Mother Nature doesn’t make waste, only opportunities. We just need to pay attention to her clues. She’s concerned that humans are a species that spill oil in dangerously large amounts. Humans clearly needed an extra hint on how to clean it up. So, Mother Nature has been dangling oily hair in front of our eyes for generations and finally a hairstylist got the right idea!  Now, we collect other natural fibers (feathers, dog fur, wool, fleece).  Human hair has been tested and these natural, renewable fibers are all very effective and should replace conventional plastic mats and booms.  It is not ecological to drill for oil to make oil based plastic mats to be used for oil spills when we can get organized and recycle these waste fibers.

“You shampoo your hair because it gets greasy. Hair is very efficient at collecting dirt and oil off your skin, out of the air and dirty water, even petroleum oil. Hair is adsorbant (as in “clings to” unlike absorbant which is to “soak up.”) There are over 300,000 hair salons in the US that collect at least 1 pound of hair a day. Right now, most of that goes into the waste stream, but it should all be made into hairmats.” Phil McCrory – hair mat inventor and hair stylist.


Oil Spill Facts

Joyces Choices

What Can I (my kid, my classroom, scout troop…) Do to Help The Hair Matters Program?

How to set up a classroom demonstration

How To Do A Classroom Fake Oil Spill Demo

Teacher/Student Oil Spill Clean Up Handout

YouTube on How Hair Collects Oil

YouTube on How To Make A Boom

YouTube on Hair Boom Soaks Up Oil

Cosco Busan and BP Horizon Oil Spills Photo galleries