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Hair helps soak up oil spills

Glitz stylists, in back from left, Ashley Upcott, Megan Arnold, Gina Daniels, Katie Mink, Stephanie Teelander, and Christa Covey, and, kneeling from left, Heidi Deo, Jennifer Morris, Amanda Sawyer, and Amber Sitek, collect hair clippings for Matter of Trust. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
May 19, 2010 - When hair stylist Amber Sitek saw news reports of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, she wanted to help.

She found a website of a group that makes oil-soaking mats and booms out of donated hair. A stylist with Glitz of Independence Township, she knew where to find some.

"It sounds crazy it's just a box of hair," said Sitek. "It's kind of cool. They'll make it into a bug hair net."

About 370,000 salons around the country send hair clippings in recycled shampoo boxes to the non-profit group Matter of Trust.

The group's Hair Mat Oil Spill Program weaves the donations into mats to soak up oil from water and beaches, and also stuffs them into donated nylons to make sausage-shaped hair booms to encircle oil spills and keep them from spreading.

Glitz locations in Independence Township, Lake Orion, and Rochester are participating.

For more information, call 248-625-1001 or check matteroftrust.org.

Phil Custodio

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