Surprising new results show that hair helps plants to grow from a recent experiment conducted by Green Salon Collective (GSC).
Over a period of 308 days, from April 1 2022 until February 2 2023, the experiment used 16 Monstera plants and measured four different levels of hair in their pots. With comparable soil types, GSC could assess the plants across every season, as well as allow enough time for the hair to release nitrogen and influence the plants' growth. They received identical care conditions - the only difference was how much hair, if any, was in the pots.
The experiment made it clear that hair clippings make for healthier and faster-growing plant cuttings. Fry Taylor, founder of Green Salon Collective, commented: “We are always looking for circular ways to make new things from waste, and this is an exciting one. We love that when hair is no longer useful to its owner, it can find a new way to grow!”
The results displayed how the plants had the most growth, and the most new leaves, when they had hair clippings at both the top and bottom of the pot; they grew 27% bigger and 107% more leaves than the average plant. In fact, they grew 87% bigger and 350% more leaves compared to plants with no hair in their pot at all.
Interestingly, where the hair was placed in the pot had a considerable impact on the plants' growth. It was noted that plants without any hair at the bottom of their pot, would have water spillage immediately after watering. Whereas, the plants pots with hair at the bottom, did not. Therefore, Green Salon Collective concluded that having the hair in the pots helped absorb some of the water and retain it, a perfect solution for those busy days when there is no time to water your plants.
“The experiment shows that hair is good for plant care; it improves growth, helps with water retention when watering, and impacts plant health in a positive way. It also takes a waste product from the salon and turns it into positive growth, in a very real way. It's an idea that we are all in support of at Green Salon Collective.” Fry summarises.
This initiative is another of Green Salon Collective's many ways that it can already recycle hair waste from salons. It's a simple solution which can be done both at home and with clients, and boosts client interest in sustainability within salons. By conducting these experiments, Green Salon Collective wants to provide key data and results to its salon partners, empowering them to continue to discuss with clients and inspire change beyond the salon walls.