Think there’s nothing you can do to help clean up the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico?

Try getting a haircut.

Stylists at Third Dimension salon in Port Orchard are saving shorn locks to help in a massive effort to stem the spreading damage created by the BP Deepwater Horizon rig that sank on April 22, two days after it exploded and caught fire as it was finishing a well.

Five thousand barrels of oil are leaking a day and wreaking havoc on the Louisiana coast’s environment in what the federal government has deemed, “one of the worst environmental catastrophes ever seen.”

The Port Orchard salon started the effort to collect hair based on a program through “Matter of Trust,” in which the excess hair is wound into hair mats or made into hair “booms” that absorb the oil and create a barrier.

The concept began with Phil McCrory, a hair stylist, who came up with the idea that hair absorbs oil while he was washing a client’s hair.

Sausage-shaped hair booms are now being assembled by putting it in long nylons covered with mesh and tied together to form a barricade around the outskirts of the oil to prevent it from progressing.

Salon Manager Jean Wells said, “We sweep up all of the hair, package it and ship it off once a week to Louisiana, where they make the mats and booms.

“We are contributing to a crisis,” she said, “and through this program have found a way to help the environment from here in Port Orchard.”

Last week the shop shipped a 40-gallon bag of hair collected for four or five days.

“Our clients think it is wonderful,” Wells said, “and it makes them feel that they’re contributing as well. We plan on doing this indefinitely because we want to do our part to help.”

Third Dimension salon is located at 1456 Olney Avenue SE and hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call the salon at (360) 876-3619 or visit the website at