Buzzcut for a good cause

Buzzcut for a good cause

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the terrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s been nearly a month and despite all efforts to quell the growing leak, it’s now been predicted that the spill is quickly on it’s way to the Florida Keys and Greenpeace has reported finding blobs of oil on the coast of Louisiana. Even if the leak is stopped, there’s still the battle of what to do to clean it up.

A huge part of me wants to leave my husband and home and go volunteer in the clean up effort, but my job simply won’t allow for that. So what’s a conscientious green girl to do? Well, after seeing too many heartbreaking photos of oil-slicked seabirds and knowing what havoc spills like this brings, I did the only thing that I could do- I shaved my head. Why? Because hair, both human and animal, is one of the most effective substances for containing and absorbing oil spills.

With this knowledge, the organization Matter of Trust is leading the way; making booms in an effort to try to contain the BP leak. Matter of Trust accepts donations of all “natural” fibers including human hair, dog and cat fur, alpaca or sheep wool, feathers, you name it.

Call me extreme, but when I heard this I knew I had to shave my head. I even shaved the heads of a few friends! It coincided with my birthday and I couldn’t think of a better present to give the world that has nurtured me for 26 years. Not to mention, I look okay with no hair and it feels good in the sunshine.

Cutting my hair has been a time of personal growth as well. No longer can I hide behind my crazy curls! My blemishes, eczema, scars, whatever, are all on display, and as a bigger girl I was afraid that I would look a little pinheaded. But you know what? It’s all okay. I feel lighter, in every sense. I know people are staring, but I’ve stopped caring. This gift to the world has become a gift to myself.

While this spill is monumental and we’ve been shocked into action, this is a need that’s been long over looked. Sadly, Matter of Trust has reported that BP is not accepting the booms (everyone is hoping this decision may change) and as of May 23rd, MOT are asking that all donations be held as reserves to be used for future spills. Because unfortunately, there were over 2600 oil spills in the last year alone! Used motor oil discarded by households accounts for nearly 363 million gallons of oil that enter our oceans every year. It’s an ongoing effort to contain and clean up our world’s waters and the need for hair is one that is unlikely to go away.

So you want to help, right? But not so sure about taking the plunge into crew cut world? No problem! There are still plenty of ways to help. Ask the salons in your area to collect and donate their trimmings. Get a trim yourself or try a new look. What better reason to try bangs? Ask the groomer that washes your dog to keep their trimmings. In fact, ask your vet and local animal shelter as well; they often shave animals with mats, which are totally okay to donate! You can also donate a bag of your old (clean) nylons, even if they have some runs; these are used to make the casing of a boom.

Get involved! Educate yourself and those around you and start a donation box for nylons and other recyclable fibers. We’ve only got one world; let’s keep it clean!

Click this link to view a video and learn more about the Oil Spill Hair Mats Program.

14 thoughts on “Buzzcut for a good cause”

  1. The oil spill is breaking my heart, today I was driving home listening NPR and they spoke about pulling oil out of a turtle’s nose and eyes. It’s so frustrating and tragic.

    You look cute with the glasses and buzzcut though! I recently decided to grow my hair out but now I’m tempted to donate it.

  2. This is such an amazing and selfless thing to do! I am really impressed. But I admit that I would not be brave enough to do it.

    Not to be a negative nancy. But can anyone clear up the debate of whether or not the hair is being or will be used? I am reading so many conflicting reports. I am confused!

  3. Ok-I reread the article and see that you mention that BP is not accepting the hair. I still wish that someone would clear up the why if it is in fact a good thing. But hey since when did BP make sense?

  4. You look beautiful, @mandaleem, and what you did is beautiful, too. This terrible situation is almost unbearable to think about, and I would love to help in some way. I never thought of pet hair! My big, furry dog is getting his summer cut this week and I will talk to the groomer about donating fur.

  5. I wish I had the guts to do something like this @mandaleem, I applaud your courage! And you do look amazing.

    We actually added the info about BP not using the booms to Amanda’s post. Because when she sent it to us a week ago, MOT had not yet received BP’s answer. But as also mentioned, hopefully this will change. Plus, this organization is so dedicated and resourceful. I’m sure they’ll put the booms to use in the US areas that unfortunately the oil is starting to effect (like Louisiana marshes). Keep an eye on their press page (the “reported” link above) for developments.

    The footage is so shocking, isn’t it? The oil just spewing out into the ocean for the last few weeks. It’s horrible…
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..Green Tea Goods – a Green Monday review =-.

  6. The oil spill is heartbreaking and we feel so helpless. Thank you for showing everyone a tangible and personal way to help.
    I will be saving all of my cat fur (lord knows I have enough!) so Winston and Clementine can do their part as well!

  7. The salon I use is collecting hair to send to the oil spill. Hopefully, it will get used. Can’t imagine why BP wouldn’t want to use it? You look adorable @mandaleem. What a great thing to do and for such a good cause.

  8. Wow @mandaleem – I am truly impressed with your buzzcut for a good cause! What a selfless act – and brave too! I agree with the ladies – you look fab! Don’t let the stares get you down!

    I’ll be following with great interest to see the next couple of moves in cleaning up the huge mess in the gulf. As terrible as it is, I can only hope this is a wake up call and leads to stricter rules when drilling off the coast and hopefully we can finally phase it out all together and truly start researching, promoting and using green alternatives (they are out there!)
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Kusmi Tea and their newest offering – Be Cool =-.

  9. Awwwwww, y’all are making me blush! So is the 2nd photo, you can see the mess that is my craft bench/sewing machine. Oops!

    Even though now we’ve learned that BP isn’t going to use the booms (and instead have decided to pump more chemicals into our precious waters in an attempt to break up the oil) the hair will be used. Mats are made to line the cages of oil soaked animals and oil spills in other areas of the world can still use the booms. I have hope that my hair will make a difference for someone.

    I agree with @Tyna and I really hope that this is a big wake up for the world. Why risk huge problems like this when safer, greener alternatives are available? Hopefully people will start to consider this the next time they make a purchase or decision about energy resources.

  10. Thanks for the awareness, Amanda. I agree with everyone else- what a selfless act. I can imagine how it could be a time of personal growth. I hope that growth sticks with you forever!

    I live in Louisiana and this spill is devastating our state and our hearts- we appreciate your efforts to create awareness and help the cause!

  11. @mandaleem you. are. awesome! For writing this piece and for donating your hair (you look gorgeous with a shaved head!)

    This crisis has been heartbreaking and frustrating to watch unfold. This is a great way to help out and hopefully ease some of the devastation.

  12. @mandaleem you look so pretty!! And the fact you did that for such a worthy and heartbreaking cause is so admirable! Everything helps.. and truly giving of yourself like you did is one of the most awesome things I’ve heard! :)

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