Sitting down to work this morning, Amy read me a Facebook post from her friend Dana Boyle, who is looking for a way to spread the word that hair soaks up oil spills, and that hair can be donated to help cleanup efforts in the massive Gulf oil spill off Louisiana:

Seeking local means of spreading the word about hair salons donating hair for the oil spill clean up. Any ideas? Papers? TV? Radio? Associations? 1 pound of hair (the average produced by a single salon in any one day) can soak up nearly 8 gallons of oil. If every salon in America gave just one day’s worth of hair, that would be 2,000,000 gallons of oil that could be cleaned up. Help me mobilize an effort?

A little clicking around turned up Matter of Trust, a 501 (c) 3 public charity out of San Francisco which collects hair for hair booms used in oil spill cleanup. That’s their “Hair soaks up oil spills” YouTube video above.

The website actively invites hair donation:

Anyone and Everyone: salons, groomers, individuals can sign up to donate hair, fur and nylons for our Oil Spill Booms. Our Excess Access program sign up is free, fast and helps us to coordinate the masses of donations.”

Signup information, shipping instructions, flyers and handouts for teachers and students, and photos of their hair booms and oil spill hair mats are all available here:

Matter of Trust: Gulf Oil Spill Hair Booms / Hair Mats Information

Let’s all help spread the word to friends, hair salon owners and hair stylists, pet groomers, and anyone else you can think of.

Update, 5/25/2010:

According to the Associated Press, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard do not plan to use hair in the Gulf oil spill:

Engineers said they concluded that using the hair was not feasible, and the organizations collecting the hair were asked to stop doing so.