Strut Your Cut is collecting hair clippings that will help soak up the millions of gallons of crude that has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20.

This month at Scotch Plains hair salon Strut Your Cut, “Your haircut’s a lifesaver,” says manager Kelly Strzalkowski.

How so? Strut Your Cut is donating hair clippings to the Matter of Trust’s Hair Mat Oil Spill Program to aid in the clean-up of the recent Gulf Coast oil spill.

“Our mom saw it online,” says Strzalkowski, “and she said, ‘How cool would it be if you do this?!’ and we decided right away to get involved.”

“It’s a really smart idea,” adds her sister and fellow manager, Tiffany Pasko. “We’re helping out with the environment and the animals.”

After lining a few recycled shampoo boxes with plastic bags, Strut Your Cut was ready to go. As they fill up a box, they will ship them to various U.S. manufacturers, who will weave the clippings into hair mats or hair booms. Hair booms are recycled nylon stockings shaped like sausages, stuffed with hair clippings and tied together.

The mats soak up the oil from the disastrous spill. Millions of gallons of crude oil have already leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The hair booms, when placed around the spill, help prevent spreading by containing the oil.

Customers help simply by letting the hairdressers trim their tresses. A stylist at the salon, who asked that her name not be printed, said she’s been cutting “lots of hair this week.”

“I tell my customers,” she adds, “‘I hope you don’t mind that your hair’s going to be taking a little trip to the ocean!'”

Strzalkowski has been explaining the process to her customers throughout the week. “Your help makes a difference to decontaminate water ways, prevent soil erosion, and clean our beaches and harbors,” she tells them.

“I’m thrilled,” says Joanne Liscobitz, of Hillborough. “People need to realize that everyone can do something to help.”

Strzalkowski doesn’t know how much it will cost to ship the boxes, but she’s not worried about it. She says they plan to continue sending the hair clippings as long as they’re needed.

In addition to donating the hair clippings, the salon is donating $1 from every haircut between May 12 and June 16. They are also collecting used nylon stockings, even those with runs in them. No matter how many hair appointments are made this month, Strzalkwski plans to donate at least $50.

This is not the first time Strut Your Cut has pitched in with charity efforts. The salon donated gift certificates to Scotch Plains teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, has donated to breast cancer research groups and on June 21 will host the local Girl Scouts.