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Skaneateles: Save your hair -- save the ocean

It's a "matter of trust" -- trust in mankind, in the human spirit and in your local hair stylist.

Bijou Salon owner Kim Baker is now trying to get others on board with this act of trusting by being the point person for sending hair donations to Matter of Trust, a non-profit organization based in California that focuses on preserving and restoring nature through the use of manmade and natural surplus.

"Natural" surplus includes human and animal hair.

According to Baker, a client of hers wanted to donate her hair to the Matter of Trust program so it would be used in mats that soak up oil. With the most recent oil spill in the Gulf Coast, Baker has learned that hair is being used to help pull the oil from the ocean.

Since hair helps pull oil away from a person's scalp, the idea of using it to pull oil from water seemed totally natural when Baker heard about it. The oil spill hair mats, after soaking up oil, are taken, detoxified and then broken down naturally with worms that turn the hair into fertilizer.

Matter of Trust also creates "hair booms," to help stop spills from spreading.

While she had heard about the program several years ago, it wasn't until Baker's business partner emailed her last week and said they should start saving all the hair from cuts that she really got excited about the program.

So, last Wednesday, May 5, Baker went down to Town Square and picked up two new garbage bins and prepared them for decoration. The bins are now used only for hair to be sent to Matter of Trust. She has also connected with two local pet groomers -- Wags Pet Motel and Pretty Paws -- and will collect their hair trimmings once a week to send to California.

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