Hernando salon collects hair for oil spill clean-up

By Chip Washington - bio | email

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - As millions of gallons of oil continue to threaten the Gulf Coast, there is one renewable and absorbent resource that is being used to sop it up: hair.

For Tommie Ann Gatlin, owner of All About Hair in Hernando, Monday was just another slow day in terms of customers. But Gatlin's shop is playing a small role in a rather large project: cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"I got on the website, read about it, and decided that we would do it," Gatlin said. "We would save our hair...I mean we throw it away everyday, anyways."

The website, MatterofTrust.org, deals with recycling and environmental issues. The website's creators say says people use shampoo because hair naturally collects oil and suggest collecting hair and sending it to the gulf to soak up oil.

So far, MatterOfTrust.org has amassed a donor base of 90,000.  Monday, Gatlin said she has been collecting hair since last week, and will continue to do it for as long as the need is there.

Customer Leighan Mailhot did not know about the campaign, but was happy to help.

"If it helps the people, that's good," Mailhot said. "If it helps get rid of the mess, that's fine."

According to the website, even pet hair can be used to collect oil.

"We're gonna send it to the ocean and let it help save the water and all the fish and everything in the water," stylist Krista Dodd. "I think it's good."

Gatilin said the hair collection effort is personal for her, as her family takes a vacation every year to Orange Brach on the Alabama coast.

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