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How donating hair helps kids AND the environment

February 25, 2008

Today I chopped off my hair. It went from this:

long hair

To this:

short hair

I really needed a change. Plus it turned out that my hair was long enough for a donation to Locks of Love, which takes hair donations and makes hairpieces for children with cancer. In order to donate, you need to have 10 inches of hair measuring down from the nape of your neck.

I did a search on hair donations and found a neat article about another way to make use of hair.  Two hairdressers at Sparkle Beauty in NW Portland are giving their daily hair clippings to a San Francisco-based organization called Matter of Trust.  Currently they’re the only salon in Portland giving their hair to the organization, which uses it to clean up oil spills:

Grooming the post-cut hair free of errant trash is the last step before boxing it up and shipping it to Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that collects hair from about 300,000 salons and barbershops throughout North and South America, China and India.

The hair is woven into mats that can soak up oil from oil spills, as well — or perhaps better, some argue — than commercial spill remediation products. The mats can be wrung out and reused 30 to 100 times, and afterward broken down organically using mushroom spores.

The secret? Hair doesn’t absorb oil, it adsorbs it. That is, oil coats the hair but doesn’t soak it, so the hair mats can be used repeatedly.

Additionally, 98 percent of the oil recovered by the hair mats can itself be recovered, according to OttiMat, the company that invented the mats and has loaned out the design for use to Matter of Trust for emergency spills.

Since the spill, Matter of Trust has helped dispense around 12,500 hair mats. Matter of Trust has been collecting hair for mats since 2000.

Matter of Trust’s website is here – tell your hairstylist they should join!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt permalink
    February 27, 2008 5:09 pm

    Donating your hair was a wonderful thing to do PLUS you look fantastic. Yay!

  2. February 28, 2008 11:54 am

    OK, I also just cut off two year’s worth of growing my hair to Locks of Love, and also found the same web site (Matter of Trust) to donate the leftover hair LoL couldn’t use. But my question is, all I see is a pic of your hair before…how much did you cut off?

    Cheerio! M2

  3. March 21, 2008 10:47 am

    Great new look! You have such beautiful hair.

  4. ThecyDexceaph permalink
    May 2, 2010 9:14 am

    If you live in Weston Florida and plan on refinancing an existing mortgage or get a new mortgage beware of scam artist Tulio J. Rodriguez. This so called “Mortgage & Finance Specialist” will tell you just about anything to get your business. His group of scavengers “Real Estate Agents and Mortgage Specialists” lie through their teeth to take your money.

  5. December 2, 2010 2:57 pm

    oil spills can really mess up the environment, i hope we can find a very good solution to control oil spills ;*”

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