Haircuts could help clean up oil spill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

Turns out, helping clean up the oil spill on the Gulf Coast is as easy as getting a haircut.

Ashley Carter, owner of Tangles, will donate all the hair she cuts, beginning Wednesday, to help soak up the oil. She’s calling on other salons in the area to do the same.

Tangles will make the donation through Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-based charity, which will stuff the loose hair into nylon stockings to make “booms” to surround and contain the oil spills.

Carter said a client mentioned the program to her on Friday, and she researched it throughout the weekend.

“(Wednesday) was our first day doing this,” she said. “The past couple of weeks — it was awful to just sit back. It’s something I can do to help. The whole thing is just devastating.”

Tangles owner Ashley Carter cuts Sandra Forman’s hair. All the hair Carter and staff cuts will be donated through the Matter of Trust charity to help absorb oil on the Gulf Coast.

Carter said the program isn’t limited to the length of the hair, like other hair donation services.

“It doesn’t matter how long the hair is,” she said. “Locks of Love requires it to be 10 inches.”

The organization will take all types of head hair, which includes straight, curly, all colors, dyed, permed and straightened.

Carter said she hopes to have enough hair to send her first shipment next week.

“I usually have about a garbage bag full of hair a week,” she said. “Most other salons should, too.

“If everyone would participate, we can get a lot of hair for this cause,” she said. “This is just a way we can all pitch in and help.”

Carter said she is open to joining other salons to send the hair all together to cut down on the cost of shipping.

For more than 20 days, oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico off of the Louisiana coast after a drilling rig exploded.

More than 4 million gallons of oil have spilled in the three weeks since the explosion, but slow-moving currents in the Gulf have kept the thickest oil offshore and away from coastal wildlife.

Earlier this week, dozens of tar balls were discovered in Baldwin County, and hundreds of people were combing the coast to pick up these balls.

As many as 50 tar balls were picked up on Tuesday, west of Gulf Shores, but no additional deposits were found Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reported.

For more information on how to donate hair to the cause, visit the Matter of Trust Web site at