Nina Khazani Recycles Human Hair Into Curiously Glamorous Accessories

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Human hair isn’t the easiest material to work with. Then again, Khazani is an old hand at bending it to her will. She first started experimenting with shorn human locks at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in the Netherlands, where she was encouraged to explore unorthodox materials. “It’s a very stubborn material that tends to go back to its original form which is very difficult to handle,” she tells Ecouterre. “I enjoyed playing around with the material to test the boundaries.”

From Samson’s mighty mane to Rapunzel’s tumbling tresses, hair has long held a near-mythical status.

From Samson’s mighty mane to Rapunzel’s tumbling tresses, hair has long held a near-mythical status. “Hair plays an important part in our lives,” Khazani says. “As long it is on our head it represents beauty and vanity, yet when cut from the body in undergoes a huge transformation.” She purchases her hair from India, where people offer their locks to temples as part of Hindu tradition. The proceeds feed back to the local communities for medicine, food, and education.

Separated from the body, hair is at once familiar and alien. Khazani plays up this duality by displacing hair onto a collar or shoe, creating “surreal objects [that] make people wonder,” she says.

She’s not done with working with hair, however—far from it. “I am looking forward to working on new projects involving different materials and themes, but I am not quite ready yet to let go of working with human hair,” Khazani says. “I am still in the process and there is still quite a lot to explore.”

+ A Hairy Tale

+ Nina Khazani

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