Can Hair Be Digested?

When people swallow the hair that they have on their body, they become so paranoid about the consequences of having to swallow their hair.  The rumor that many people have about swallowing of hair is that when you swallow hair, it stays in your stomach forever.

Can Hair be Digested? The human hair is such that it contains a structured kind of protein that is called Keratin and for this reason, the impact on the human body is minimal except when it does undergo some level of chemical restructuring. Mere logic of how the stomach works were that when we ingest things, our stomach processes those things and then we defecate them out if it cannot be processed. This is the same logic that applies to hair usually (read more on Rapunzel syndrome).

What happened to hair that was digested? When you ingest a little amount of hair, it does nothing to you, where it becomes a problem is when you ingest too much hair. This gives you a kind of pain around your abdominal region and it is only then that you know that there is a problem. One might also begin to wonder how it is possible that one ingests too much hair. There is a medical condition that is quite psychological. If this is the case with you, then there would be that flair for eating of hair and this is where the problem emanates from.

If there is anything that one needs to note it is the fact that while eating of hair accidentally might not cause any problem, it is the eating of a large amount of hair that causes the major problem.

The truth is that, while it is very easy for cats to train themselves to not eat the hair that they have on their bodies, it is also very easy for a human to do the same. The other truth is while it is not possible for cats to digest more hair that they could possibly swallow, it is also not possible for humans to digest more hairs than we can swallow.

Can you die from eating hair?

In very much recent time, it was noted that a particular teenager ate a huge amount of hair and this resulted in her death. This is a condition that is known as Rapunzel syndrome. It was rumored that Rapunzel, a fictional character, loved to eat hair. But far from that character, the condition whereby a person is compelled to the eating of hair is known as the Rapunzel syndrome.

Eating Flower

When people eat too much hair, it leads to having to eat an infected hairball which leads resultantly to an ulcer. This condition is classified as being deadly and if a person happens to be in this situation, it is likely that such a person dies eventually if not properly taken care of. Most people that have this ailment always have it so bad that they do not know that it is what they are suffering from and so it is advisable that those that live around them should always watch out for them, especially those that need therapy.

What will happen if a baby eats hair?

This is a question that is commonly asked by a number of mothers, they get super scared when their baby eats hair and this is very much understandable. The truth is that when your baby eats hair, it might not be your own hair, it could be hair from your environment, and hence you do not have to feel like a bad nursing mother. It is also possible that the hair might not have been swallowed by your baby, so you need to confirm too.

Baby Eating

When it is certain that your baby has ingested a small amount of hair, it is very possible that such hair passes through your baby’s stool and in this case, this is not a cause for concern. If this is not the case, when you baby ingests hair, there is a possibility that when your baby tries to vomit the hair, he gags and then he has a throat infection. If this is the case, you might want to see a doctor.

If after your baby ingests the hair, your baby sleeps off. You could try to pat your baby to sleep well, if there is any sort of irritation, it will wear off when the baby sleeps off. After the baby then wakes up, try as much as possible to make sure of it that you feed your baby water in place of food or breast milk when this is done, it helps to flush the system of your baby, soothing off any kind of irritation as the baby excretes the hair out.

While you feed your baby the water, watch closely to see to it that your baby doesn’t gag. When your baby keeps gaging after the water, make sure of it that your baby sees the doctor, this could mean a kind of blockage to his throat and it could end up becoming an infection or in the worst-case scenario, a blockage to his respiratory organs.


belly hair

The truth is that it is unhealthy to ingest hair, but when it is a little quantity of hair, you don’t need to be scared. If the quantity of hair ingested is so much, then it is time to see a doctor because it could develop into an infection that refuses to leave your stomach and then leads to a kind of ulcer that could be life-threatening. In the case of a baby, you might need to see a doctor when the amount of hair is much, however, if the hair is just a strand, make sure of it that you try to feed your baby some water, in this case, it could be warm water. Things would be fine when you do this. 

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Hair Lover, Idea Starter. He started HairQueenie, which is ranked #27 in the FeedSpot Top 40 Hair Care Blogs and mentions in ManeAddicts and Tempest. Hair is not everything but something. He started Hairqueenie to share great hair products. Over time, he found there are more value to share answers to hair problems that cannot be found easily.
Back to blog