Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Eyeglasses Made of Human Hair 97

Posted by samzenpus
from the something-in-my-eye dept.
Mightee writes "Graduates from Royal College of Art have discovered a way to turn hair cuttings that parlors throw away as waste into sustainable eyewear named Hair Glasses. The idea behind this is to 'Go Green' by stopping the use of Petroleum-based plastic frames and use an easily available, environment friendly and renewable resource."

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Eyeglasses Made of Human Hair

Comments Filter:
  • by Logger (9214) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @05:14PM (#36665790) Homepage

    Unless Elton John is their target market, these things are doomed.

    • ... or Dustin Hoffman [examiner.com]
    • by hey! (33014)

      So -- what you're saying is that these are *too ridiculous to become fashionable*?

    • Incredibly ugly, bulky, and downright odd-looking glasses are quite fashionable, these days.
    • by flyneye (84093)

      Gives a new meaning to "Is that Foster Grant you're wearing?"
      The designer market could go wild with "Celeb Hair Glasses"
      Rarities like "Elton John Hair Glasses" for example would command Southebys type Auction Prices, due to limited supply. ( probably won't wait around for him to get enough haircuts and shave some off his ass or somesuch) Probably be for charity or something. Not only would he be targeted because of his eyeglass fetish, but because they would donate to save Chinese orphan penguins or somesuc

      • It would be hilarious to read one day that some wack job tackled Donald Trump and shaved him bald just to be able to make a pair of glasses out of his hair.

        Just to see where he'll start combing hair over his head from next.

  • Pfffff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @05:15PM (#36665812)

    Looks like approximately 5% hair, 95% "plant based bioresin". The artists statement neglects to compare its energy cost to manufacture versus metal or plastic frames.

    • Looks like approximately 5% hair, 95% "plant based bioresin". The artists statement neglects to compare its energy cost to manufacture versus metal or plastic frames.

      You say that as if "Going Green" was actually about facts and reality. It may have started that way, but It's currently nothing more than a trendy fashion statement, and mundane marketing ploy.

    • Pffff is right. To be truly "recycled", something needs to add value in a way that avoids use of finite natural resources. Trees saved from recycled paper, mining averted from recycled metals.

      On the other hand, THIS type of "end use" is referred to as "the solution is dilution". All the world's waste could get blended into eyeglasses if the percentage was small enough and the eyeglasses compensate for the amount of non-value material by getting bigger (as these thick critters do - the amount of "bioresin

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      or just use real glass - lenses made from real glass are more scratch-resistant and thinner, and we;re nowhere near running out of sand.

      Use plastic only if you *like* the coke-bottle-bottoms dork effect.

      • They're also more fragile and heavy, relatively unsuited to active uses.

        The coke-bottle-bottoms effect comes from the degree of refraction, not the material used.

        • by tomhudson (43916)
          Unless you're into either those big-ass fugly Elton John-style glasses, or the old-skool "aviator" style frames, the difference in weight is minimal. Most glasses are a lot smaller than they were a generation ago.

          The coke-bottle-bottoms effect comes from the standard plastic lens having to be thicker to achieve the same degree of correction, made worse by combining it with one of the older, bigger eye glass frames.

          • Unless you're into either those big-ass fugly Elton John-style glasses, or the old-skool "aviator" style frames, the difference in weight is minimal. Most glasses are a lot smaller than they were a generation ago.

            As someone who has had both with the same prescription on similar sized frames (which aren't "aviator style")... no. It's a noticeable difference that particularly makes a difference by the end of the day.

            The coke-bottle-bottoms effect comes from the standard plastic lens having to be thicker to achieve the same degree of correction, made worse by combining it with one of the older, bigger eye glass frames.

            Did you not see what I said about the degree of refraction? Higher index plastic lenses are on par with glass, but the "coke bottle bottom" effect comes about because of the correction, not the thickness of the lens. You're more likely to observe that with higher index glass lenses than with plastic lenses

      • RI for glass is 1.3-1.4 (unless you look into something exotic, which isn't really what normal people consider traditional glass for eyeglasses).
        RI for high index plastic is 1.6. (VHI plastic is 1.72)

        15 years ago, plastic lens were thicker, it's not necessarily the case anymore unless you're trying to make very low cost eyeglasses.

        • by tomhudson (43916)
          The RI of ordinary glass is 1.5623., not 1.3 or 1.4. And all the polycarbonate plastics have really crappy scratch resistance (and don't clean as easily as glass).
    • Looks like approximately 5% hair, 95% "plant based bioresin". The artists statement neglects to compare its energy cost to manufacture versus metal or plastic frames.

      Quite. How much fuel was used by the farmers who harvested the 'plant-based bioresin', and how many liters of industrial solvents were used in its manufacture?

      Let's be honest here--an entire pair of glasses, even with evil petroleum-product-based plastic lenses, is going to tip the scales at maybe a 100 grams (less than a quarter of a pound). That's how much oil is actually in the glasses themselves. Saving a few ounces of petroleum every couple of years is an utterly negligible savings.

      While these f

    • Environmentalism isn't about Facts, it is about finding ways to be get a leg up being snottier to your neighbors, or feeling good about spending more money, for a lesser quality good. That said I am glad that people are looking into different types of producing materials. Hair and plant resin seems a lot like the concept on concrete and iron re-bar where the resin offers the hardness and compression strength and the hair gives it flexibility, and stops it from shattering.

  • This is the problem of the difference between marketing and art. The art students, in addition to their technological development, must've also decided to make 'artistic' looking glasses, and hence they look like rejects from 80's fashion shows. If actually manufactured one hopes they would use contemporary designs, put real lenses in them, and then we can see if people are ok with the idea of wearing a stranger's hair on their face all day.
  • That's what I want to know.
  • Where does the dandruff play in all this?
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Dandruff, can you imagine getting eye lice or some other pest on these things?

      • Dandruff, can you imagine getting eye lice or some other pest on these things?

        Or eye crabs, if they used pubic hair ...

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @05:32PM (#36665980)

    'It's environmentally friendly!' Well... it does nothing to actually contribute to a sustainable human society, and is merely marketing - but the makers of this product can sleep well at night thinking that they're 'encouraging environmental thinking' with their product.

    They're just shifting a filler ingredient into a known product, and calling it environmental, while spending about as much (or more) petroleum products as part of the full product lifecycle.

    Sort of like most "diet" food makers don't actually make food that will form the meaningful basis of an actual effective weight loss program (eat less, build a more productive metabolism with exercise)... but instead tell themselves they're offering choices that "encourage" healthy eating. All by charging more after shifting fillers into their ingredient list.

    I wouldn't mind so much - but meaningless "solutions" like these seem to satisfy so many into forgetting the meaning of the problems they want to solve.

    Ryan Fenton

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)

      The point isn't that they're made out of human hair. The point is that things we *assume* have to be made from petroleum could be made from *other raw materials*.

      The proposed "solution" here isn't making everything we make out of plastic from human hair. The proposed solution is to apply chemistry and ingenuity to problems whose solutions we've taken for granted for the last fifty years or so. It's the materials science wizardry that makes these things cool, not the (ugh) design. Some years ago the compan

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There *has* been a non-petroleum plastic used for eyeglasses for most of the 20th century: Cellulose acetate (aka zylonite). Cellulose bioplastics are a traditional eyeglass material, having used from the very beginning when plastic frames became popularized by Harold Lloyd in the '20s. Until nylon frames came about in the '40s, plastic frames did not use petroleum at all. Even with alternatives out there, cellulose acetate is still a viable choice for eyeglass frame material: light, durable, and can b

  • welcome our new hair-harvesting overlords.
  • by theJML (911853) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @05:36PM (#36666028) Homepage

    If stopping the use of Petroleum-based plastic frames is the goal to making glasses greener, then I've been pioneering this approach for a while... I hate plastic frames, It's been metal ones for me since 8th grade. Plastic frames snap. Metal frames bend and can be bent back.

    • by gentry (17384)
      Plastic frames hide the lens thickness and support the weight of glass lenses. They require more care in the choosing stage as they are less easy to shape. Personally, I go for optical quality over pure vanity and plastic frames allow me to have large area, low aberration lenses. Having said that, they have to look acceptable and I always had a problem with thick lenses in metal frames looking like glass bottle bottoms. Plastic frames+glass comfortably hide a 4-5mm edge thickness. As for the strength the p
    • Better than standard metal is "memory metal", aka Flexon-- bend them, and they snap back into shape.

      Ive had my frames for about 10 years now, and theyve been stepped on (sneakers and cleats), dropped, rolled on, slept in, etc, and the only thing that gets damaged is the non-bendy hinge, which I can adjust back into shape.

      Theyre quite nice, and not having to replace them is great.

      • by Guppy (12314)

        Better than standard metal is "memory metal", aka Flexon-- bend them, and they snap back into shape.

        Oddly, I've had the opposite experience. While the individual segments of memory alloy are near indestructible, I've had 2 pairs of memory alloy frames fail at weld points, with no repair possible. On the other hand, my current Monel alloy (Nickel-Copper) frames have lasted about a decade without problems (except for some greenish corrosion near the nosepieces).

      • by swv3752 (187722)

        Or just go with Titanium frames. Lighter weight with better strength.

  • I'm a bit concerned by the fact that they claim that these frames are "biodegradable when they're no longer useful." Aren't the conditions where something would biodegrade generally: warm, damp, slightly salty... basically, their intended use conditions? Are these going to start melting on me an a hot summer day?
    • The 'biodegradable' thing in many instances equals planned obsolescene.

      I update my glasses about 1/5 as often as the optometrist assures me that I should. Usually I do so only when the frames are broken and unrepairable. I've worn wire-frame glasses that I repair myself by soldering for many years in the past.

      My most recent pair are titanium, and near as I can tell, they will last forever. The glasses shop didn't even want to show me titanium frames, I had to ask for them. Possibly because they last too

      • They're virtually unbreakable.

        ... until somebody steps on them. I hate those saunas without shelves for the glasses!

  • ...The idea behind this is to 'Go Green' by stopping the use of Petroleum-based plastic frames...

    Just as a quick, back-of-the-envelope estimate, what fraction of the world petroleum usage do you think is used for plastic eyeglass frames? Order of magnitude is fine.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      We need to make something bigger. I'm waiting for the "Hair Guitar" ... or the "Hairplane".
    • Well I think it is more to the fact the Plastic lens takes up just as much plastic or more then the frames do. Especially the fact that they grind down 50% and toss away of the lens so it can fit in the frames.

  • Eyeglass frames have been made from keratin for a long time.
    • by spartus (724018)

      Exactly. Horn is actually a pretty ridiculously great material for frames anyway, super durable and flexible. So rather than cutting stuff off of buffaloes, do the keratin press artificially. Same net effect, with 100% less buffalo.

      • by rubycodez (864176)
        or use whalebone, that saves buffalo too
      • Or goats, cows, and other animals with horns that we raise and and kill daily for food.

        • Well, except that the horn buds are typically removed within a few months of birth from animals destined for mass market commercial slaughter. But it would be a potential good secondary source of income for small organic or pastured farms.

  • Those are among the ugliest glasses I've ever seen. Though I guess they're no uglier than most plastic frames. Personally, I'll stick with metal.

    How much does the hair actually provide support rather than just acting as filler for the plant resin?

    And could they make other crap out of this? I think this stuff would look a lot better in a car interior...laptops...cell phones...damn near anything, except perhaps anything that's going to be holding food. Might work, but I don't think people would want to use it

  • Whats next, hair shirts? [wikipedia.org]
  • ...OP meant to post this to Boing Boing as "Steampunk Hair Glasses".
  • Expect soon to see a rash of graves being dug up, with the corpses shaved bald. The outraged victims will rise up, thus starting the Zombie Apocalypse. But at least we get to have some crappy glass frames.

  • These graduate students are obviously trying to muscle in on the US military's contract for BCGs! They're the only frames I've seen that are ugly enough to give the 'Birth Control Glasses' a run for their money.
  • . . . but their head will not sustain a business like this. The trend for eyewear is durability (e.g., memory metal) and discreteness (e.g., rimless). These have neither. Perhaps a better use for this material would be disposable flatware. Chew on that for a while.
  • ...are people! :o
  • I'll keep my titanium frames. In nearly 50 years of wearing glasses I've never found anything stronger and lighter than titanium. Eyeglasses have to be dependable for those of us who actually use them to SEE, not just use them as a fashion accessory or political statement.
  • The plastic content on eyeglass frames represents but a fraction of the petroleum used to go to and from the optometrist. Concentrating on the materials instead of the problem is the basic failing of much of the "Green" movement.

    All too often I see folks claiming to be "Green" because they ripped out a perfectly good kitchen counter and replaced with recycled baby wipes or some such. Most of the movement is more of a scavenger hunt gone horribly awry than one that makes a meaningful impact. Most forget t

    • by djh2400 (1362925)

      All too often I see folks claiming to be "Green" because they ripped out a perfectly good kitchen counter and replaced with recycled baby wipes or some such.

      The problem is when people actively search for things to get rid of with the intention of replacing those with "green" alternatives — such as the kitchen counter in your example. It is somewhat different in the context of glasses frames: There are always people who are buying their first pair of glasses, need new frames because old ones broke, or were planning a change of style anyway. The "go green" mindset would be more justifiable in these types of cases.

  • Am I the only person who thinks these are creepy as hell?
    • Probably.
      There is a huge difference from hair used as a material to hair found in your food. Should should be more creaped out from your keyboard on your PC.

  • So they're using waste, great.

    But, what are the input energy requirements to gather, collect, ship, process, and produce said eyeglass frames?

    I doubt that they are going to beat the efficiencies of industrial-scale bulk material-handling and production. I don't recall any great hue & cry about the horrific environmental consequences of eyeglass-frame production?

    In short, this is more "let's go green" wanking that makes people who care *feel* slightly better by paying for a product that ultimately saves

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

Working...