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‘Hair-raising’ effort to fight Gulf oil spill

The answer to the Gulf Coast oil crisis might be right there onthe top of your head, and based on that, one local hair salon isspearheading the Brookhaven branch of a national cleanupeffort.

The project is to gather hair, fur and nylons to help absorb theoil spill that is currently threatening the coast of the Gulf ofMexico through a program called a Matter of Trust.

Raymond’s of Brookhaven manager Melissa Davis said the salon isjoining in the relief effort and asking other local salons to help.Hair is the substance of choice because it absorbs oil better thanmost other substances.

“This is a major catastrophe, and it’s time for us to come togetheras a community to show support for people on the Gulf Coast,” shesaid. “There’s wildlife affected, and I didn’t know how manypeople’s jobs are affected too.”

Davis and hairstylist Jason Gojnur said the hair can be eitherhuman or animal, as long as it’s clean. It will be put insidestockings and used to help absorb the oil in the water.

“From the information we got, hair is the most absorbent materialof oil, and the best part is it’s free to donate,” he said. “It’sthe best resource that the workers on the coast have rightnow.”

Raymond’s is collecting hair from their own customers, as well asfrom other salons and animal grooming businesses around town, anddriving it to the coast once a week.

“We don’t care if you get your hair cut here or somewhere else, wejust want to have your hair when you’re done,” Gojnur said.

And after that, it’s taken to the coast, Davis said.

“There’s a shipping cost to get it there, we have the means to getas many trucks as we need, and someone from our office in Jacksonwill be driving the truck there every week to drop off the boxes ofhair,” she said. “So we’re calling surrounding hair salons, andeither they can bring their hair here or we can pick up if we needto.”

As local salons and groomers gather the hair, it just needs to beput in a garbage bag, Gojnur said. The Raymond’s folks will thenput it in a box for shipping.

“The only requirement that this organization has is that the hairhas to be clean and there has to be no dirt, no clips, and it hasto be in a garbage bag, in a box,” he said. “We’re not even askingfor the box, we’ll do that ourselves to make it as easy as possiblefor everyone.”

There is currently no deadline to get the hair to the coast. Davissaid they will continue to collect it for as long as hair isneeded.

“I think this is really great, and I just hope everyone comestogether as a community to help,” she said. “I didn’t realize justhow large of an oil spill this is.”

Anyone with questions or seeking more information can callRaymond’s at 601-669-4642 or visit www.matteroftrust.org.