I recall seeing documentaries of people finding ancient bodies thousands of yrs old and what's left are bones and HAIR. So I'm thinking if the hair is still there all these yrs, then how would hair in a home compost pile break down to soil. Would you put hair clippings in your compost?
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Old 06-21-2020, 02:59 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmyk72 View Post
Saw a video on FB about composting and it said hair is a good source of nitrogen. But I recall seeing documentaries of people finding ancient bodies thousands of yrs old and what's left are bones and HAIR. So I'm thinking if the hair is still there all these yrs, then how would hair in a home compost pile break down to soil. Would you put hair clippings in your compost?
To decompose keratin proteins you need the right soil/organic matter conditions plus the right microorganisms. If the person wasn't chemically embalmed, most well-preserved ancient bodies were mummified; preserved by aridity or cold, which doesn't favor decomposers. If you want to compost hair you'll need to keep it moist/wet to support the organisms that can digest/break it down.

https://www.scienceabc.com/humans/ha...eomelanin.html

Last edited by Parnassia; 06-21-2020 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:56 PM
 
Location: SoCal, but itching to relocate
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When I cut my family's hair, I sometimes add those clippings to the compost pile. They do seem to take longer to break down than say, kitchen scraps, so I've wondered the same thing as the OP.
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Old 06-21-2020, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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Awesome info. Thanks Parnassia. I dont think I'll want to wait years so no hair in my compost.
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:35 AM
 
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i threw a bunch of barber shop hair into my garden years ago after several neighbors said it would help keep deer away. it took forever to decompose just sitting on top of the ground.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:06 AM
 
Location: on the wind
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Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
i threw a bunch of barber shop hair into my garden years ago after several neighbors said it would help keep deer away. it took forever to decompose just sitting on top of the ground.
Many years ago I worked for a county animal control agency. We had people begging us for suggestions how to keep neighbors' wandering cats from cr&&ing in their flowerbeds. Human hair was one of the suggestions. Clean out all the family hairbrushes and scatter the old hair around. Cats supposedly don't like the smell and the hair lasts a long time. The other suggestion was placing clear glass jars of water in the beds. Spooks a cat when its pupils are dilated at night. Oh, then there was the suggestion to go to the local zoo and ask for a sack of lion poop...they've got lots! Can you imagine the local obnoxious tabby's reaction to the scent of lion?
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
i threw a bunch of barber shop hair into my garden years ago after several neighbors said it would help keep deer away. it took forever to decompose just sitting on top of the ground.
Did that work? I'm thinking I can spread some hairclipping on the mulched areas so squirrels wontbkeep digging into it.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mmyk72 View Post
Did that work? I'm thinking I can spread some hairclipping on the mulched areas so squirrels wontbkeep digging into it.
it actually did work pretty well for awhile, against deer anyway.

unfortunately it didn't phase the groundhogs one bit
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmyk72 View Post
Saw a video on FB about composting and it said hair is a good source of nitrogen. But I recall seeing documentaries of people finding ancient bodies thousands of yrs old and what's left are bones and HAIR. So I'm thinking if the hair is still there all these yrs, then how would hair in a home compost pile break down to soil. Would you put hair clippings in your compost?
While I'm sure that there was a hair or two in my compost pile, I didn't intentionally add it. Urine is a much better source of nitrogen.

https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/...'s%20roots.
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
it actually did work pretty well for awhile, against deer anyway.

unfortunately it didn't phase the groundhogs one bit
There has been a groundhog in my yard twice this week. I moved last year so all of my plants are in pots. I'm probably doomed. Those fat little hogs have cleaned me out several times in previous years.
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