I recently blogged about the amount of pet hair that flies around my house in the form of tumbleweeds! This week I discovered a positive use for Lexie Lee’s hair and mine for that matter—Hair for Oil Spills Program. The organization, Matter of Trust, collaborates with hair salons to collect hair to make hair mats and hair booms (hair stuffed in nylon stockings). These items are shipped to oil spill areas and used to soak up oil. For example, the mats are put in oiled bird and mammal cages.

Phi McCrory, a hair stylist, got the idea while watching coverage on the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. He noticed the fur on the Alaskan otters completely soaked with oil. He tested how much oil he could collect with the hair clippings from his salon. Later he invented the hair mat.

Besides hair salons, Matter of Trust is also encouraging one time donors to participate. Individuals can donate their hair or their pets’ hair. Teachers and classrooms can also be donors. The Matter of Trust has teacher and student materials you can download. There is also an oil spill flyer for posting.

The following tips are recommended if you decide to collect hair:
• Line a designated hair collection box with plastic
• Any length of hair is fine
• Every type of head hair including straight, curly, dyed, permed or straightened is fine
• Shampooed hair is preferred
• Fur, horse hair and wool is accepted
• Pet hair does not need to be shampooed, just not filthy
• Include hair only and not other garbage
• Tie the bag shut and tape the box

Washed nylon stockings, even with runs, are also needed. Put these in a separate bag.

After you go online and register (no charge), Matter of Trust will inform you where to mail the parcel. Full information about the program including a YouTube video is available at Matter of Trust.

Bountiful Blessings!