The New Age of Trichology by Sanne Visser

More and more designers are concerned about our earth and discover innovative ways to turn discarded materials into desirable products. Sanne Visser, a Dutch designer living in London, asked herself: How can we use human hair waste to create new materials?
The Central Saint Martins graduate studied hair like a trichologist and discovered that on average, one human hair can hold up to 100 grams of weight. In collaboration with a handspinner and a ropemaker, Sanne Visser transformed human hair in resistant ropes and presented her recycling project during the London Design Festival.

 ‘The New Age of Trichology explores the pure potential of hair as a raw material, reducing waste, environmental problems and the pressure on other non-renewable materials. Human hair is a natural resource that will be increasing in the future since the world’s population is rapidly rising. The UK alone “creates” around 6.5 million

kilograms of human hair waste annually, which mostly ends up in landfill or slowly decays in the environment. This causes several problems for both the environment and human health, releasing toxic gasses and choking the drainage system’, explains Sanne Visser. To give human hair a second life, the designer focused on the many valuable properties like flexibility, the lightweight character and above all the tensile strength of the fibre. Visser: ‘On average, one human hair can hold up to 100 grams of weight, depending on the person’s diet, health, environment, ethnical background and treatment of hair. So, potentially a whole head of hair could withstand a weight of 12 tonnes’.Her experiments with spinning and ropemaking techniques resulted in a range of belts, bags, cords and other utilitarian objects.
Visser: ‘The system is a closed loop system in a way that the raw material collected at the beginning remains additive free and can go straight back into nature at the end of it’s life cycle, through composting or recycling.
Watch the movie on Sanne Visser’s website: sannevisser.com

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