Hair today - helping the planet tomorrow

Twin sisters who opened a hair salon in Lytham last summer only to see it closed for months since have been putting lockdown to good use in a bid to help nature.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 3:45 pm

Natasha Langthorne and Natalie Crank of Heir Salon and Education in Lytham are aiming to find a sustainable home for as much waste hair as possible as the salon prepares to reopen after the latest lockdown.

The pair, who were finalists in the Independent Salon Business Newcomer of the Year category at the 2020 British Hairdressing Business Awards, have been busy researching how best to dispose of the tonnes of hair which is swept up from any salon floor.

“Most of the hair waste in a lot of salons is usually disposed of in general waste,” said Natasha.

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Natasha and Natalie of the Heir salon in Lytham
Natasha and Natalie of the Heir salon in Lytham

“That’s about 99 per cent generally, while the other one per cent can be donated to various charities for wigs and hair extensions.

“That helps some companies provide real hair wigs, free, to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.

“That’s fantastic, but of course the donated hair needs to be a certain length to meet the criteria to donate.

“But we have come across various ways to usefully reuse hair waste, notably hair booms, which are cuttings of any length or colour which are tightly packed into cotton or nylon tubes then placed in water or on shores of beaches to stop the spread of oil, which saves wildlife and the natural landscape.

“That has been use in the US for some time and is a great idea. But we also discovered that human hair is not only amazing for absorbing oil, it is also one of the highest nitrogen-containing organic materials in nature so can decompose in just a couple of months, providing a protein rich plant nutrient for around two or three cropping seasons.

“That would be perfect for any businesses or individuals who grow plants or vegetables.

“So we have contacted various local farms to which we will deliver completely free of charge and anyone with an allotment or home composter who would like some for their crops is quite welcome to contact us or even take some home after their haircut.

“The more sustainable we can be with such waste the better.”

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