Hemostasis is a major problem in surgical procedures and after major trauma. There are few effective methods to stop bleeding without causing secondary damage. We used a self-assembling peptide that establishes a nanofiber barrier to achieve complete hemostasis immediately when applied directly to a wound in the brain, spinal cord, femoral artery, liver, or skin of mammals. This novel therapy stops bleeding without the use of pressure, cauterization, vasoconstriction, coagulation, or cross-linked adhesives. The self-assembling solution is nontoxic and nonimmunogenic, and the breakdown products are amino acids, which are tissue building blocks that can be used to repair the site of injury. Here we report the first use of nanotechnology to achieve complete hemostasis in less than 15 seconds, which could fundamentally change how much blood is needed during surgery of the future.