Photo: mimagephotography/Shutterstock

Cut Your Hair to Stop the Oil Spill

Louisiana Activism
by Nancy Harder May 21, 2010
Donate your hair to Matter of Trust and help soak up the Gulf oil spill.

Last week I scheduled a hair cut and felt a little selfish. I’ve read for weeks now about the catastrophic April 20 BP oil spill, feeling enraged and powerless. Thanks to Abbie Mood’s article, I contacted the Sierra Club about volunteering. Still, I wanted to do more for the Gulf.

I didn’t realize trying a full bang would help.

When I arrived at my local salon, the thoughtful manager had informed all the stylists about Matter of Trust, put up flyers for clients to learn more, and set up a designated lined trash can to collect all the clippings.  My hair cut yielded about two cups of hair.

The Stats:

According to Matter of Trust, one gallon of hair can soak up a quart of oil in a minute. It makes sense that hair would be natural and effective at collecting oil; that’s why we shampoo.

One gallon of hair can soak up a quart of oil in a minute.

Salons and individuals can sign up to donate. Hair leftovers are made into oil mats and socks.

Fur is also excellent at absorbing oil. Professional and home groomers can donate fur and farmers can contribute wool and alpaca fleece.

Have panty hose or Spanx laying around? Send them too. The hair and fur are stuffed into the recycled hosiery.

Matter of Trust’s natural fiber recycling initiative in the Gulf has caught on. The average salon cuts approximately a pound of hair per day; groomers sheer about 3 pounds a day.

As of Thursday, May 20, 2010,  BP has contacted MT requesting information and hundreds of thousands of pounds of hair, fur, fleece, feathers and nylons have been donated from all over the world.

See it:

Watch Matter of Trust’s super quick demonstration of hair soaking up oil:

(Music: “My Other Love” by Pretty Lights)

You can also check out this other Matter of Trust video to see how the whole process works.

(Music: “Via Con Me” by Paolo Conte)

The Future:

Last year, 2,600 oil spills happened around the world. Keep collecting your hair and pet fur, frequent salons and groomers that donate, and ask your local salons and groomers to donate if they don’t already.

Community Connection:

Sign up here to donate hair, fur, hosiery, or money to Matter of Trust. Let us know if you donate or plan to donate!

Send before/after photos of yourself, friends, and pets after donating to nancy (at) matadornetwork (dot) (com).


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