Used Hair -> art?
March 8, 2011 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Neat things to do with a year of cast-off hair?

I just realized that I have about a year's worth of hair piled up on my hair brush. My first thought, naturally, was to throw it in the trash.

However, I dye my hair several times per month according to a rigid-but-ultimately-arbitrary color plan, meaning that this wad of hair runs from light pink through dark purple to bright orange. It's really pretty!

On the other hand, a massive wad of dead hair is kind of gross.

Any ideas for cool crafty ways to make use of all of this pretty, all-natural fiber that won't horrify my friends (or myself)?

Springtime Light Pink side
Early Summer Orange side
posted by Squid Voltaire to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Stuff a pillow and pretend it's horsehair? Make a violin bow?
posted by mkb at 11:48 AM on March 8, 2011

It looks already partially felted, so you could finish that process and then it will stick together better and not disintegrate for whatever else you want to do with it.
posted by rmless at 11:49 AM on March 8, 2011

Best answer: Make Victorian Hair Art. Personally, I put mine out in the yard for the birds to use for nest-making. Your birds would be so fashionable!
posted by annaramma at 11:50 AM on March 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

I'm not sure how you can avoid horrifying anyone with clumps of dead hair, so why not work with that? How dark are you willing to get with your crafty inclination? Because you could make creepy dolls or a creepy painting with real hair attached... something like that, and then folks would say, "Oh, gross!" but that would be exactly what you meant, and everyone would think that was awesome except maybe your mom. Or maybe especially your mom, I don't know.
posted by katillathehun at 11:53 AM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

No one would see the hair, but Japanese women used it for stuffing pin cushions.
posted by fifilaru at 11:56 AM on March 8, 2011

Best answer: How about making little tassels out of it and use the tassles on the bottom of a dreamcatcher or a keychain? Or making a little weave out of a couple colors so that you can clip it in your hair for contrast?

You could also use it as hair for a doll (all that color made me think of troll dolls).
posted by millions of peaches at 12:01 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

No one would see the hair, but Japanese women used it for stuffing pin cushions.

She could use a transparent chiffon for the cover.
But I like the nest-making idea best.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:01 PM on March 8, 2011

I would sort of spread it out so you can see all the layers & colours more, then needlefelt it into a small placemat. I can't believe how little hair you shed! That looks like the ball of hair I find in my drain after every single shower (but then again my head is basically a yeti).
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:01 PM on March 8, 2011

Best answer: Not a crafty option, but whenever I brush my dog in the spring time, I leave the pile of hair in a shoe box on the patio table. Within minutes nest building birds are fighting for as much of the fluff as they can carry. In a span of a few hours a full Labrador's worth of fluff is gone, stuffed into fluffy little bird nests.

You might try the same and enjoy spending the spring smiling at the baby finches and their post-punk homes.
posted by JimmyJames at 12:16 PM on March 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

If you're into Christmas, you could get a clear fillable ball ornament and put your hair in there. That way you could definitely see all the colors, but there's a layer of removal that might temper the gross factor.
posted by pluot at 12:23 PM on March 8, 2011

Believe it or not... tomato plants love 3 things - egg shells, coffee grinds... and hair. Put any of them, or all three, in the hole before you plant the tomato.
posted by brownrd at 12:50 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I compost all of my hair, which falls out at an exceptional rate, in addition to all of my dryer lint and other fun food waste!
posted by Sophie1 at 12:53 PM on March 8, 2011

Response by poster: These are great suggestions, thank you! And I love how on the one hand katillathehun is all, "Yeah, that's totally gross" and on the other hand the Victorians apparently gave the stuff to each other as love tokens! (:

I would love to string a violin bow with my own hair--is that even slightly possible?
posted by Squid Voltaire at 1:00 PM on March 8, 2011

I stuffed a little pillow with mine and gave it to my beloved. He seems to like it.
posted by jessamyn at 1:01 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Last time I cut my dreads off, I mulched a pineapple plant with them. They're currently growing some quite fabulous moss.
posted by flabdablet at 5:55 PM on March 8, 2011

If you are going to keep dying the rest of it, you could make your own hair rat.
posted by lollusc at 2:19 AM on March 10, 2011

You could try spinning it if you have enough and it's not too tangled. You can make a drop spindle fairly easily (eg from a CD). Though I have tried this with my own hair and not got terribly far - but I think it depends on the texture of your hair.
posted by paduasoy at 12:22 PM on March 10, 2011

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