Wanted: hair – Gulf oil slick campaigners plea

A grassroots organisation is leading a Facebook campaign calling for any spare hair to help stem the spread of the vast oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.


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American NGO Matter of Trust is calling on the world’s hair dressers to donate their clippings.

Matter of Trust is stuffing the hair it receives into old tights and using these as home-made booms to contain the spill.

Although the low-fi idea may seem far fetched, hair – as well as wool and animal fur – is extremely effective at soaking up oil, this is why we have to shampoo it so often.

Mountains of hair have been used to good effect in the past to tackle spills – in 2006 inmates in Filipino prisons had their heads shaved to help mop up the worst spill in the country’s history.

Matter of Trust says it has already received donations of tonnes of hair from all 50 US states and several other countries.

It has teams of volunteers working in warehouses along the coast stuffing hair into stockings while those keen to help along the Gulf Coast are hosting barber-cue parties where heads are shaved while they flip burgers.

Sam Bond

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