Athens hair stylists hoping to lend their hands to the cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster will provide free hair cuts Monday and ship the sheared locks off to be used in absorbent booms in the mitigation efforts.

The cut hair will be sent, along with nylon stockings, to a national environmental charity, Matter of Trust, which has stationed volunteers along the Gulf Coast to prepare the booms. Hundreds of volunteers are stuffing the nylon leggings with the hair and making them available for collecting the oil polluting the Gulf from an offshore BP oil rig that exploded and sank more than a month ago

Working under the banner of Shears for Our Shores, stylists from at least six local salons — DRee & Co., A. Lafera, Adam & Eve, Bella, City Salon and Kaleidoscope — will be cutting hair from 5-8 p.m., Memorial Day on the patio at Hotel Indigo, 500 College Ave.

Additionally, cosmetology students from Athens Technical College will be helping out, said DRee Church-Krohn, owner of DRee & Co. and a co-organizer of the event. Church-Krohn came up with the charitable concept after discussing the Gulf oil disaster with Annette Wright, one of her clients. Both had heard about Matter of Trust’s efforts.

“We decided to do a community event and give free hair cuts for clean hair,” Church-Krohn said. “We’re also collecting nylon tights to go into the hair booms to help clean up the oil, and if people want to make monetary donations they can.”

Local bands The Burning Angels and EFREN will perform for free during the event.

Bella Salon owner Tina Eckard-Riecke said Matter of Trust has been e-mailing salons around the nation asking for hair donations, and she already had donated some of her salon’s shorn locks. The Shears for Our Shores event offered her a chance to do more.

“Any little thing I can do to help the environment regarding this horrific situation, I want to do,” she said. “I’m happy to volunteer my time.”

Initially hair booms began sinking after getting saturated with water, and their use was discontinued in the oil collection. In the meantime, a San Diego fisherman and tug boat captain has invented a floating device to hold the booms.

Matter of Trust is continuing to accept hair, fur, fleece, feathers and nylons, according to its website,

“Thousands of booms are being made all along the Gulf Coast by hundreds of volunteers. Supplies are ready to go to official government haz mat teams that have hazardous waste disposal plans in place. Matter of Trust is only giving out booms to official government haz mat teams. BP Public Affairs has told us they have enough of their own boom,” the website states.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story was edited for length and was therefore missing key information contained in the original version. The full version appears here.

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