By Montana Grant

Posted: July 2, 2023

Anyone with a dog knows that shed hair is a problem. Hairy dust bunnies gather in corners of the floor, or on carpets. Vacuuming helps but what can you do with this hairy resource?

People have been using animal hair forever. Horsehair was often used to mix into bricks, mortar, and chink to make bricks stronger or keep out the weather. Hair, and even grassy filled manure, were used to press between logs and rocks, to seal up a shelter. Horse tail hairs were used to make fly fishing lines. The line was braided together, then coated in beeswax. Any hair can be spun to make string or thread.

Hair is also used to stuff pillows, bedding, cushions, or sew into clothing to add extra insulation. Just keep in mind that dust bunnies contain more than just hair. They also contain shed skin cells, dust, dead insects, mites, and other microscopic cooties. Make sure that the hair is thoroughly sealed and contained. Pioneers often used feathers to mix into the hair of their dogs, horses, mules, buffalo, or whatever. These “My Pillows” are not for the long term unless the hair has been thoroughly washed and dried. Mice and rodents will be attracted to the hairy resource.

Hair is an excellent Firestarter! Even human hair burns quickly from a spark. The familiar smell will come with the burnt hair. In a pinch, dry hair will accept a spark to begin a flame.

Tying fishing flies or adding hair onto lures has also been a great way to use hair. Longer haired dogs are best for this. The inner shorter hairs can be spun or woven into dubbing. Naming the flies after the dog that donated their hair is a tradition.

Dog hair and human hair make for a great deer deterrent. Place bundles of hair into a small, webbed bag and hang around the garden. You can also use old panty hose to make bags for this same use. Hang them where the critters are coming into the yard or gardens. Other predator critter hair also has a certain smell that will deter deer from trespassing.

Gardeners also use hair from dogs and mammals to fertilize their gardens. Hair adds nutrients, and loosens the soil, to promote better root growth. Simply dump the hair into your mulch bin.

Hair is a fair natural resource!

Montana Grant

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