The Chemistry of Horse Hair


The interesting components of horse hair and how they all combine to make their hair just how it is.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Keratin C28H48N2032S4






Amino Acids

Alanine C2H7NO2

Arginine C6H14N4O2

Aspartic Acid C4H7NO4

Cysteine C3H7NO2S

Glutamic Acid C5H9NO4

Glycine C2H5NO2

Histidine C6H9N3O2

Isoleucine C6H13NO2

Leucine C6H13NO2

Lysine C6H14N2O2

Methionine C5H11NO2S

Phenylalanine C9H11NO2

Proline C5H9NO2

Serine C3H7NO3

Threonine C4H9NO3

Tyrosine C9H11NO3

Valine C5H11NO2

Chemistry's Role

The 2 main components in horse hair is keratin and amino acids. The amino acids and the keratin and create polypeptide chain to create each strand of hair. As these form naturally made by your body create either thick or thin hair. Each strand has a protective layer of keratin that creates a barrier from the outside weather. The final product of hair is not man made it is naturally occuring in nature. Chemistry's main role happens when the foal is forming in the mother at the late stages of development hair starts for be made as a product of the mother giving the amino acids and keratin to the child.

Background Research

Horses have been used as social experiments and have been sent to slaughter hoses for the meat on their bones. Equine hair has been used for 19th century chairs or couches and paint brushes because of the coarseness/stiffness that makes a great calligraphy brush and it is used for clothes in switzerland. Now in modern times horse hair is used for bracelets and necklaces along with home decor. At one point on history horse hair was used for fishing lines.


About the Author

Ulrike Clarke is a junior at senior high school in billings mt. She enjoys Aquatics and Horseback riding with friends. Ulrike would like to go into beauty school to be a beautician. She is a smart girl who can do anything she puts her mind to. If she had a million dollars she would give it to horse sanctuaries around the U.S. and to her grandparents along with her mom and sister to thank them for all they have done to help her get through this crazy thing called life.