FORT MYERS, Fla. - Salons throughout Southwest Florida have been snipping away to help soak up the oil spilling in the Gulf. But now it seems their efforts may be cut short.
For years, Touch Salon in Fort Myers has been saving clips of hair normally thrown away, and sending them to Louisiana to make oil booms.
"The booms actually hold the oil back and with the leftover hair, we make hair mats," Touch Salon owner Mary Butcher said.
After this was considered an alternative method for containing the growing Gulf oil spill, Touch, along with other local salons, teamed up with the "Matter of Trust" organization to collect hair clippings from around the country. "We signed up with Matter of Trust as soon as we heard about the oil spill," Kathleen Cantu of Red Salon said.
But their enthusiasm to sop up the ooze took a hit when BP announced they will not use hair booms, saying commercial booms absorb more oil and less water. "Just think if everybody joined together and everybody did at least what they're capable doing, it could really help the situation," Kantu said. "I mean, this is a disaster."
Crews concluded using the hair is not feasible, and Saturday, asked organizations to stop collecting the tresses. Red Salon already collected dozens of 13 gallon bags. "It sounds like big business trying to sell their product to me. Why not use both? Why not combine the efforts of matter of trust and the commercial products?" Cantu asked.
Cantu says she has not yet received an email from Matter of Trust telling her to stop. Until then, she says she'll just keep collecting the locks.