Sopping up oil with hair and pantyhose?

We talked about some of the solutions BP is considering for trying to slow and eventually stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But apparently one of the best materials to sop up oil is human hair.

Hair booms

Just like birds who get soaked with oil because of their oily feathers, human hair has oils in it that can attract more oil. Unlike bird feathers, humans cut their hair off regularly, so there’s a constant supply of hair that would otherwise be thrown away! Hair salons all over the country are getting into the act, collecting and sending in human hair in order to help the crisis. The hair is stuffed like a sausage into nylon stockings to make long tubes which can be laid down in the path of the oil to soak it up.

If you’re getting your hair cut soon, ask them if they’re collecting hair for the oil spill. If not, send them to to learn how to send it in!

You can read or listen to a news story about this at NPR.

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5 Responses to Sopping up oil with hair and pantyhose?

  1. Dean says:

    That seems really cool, but if there all rolled up like a sausage, how will the haiir insid

  2. max poobear says:

    thats amazing how much people are contributing to cleaning up the oil. if human hair can help, maybe we can find something more extraordinary and effective to use.

  3. Wow. I never thought that human hair helps soak up oil. But if there are so many gallons of oil to clean up, the hair will just help it. B.P. needs to find a quicker way to cap it up, right?

  4. Will Eye Am says:

    A dog double T, you’re completely right but kinda of as dean said but with out the sausage part, can they use the “sausages” again after already using them.

  5. A-V-E-R-Y says:

    Im happy that BP is soaking up oil. But I must say its getting ridiculous and inexcusable because they have tried to clog/soak up the spill so many times and it never stops. COME ON BP THINK HARDER!!

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