Ubuntu Hair Studio: How Does Hair Help Clean an Oil Spill?

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					Ubuntu Hair Studio: How Does Hair Help
          Clean an Oil Spill?

Ubuntu Hair Studio is a San Diego-based hair studio dedicated to effecting global
change, one client at a time. Ubuntu Hair Studio donates discarded hair to Matter
of Trust, which uses it to help clean up oil spills. How does your hair help to clean
an oil spill? You can see for yourself in this fun (but messy) project.

First, ask your local hair studio if it is possible to collect their clipping. Salons cut
roughly a pound of hair per day. If you are teaching a class or working with a
group, three to four pounds is a good amount. Also, collect five pairs of washed

If anyone you know is changing their oil, ask if you can use their old oil for your
project. You will need about two quarts. You also need a large clear Tupperware
bin, water, baby wipes, rubber gloves, three plastic garbage bags, scissors, a tray,
and paper towels.

Cut the stocking legs off and stuff them loosely with hair; they should not be
packed very tight. Then tie the tops in knots. Get your garbage bags ready and
open so that you can dispose of the hair stockings once they have soaked up the

Pour water into the bin. Then pour in about half a cup of oil. Swish one of the
stockings around in the bin and watch how it soaks up just the oil. If you remove
the stocking, you will see clear water beading off of it.

You can repeat this experiment as long as you have stockings left, but save one to
do a final cleanup when you are done! After the experiment, dispose of the
stockings and oily water properly. Do not just pour it down the drain.