Do you want to buy hair mats?

Our Hair Mats work wonders for both wild and urban environments. Not only are they able to soak up petroleum from emergency spills, but they also collect litter in storm drains and filter runoff. They can help with soil erosion prevention, protect habitats from wildfire retardant contamination, collect restaurant grease, and more!

Standard hair mats are 2 ft x 2 ft x 1 inch (approx. 60 cm x 60 cm x 2 cm) flat mats.

Hair booms can also be made to customized sizes. They are simply mats which are rolled and tied off with twine to surround drains. This allows for even more surface area to collect the oil. See images below.

Are you a municipality, airport, harbor, mechanic, etc?
Do you deal with grease traps, sump tanks or leaky vehicle fleets?

David N., preparing hair mats for shipment.

Hair boom outlining round storm drain.

Our most recent Hair Matters flyer.

Hair Mats with Water / Chemicals

A flat storm drain with oily water, in need of a hair mat.

Oil enters our waterways from large spills, leaky vehicles, chemicals dumped into storm drains, accidents, and more. Hair is a natural oil collector, you shampoo because it becomes greasy. In a study  by NASA, human hair is shown to adsorb five times its weight in oil.

Hair mats in water will soak up oil at a rapid rate, working faster than any polypropylene booms. They must be removed from the water quickly though, as there is no plastic used to keep the mat buoyant, and it can be weighed down by rocks, seaweed, and other natural matter.

Hair mats are extremely durable. They can fit well inside storm drain inlet guards and can last up to two years or until saturated. The mats can be driven over by heavy machinery. They’re great for use under ski equipment, schoolbuses, or a fleet of trucks. They work well as inserts for drip pans to reduce sloshing.

Hair mats are employed in San Francisco’s used motor oil recycling stations. They can also be used for restaurant grease collection sites. Another application is for boat bilge tanks.

To learn more about the way hair mats react with oil, please check out our Research and Resources page.

Hair Mats on Land

“Sandbagging” with hair booms to protect white sands in Alabama.

We are currently researching the benefits of using hair mats on soil and sand. They are durable and completely biodegradable.

Hair is naturally hydrophobic. They are good for replanting and protecting seedlings. Mats are felted loosely enough so that rain passes through into the soil but only 50% of rainfall is lost to evaporation. Hair, fur and fleece provide a slow nitrogen release into the soil. The mats also deter insects since bugs that like plants (such as snails and slugs) avoid animal fur and hair.

Current studies are testing how hair mats can be a good, sustainable tool for erosion prevention, especially after wildfires.

Emergency, hard-packed, stuffed hair boom tubes are also great for “sandbagging” beaches and protecting wild habitats.

Purchase Hair Mats

If you are interested in purchasing a small order or a single sample mat for your  school demonstration, science project or hair salon exhibit please go through our gift shop.

For larger orders of mats and/or booms for a fleet of trucks, an oil spill, or other large scale projects, please contact us directly.

If your business, harbor, city, airport, etc. wants to purchase hair mats to support our program or be part of a pilot study, please let us know.

Other Questions? • (415)-242- 6041 • Informational Flyer




Hair Matters hair mats check so many boxes. They are a renewable resource solution that grows right in front of our eyes. Purchasing hair mats supports clean water, zero waste, green jobs, recycling and local cottage industry lowers carbon emissions. Conventionally, oil spills are cleaned up by using petroleum-based polypropylene products. We don’t need to drill for oil to clean up oil, when there is so much natural, sorbent fiber available. Thank you for supporting this program!