Hungarian designer Zsofia Kollar has used human hair to create a series of scented objects, including a wall hanging and a U-shaped necklace.
To create the textile, Kollar wove strands of blonde hair around one another and sprayed the piece with essential oil, so that the tapestry would gradually perfume the room it is displayed in.
“Everybody likes human hair as long as it is on their own heads, but when you see it in an external application, everybody finds it disgusting,” said Kollar. “However, it is a great material.”
“After looking at historical and social aspects of human hair I have decided to work with it and try to approach it from a new perspective,” she added. “My intention was to treat it as any other material.”
The designer also created a set of cylindrical brass vases, filled with perfumed hair that has been gathered into a ponytail shape that will similarly emit scent.
Berlin designer Sybille Paulsen also used human hair to design jewellery for people undergoing chemotherapy treatment, while Studio Swine preserved it in resin for a range of vases.
Kollar’s pieces have been designed as an alternative use for the tonnes of human hair that are thrown away every year.
“It’s a valuable material so we should find a way to recycle it,” said the designer. “The main problem is that people relate to human hair as it would be a person.”
“What I found out after my project is that people felt less disgusted towards hair when they looked at my products,” she added. “It helps when the hair is arranged in a structural and clean way and presented aesthetically.”
Designer Ola Giertz has also recycled leftover hair by stuffing clumps into plastic pouffes for padding.