Collect your extra horse hair to help clean up oil spill

Your horse's extra hair can be used to help collect crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

One thing we horse owners have plenty of is horse hair, especially as your horse sheds out.

Who knew that this hair is now considered a renewable resource that can be used to help absorb the crude oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico? A San Francisco-based charity, Matter of Trust, collects hair to use in home made booms that are used to absorb oil. Apparently hair is ideal for this purpose: the ridged texture that helps hair soak up natural skin oils also makes it effective at collecting crude. Matter of Trust uses hair from people and animals to create hair mats. They also create booms by stuffing pantyhose with hair.

Matter of Trust is appealing to hair salons, pet groomers and individuals to donate hair to the cause. Anyone interested in donating should follow these instructions:

  • Set aside a designated box (salons usually reuse a box in which shampoo was delivered)
  • Line the box with a plastic garbage bag so hair/fur can’t slip out
  • Ideally, donate shampooed hair (but certainly don’t include filthy hair / fur)
  • Any length hair is fine.
  • Every type of hair is fine (straight, curly, all colors, dyed, permed, straightened…) but only HEAD hair, please!
  • Every type of fur / waste wool is fine.
  • Sweep in all clippings, JUST HAIR, but please NO OTHER GARBAGE (gum, metal clips, paper cups, wrappers…). Remember volunteers (sometimes young students) have to stuff this hair into booms and don’t want to feel garbage or anything sharp.
  • Tie the top of the bag and tape the box shut.
  • We also accept washed, used (even with runs) nylon stocking donations in a separate bag, please.
  • We also accept other “natural fibers” horse hair, feathers… again, please, no other garbage or contaminants in with the hair/fur/ wool fibers…
  • Mark the boxes DEBRIS FREE HAIR / FUR or NYLONS.

The mailing address for hair, fur, wool… clippings and nylon donations are being emailed out to everyone who signs up. We are emailing in WAVES, so as to control the flow and not overload smaller warehouses along the coast. We are currently seeing about 500,000 pounds come in from all over the country, every few days. And volunteers are learning how to make a mile of boom a session!

Here is where you can sign up:

3 thoughts on “Collect your extra horse hair to help clean up oil spill

  1. You mean someone actually WANTS all those gobs of fur? I wish I knew that about a month ago!

Leave a Reply