Spare Hair Is Being Turned Into Mats And Can Clean Up Our Oceans

Samuel Reason - June 3rd, 2020

Some researchers have concluded that the solution for cleaning our oceans is actually growing right on our heads. When you get a haircut or your pet gets a trim and all those strands are covering the ground well this can be reformed into saving the planet. So don’t just through your waste hair in the bin, you can help save the planet today. The idea has actually been floating around for several decades already, coming from the innovator and hairdresser Phillip McCrory.

He was watching the footage of the 1989 oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and noticed that the oil seemed to be attracted to the fur of the poor animals caught in the spill. He realized he had a surplus of this same type of material right at his place of business: his client’s hair. So he made a quick test by filling a pantyhose with a few pounds of hair, dropped into a tub of water filled which also had a spill of motor oil. And magically his idea worked, the hair soaked up the motor oil cleaning the tub of water.

Luckily McCrory had a pretty special neighbor: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. So he asked them to confirm his tests and use hair booms to soak up spilled oil. Using some scientific testing and real-world test cases they confirmed that his innovative idea did work. McCrory then went on to confirm that 25,000 pounds of hair in a nylon collection bag would be enough to soak up over 175,000 gallons of spilled oil. In fact, the invention worked so well it could soak up a gallon of oil in less than two minutes.

About 10 years later the Clean Wave movement started, founded by Lisa Gautier who is president of the environmental saving project: Matter of Trust. You can now donate your hair, fur and fleece clippings to start soaking up major oil spills or keeping waterways clean. They now produce hair mats that are used all over the world to easily collect oil wastes and spillage, you can find them being used in ski resorts, under factory machinery, and in auto shops!

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