The Walter-Todd Salon in North Park accumulates a pound of hair a day. These typically trashed clippings are now finding a new life, serving as mini-warriors in the fight against oil spill in the Gulf.
“You know, I felt the need to do something,” Walter-Todd owner Todd Bradley said.
Bradley, like many other stylists around the world, is participating in the National Surplus Program. The program is sponsored by the environmental group, Matter of Trust.
“There’s a lot of oil out there that needs to be absorbed, this is just a great renewable way to get it up,” Bradley said.
The idea behind the National Surplus Program is this: stylists from member salons collect hair clippings. The hair is then sent off to volunteers, who stuff the donated hair into recycled nylons. The end result is a large sponge-like mat called a boom, which can trap oil and prevent it from spreading.
“They can wring them out and reuse them up to 100 times,” Bradley said about the booms. Human hair is hydrophobic, meaning that it deflects water but still absorbs oil.
“Each pound of hair will soak up a quart of oil,” Bradley said.
Customer Maria Lorenzo was the one who encouraged Todd to be part of the movement.
“It’s fantastic because of everyone that owns a salon participates in this we can make some serious headway in this problem,” Lorenzo said.