By Robert Janjigian

Daily News Fashion Editor

When island barber Brandon Leon heard about efforts in Delray Beach to collect human and animal hair for use in making naturally oil-absorbant mats and booms that would aid in cleaning up the Gulf Oil spill, he thought Palm Beach barbers, hair salons and pet groomers should also start collecting tresses.

On Friday, Leon, owner of the Sunrise Barbershop, 239 Sunrise Ave., had already started stockpiling hair, which he intends to ship to the San Francisco-based Matter Of Trust environmental organization, which is accepting donations of hair to aid in cleanup efforts.

“Normally, we’d just throw the hair away. I think all the salons and groomers in town should participate,” said Leon, who is willing to receive donated hair from other island salons.

“After all, if the oil comes our way, we’re going to need these things to clean up our beaches,” he said.

After hatching the idea for a Palm Beach hair drive, Leon called Richard Kelly, manager of Royal Poinciana Way’s RSVP Pack & Ship, to ask what the cost would be to ship collected hair to California. Kelly responded by offering Leon free shipping for the hair.

“We’re more than happy to help out,” Kelly said.

Leon expects to ship hair out on a weekly basis, which Kelly said sounded fine to him.

In addition to hair, Matter of Trust uses pantyhose to craft its oil-absorbant products, so Leon called on Palm Beach Steakhouse owner Andreas Kotsifos to host an event, tentatively slated for Wednesday evening, to which islanders can donate pantyhose. “This is a wonderful idea,” Kotsifos said.

Kelly also agreed to ship the pantyhose collected at no charge.

For information about donating hair or pantyhose to the cause, call Leon at 659-0464.