From Green Right Now Reports

Here’s a great way to use your head, without much brain strain. Donate your hair to help protect the gulf coast beaches being soiled by the BP oil spill.

A Matter of Trust staff with boxes of hair destined to help soak up oil

A Matter of Trust staff with boxes of hair destined to help soak up oil

By now you may have heard that one unique way to help reduce damage from oil spills is to send in your freed locks to help make oil booms.

Or even better, get your hair salon to donate all the hair that they spill every week. They just need to box it up and make sure it’s clean.

The hair is used to fill the oil booms or to make hair mats that capture and contain oil as it washes ashore. (See the video posted below for how that works).

Matter of Trust,  a non-profit that promotes sustainable ideas, is organizing mass mailings of hair, or waste wool and fur to the gulf coast. See their instructions page for details of how and what to send.

According to the rules:

  • Most locks are helpful, except for dirty hair and fur, so pre-shampoo.
  • Make sure to keep all garbage and any sharp objects out of the hair because volunteers will stuff it into booms later. (Mark the boxes “Debris Free Hair”)
  • Other materials also are helpful, including washed nylon stockings, fur and wood fibers

The story of how discarded hair became a tool for helping clean up oil disasters centers involves one man’s ‘Aha” moment. Phil McCrory, a hair stylist from Alabama, was shampooing an oily head of hair while watching on TV as an otter oiled in the Exxon Valdez spill got a cleaning. His thought: “We shampoo because hair collects oil.”

Indeed, subsequent experiments showed that hair was an effective oil mat, and McGrory  invented a hairmat which is made of hair clippings in China, according to Matter of Trust. You can see more online at