Colorado Hair Clippings Help Clean Gulf Spill

Hair Is Turned Into Containment Booms That Absorb Oil

People in Colorado are doing their part to help in the massive Gulf Coast clean-up effort -- by getting a haircut.

It may sound strange, but thousands of pounds of hair have been donated to absorb oil and contain the spill.

Teresa Redmond-Ott, owner of Salontro Spa, said she felt she is saving the Gulf Coast one haircut at a time.

"Getting a haircut never felt so good," she said with a smile. "Hair naturally absorbs oil. It's amazing how well it works."

The Fort Collins hairdresser collects client's clippings as part of a worldwide effort to send hair to soak up oil spills.

For a decade, the nonprofit group Matter of Trust has turned recycled hair and fur into oil spill clean-up mats and containment booms.

The booms -- recycled nylons stuffed with hair and fur -- are already being used on Gulf Coast beaches, where the clean up could take months.

Redmond-Ott has been recruiting other Colorado salon owners to not only save their client's style, but to save the world while doing it.

"Humans created this problem, and something as simple as human hair can help rectify it," said Redmond-Ott.

In Colorado, Matter of Trust has more than 100 donors, mostly salons.

To find out what salons are collecting hair, check out this list. To learn more about the program, or to learn how to donate your hair or the types of hair that can be collected, visit MatterOfTrust.org.