Don’t Trash It! Your Haircut Can Help Clean Up Oil Spills

By: | May 16th, 2024

Image by Matter of Trust

An Eco-Friendly Solution to Oil Spills

Oil spills are major environmental disasters, causing harm to wildlife and ecosystems. But what if there was a way to clean them up using something readily available and eco-friendly? Believe it or not, human hair is proving to be a valuable tool in this fight.

Here’s the science behind it:

Hair is naturally absorbent, with a high surface area thanks to its keratin structure. This allows it to trap oil and other contaminants. Non-profit organizations like Matter of Trust capitalize on this property by collecting donated hair from salons and barbershops. This hair is then processed and transformed into thick mats or booms.

These hair mats boast impressive absorption capabilities. A single mat can soak up several times its weight in oil, making them highly effective at collecting spills. Additionally, hair is a renewable resource and biodegradable, unlike traditional cleanup materials that can add to plastic pollution problems.

Donating Hair for a Cleaner Tomorrow

While hair isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every oil spill, it offers a sustainable and innovative approach. It can be particularly useful in sensitive areas or for smaller spills.

So next time you get a haircut, consider donating your hair to a program that uses it for oil spill cleanup. Your unwanted locks could end up playing a vital role in protecting our precious waterways.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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