Is hair biodegradable?



  1. 1 Votes

    Yes, absolutely. Pretty much any part of an animal or plant is biodegradable, because we are all carbon based lifeforms and we all occur naturally without any type of in-organic synthesis or procedure (unlike making plastics or nylon). Hair will decompose more or less quickly depending on the moisture content in the air, exposure to elements, or other factors such as bacterial or micro-organism consumption. From dust to dust is true—especially when it comes to life forms. They say actually that we all have at least a few atoms of matter in our bodies right now that come from historical figures, like Shakespeare or Socrates! That factoid came from an interesting work of journalistic/ scientific reporting called “A Brief History of Nearly Everything,” by Bill Bryson.

    Here’s are better sources (I was just guessing above): This is an answer someone gave (because someone else said it can take a very long time in certain cases [especially mummification] in an online forum about the same question.

    Mummification is fairly unusual, though, occurring only when conditions are very dry. 

    The rate of decomposition depends on the volume of hair, temperature and humidity, and the presence of keratin-eating bacteria (keratin is the fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of hair, fingernails, feathers, hooves, horns, etc.) and certain insects. 

    On average the process takes about a year. 


    And here is the best scientific explanation i could find to the question, worded slightly differently:

    Will human body hair decompose or it cannot be destroy except burning it?

    Hair develops from the cells of the hair bulb, which divide rapidly. The cells of the hair bulb move upward as new cells begin to form beneath them. As these cells move higher, they are cut off from their supply of nourishment and start to form a hard protein called keratin. The formation of keratin is called keratinisation, and the hair cells die as it occurs.

    Human body hair will decompose because it is made of protein and soil microorganisms attack protein. Even so, hair protein is tougher stuff than, for example, skin protein. Therefore, human hair might last quite a lot longer than flesh when exposed to decay processes. From experience, it takes forever to decompose.

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