How to Boost Nitrogen in Soil With Hair

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  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
A source of human hair
An airtight container for storage
A container for the salon to put the hair clippings into

All soil needs nutrients and minerals to be healthy enough to grow plants and sustain life. Nitrogen is an element that is crucial in soil for plants to grow. Many products offer nitrogen sources you can mix into your soil, but there is a very easy way to add nitrogen yourself. Human hair contains vast amounts of nitrogen, and when mixed with soil, makes a great nitrogen boost in an eco-friendly way. In contrast to other forms of nitrogen, hair is slow to degrade, so it releases the nitrogen over a long period of time, meaning fewer times you have to manually treat the soil with nitrogen.

Obtaining the human hair is not very difficult. If you cut your family's hair, you can collect the trimmings. That will provide you with some hair, but it is better to find a more reliable and steady source. Talk to your neighborhood salon or barber and ask if they would mind saving their hair clippings for you. Many won't mind, but some might, so you may have to ask around to find one that will. It is best to provide them with a container to empty the hair into. Don't wait too long to go back for the container; at a shop, it will fill up quickly. Here is what you will need to do.

Step 1 - How to Handle the Hair

When you have obtained the hair, it is best to store it in an airtight container until you are ready to use it. If some of the hair is very long, it might be best to cut it up into smaller pieces.

Step 2 - Use the Hair when Planting

If you are planting seeds, drop a pinch of the hair into the hole you created for the seed. Place the seed on top of the hair and then cover with dirt as you normally would. If you are transplanting something, sprinkle hair at the base of where you plan to place the plant. If the roots of the plant are exposed to the hair, that is the optimal condition for planting with hair. If you are transplanting a tree, spread a thin layer of the hair at the bottom of the hole you dug for the tree. The roots of the tree should sit on top of the hair. Then gently pack dirt around the rest of the tree. The slow release of nitrogen is perfect for the growing and adapting needs of the tree.

Step 3 - Add Hair to Your Compost

If you have a compost pile, add several handfuls once a month. Add the hair and then mix the compost pile well. Every time you add hair to the pile be sure to mix it in well. When you are ready to use the compost for planting, it will be very nitrogen-rich, thanks to the hair.