Do Bakery Products Contain Human Hair?

An old article on (it was new to me) describes how numerous bakery products contain an ingredient made out of human hair, and are therefore not allowed to be eaten by Muslims. The offending ingredient is the amino acid L-Cysteine, which can be made out of feathers, hooves... or yes, human hair. Back in January I linked to a story about soy sauce in China being made from human hair, so when I heard about bagels, croissants, pizza dough, etc. also containing human hair, I immediately suspected that this human-hair-in-food thing may be a bit of an urban legend. But as far as I can tell, there is some truth to it. The Shenzhen government has stated that it's looking into the soy sauce/human hair allegations. And L-cysteine can be made from human hair, as this Australian food additives guide notes. But I can't imagine human hair would provide the cheapest source of L-cysteine for commercial producers of it. Where would they be getting the hair from? Unless Supercuts is secretly supplying bulk shipments of it to the bakery industry (now there's a disgusting thought).


Posted on Mon May 31, 2004


Try India where hair is shorn off millions of heads each year at Tirupati. It is no secret that much of the hair is sold to make wigs. Other hair not being of good quality is sold to Chinese industry.
Posted by Ronald  on  Thu Jun 03, 2004  at  04:36 PM
I like to eat human hair, though.
Posted by Fred  on  Mon Nov 20, 2006  at  09:08 AM
The April 2007 edition of Harper's magazine does a piece titled the "Dietary Industrial Complex" that disects the contents of a musilim approved MRE (meal ready to eat) that mentions human hair and bakery products...
Posted by william farkas  on  Wed Apr 11, 2007  at  06:37 PM
Human Hair mmmmmm................
Posted by Bob  on  Mon Aug 27, 2007  at  05:44 PM
White flour usually contains the addative L-Cysteine which is sourced from animal hair feather and in some cases, human hair.

Awful but true.

To avoid eating human hair in your bread - buy 'Wholemeal' instead.

Avoid E120 (european clasification) red food colouring too if you don't want to eat dead beetles.

Posted by jim  on  Mon Jan 07, 2008  at  11:26 AM
As a stylist for 25 years, I am used to eating a little hair with my food!
Posted by Sue  on  Sun Jul 06, 2008  at  03:05 PM
Posted by sarah  on  Sun Feb 22, 2009  at  08:48 AM
hey human hair is yummmyyyyy
Posted by fsgr  on  Thu Jan 21, 2010  at  05:19 PM
I work with hair the whole day, I am a wigmaker, but the idea is repulsive! beuuuuuuuuuuu
Posted by feliz  on  Sat May 29, 2010  at  11:23 AM
Yeah it is used to...

1. Reduce the mixing time of the flour dough.
2. Stop shrinking of pizza crust after it is flattened.
3. Help move the dough through various bakery processing equipments or dough conditioners.
Posted by Jake Lopez  on  Wed Jun 30, 2010  at  01:10 PM
Gives me the creeps, like hearing about those horror
stories from nazi concentration camps. They used human hair, just as they did with human skin.
Posted by Bob  on  Wed Aug 04, 2010  at  07:44 PM
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