Hair for oil |

Hair for oil

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

SUMMIT COUNTY – Everyone shampoos their hair because it collects oil, right? Now hair is being used to clean up the Gulf oil spill. And to lend a hand, local salons are collecting and donating clippings to the Hair for Oil Spills program.

“Hair donations will be taken indefinitely,” said Emma Hirsch, owner and operator of Hair Harmonies in Frisco. “We can use any kind of hair, even dog hair. It’s not like Locks of Love, where you need a certain length.”

After an oil well explosion April 20 killed 11 people and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, an online effort – – jumped on board to clean up the mess without oil-based products.

Conceived in 1998, the nonprofit’s mission is to “link ideas, spark action and materialize sustainable systems. We like to mimic how Mother Nature integrates enduring cycles and provides access to necessities in abundance. We concentrate on man-made surplus, natural surplus and eco-educational programs. The results are worthwhile, common-sensical and often enchanting.”

According to, “salons, groomers, wool farmers and individuals can sign up to donate hair, fur, waste wool, clippings and nylons, and funding for our Hair for Oil Spills program.” The fibers are then stuffed into recycled nylons and covered in mesh to make booms or, when possible, woven into hair mats.

Why would this work? Hirsch explained that “hair is the most porous stuff around.”

Hirsch also said local salons and even individuals can drop off hair donations at her shop – Hair Harmonies, at Breckenridge Hair Co. in Breckenridge, and at The Gentlemen’s Barber Shop in Dillon.

“We thought it would be a great way to get the everybody involved in the oil disaster and it is absolutely free for the community,” said Ryan Castline, owner and operator of The Gentlemen’s Barber Shop, in a press release. “We feel it is a great way to contribute from Summit County to the world.”

For more information, call Emma at Hair Harmonies – (970) 668-9491, Mel at Breckenridge Hair Co. – (970) 453-0800, and Ryan at The Gentlemen’s Barber Shop – (970) 468-0539.

To learn about the Hair for Oil Spills program, visit

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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