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Salon is clipping for a cause

All the hair cut at Rosemount's Cahill Salon is going into a box to be sent to the Gulf of Mexico.

Until recently, about the most exciting thing likely to happen to the hair that ended up on the floor at Rosemount's Cahill Salon was becoming a pest deterrent in someone's garden. But a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has turned hair into a hot commodity, and the local salon is committing its customers' locks to the cause.

Hair, it turns out, does a great job of soaking up oil. That's the reason we have to shampoo on a regular basis and it's the reason groups like Matter of Trust are looking all around the country for donations.

There is a premium on trimmings, and Lisa Martin, who owns the Rosemount salon and three others with her husband, Joel, decided after seeing a news story on Matter of Trust's hair collection that she should get involved.

"I hopped online and made sure that it was really happening and just decided that we just throw our hair away typically," Martin said. "If it could go to use for something to clean up the environment, we'd do it."

So, while salon employee still sweep the floor after each haircut, now the clippings go into a box instead of into the trash. Martin doesn't know yet where the clippings will eventually go. Matter of Trust has distribution centers all over the country, and the organization will give Martin a shipping address when she's ready to pack and mail her hair.

Martin plans to collect the clippings over the course of a month and send everything in at once. After a couple of weeks they've collected enough to fill a large suitcase.

"It takes a lot," Martin said. "The typical person who comes in every four to six week gets a half inch taken off. It takes a lot of hair to fill up a box."

Martin said customers seem happy to know their hair is going to a higher cause.

"They kind of got excited about it, thinking their hair is going to a cause," Martin said.