Hair is not just for ponytails and top knots anymore; it can also help protect our ocean too.
We all know that water and oil do not mix, and when it spills into our oceans it causes catastrophic damage to our ecosystem and not only to the marine life but wildlife and every living thing that feeds/ utilises the ocean, this includes us.
The most popular method to contain an oil spill is the use of synthetic materials and chemicals, which is costly, generates excess waste and is just as bad for the environment. There is a huge push towards a more natural and sustainable technology to defend the oceans which is crucial to protect the planet and one of the key materials being sourced is hair. Yes, that’s right human hair!!!
Hair is naturally hydrophobic and bio sorbent, which means, it repels water and can collect heavy metals and other contaminants, like fuels and oil. A natural way to help contain spills is using hair in booms and hair mats. Imagine a really big stocking being stuffed with hair clippings, it kind of looks like a really big sausage.
Due to the hairs unique structure, 500 grams of hair can soak up one litre of oil in as little as a minute. The hair mats act as natural filters trapping any additional debris like cigarette butts in the process.
Sustainable Salons are an organisation which collects hair from partnering hair salons and doggy parlours. They are leading the way in creating hair booms and sending them out to specific areas that are in danger from spills. These hair booms can also be re-used. The oil collected gets wrung out and recycled itself. The hair booms are then allowed to dry and sent back into rotation for the next spill clean up.
The next time you have your hair done, remember that hair attracts oil and one day your hair could help mop up a spill, saving our precious oceans in a sustainable way.
When visiting a salon look out for the sustainable salons window decal, that way you can rest easy knowing your hair clippings are going to help keep our oceans clean!