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Hosiery, hair collected for oil spill

Park Rapids cosmetology students have started an initiative to collect hair and nylons to send to the Gulf of Mexico to soak up oil from the recent spill. Front, from left, Emily Schrupp, Krista Norquist, Katie Miller, Jennifer Mongen and Regina Abrego. Back, from left, Alyssa Kluenenberg, educator Samantha Hyduke, educator Martha LaPointe, Kate Greer and Christine Horsager. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Collections of hair and nylons are being taken at Park Avenue School of Cosmetology to be sent to the Gulf of Mexico.

The hosiery and hair is being used to soak up oil from the spill at the Gulf Coast.

"We heard about it from the Association of Cosmetology Schools," said Kristine Walsh, owner of Park Avenue School of Cosmetology. "They put out a call to action and the students here responded."

Krista Norquist, who graduated from the school earlier this week, spearheaded the local effort.

"It's just kind of a neat way we can help, donating hair and nylons," she said.

The school is keeping hair clippings from their clients to donate and encouraging other salons in town to do the same. Animal hair is also accepted.

Matter of Trust, an environmental non-profit, is the national group that started the effort. The non-profit has helped clean up oil spills in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond by reusing donated hair clippings from hair salons, barber shops, pet groomers and wool farmers. Stuffing the donated hair into donated nylon stockings, the organization has created highly absorbent booms to contain oil spills.

Matter of Trust is currently coordinating efforts of thousands of participants to match nylon and hair donations to space in temporary warehousing along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. Volunteers are building booms on site, hoping to hold off the encroaching oil slick.

Park Avenue School of Cosmetology will be taking collections until Monday, May 24, Walsh said. Then, they will send the boxes of hair and nylons to a site at the Gulf.

For more information go to the Matter of Trust website at

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561