A HAIRDRESSER has found an unusual way to help the environment by using materials that most people wouldn’t immediately think of.
Adele Williams has been a hairstylist for almost a decade and was working around the world when the Covid pandemic prompted her to open her own workshop.
In March 2020, Adele left Canada to return to Wales where she is originally from and started a workshop to teach people how to act sustainably.
At her old hair salon, Adele said any excess hair was sent away to be recycled in mats used to absorb the oil from the water when oil spills occurred.
This gave her the idea of creating a service that would allow salons in the UK to do the same, but no other shops used this method.
Instead, the average oil slick mat is typically made from polypropylene plastic.
Adele looked for a workshop space and a needle felting machine that could make the mats and then began collecting hair.
“I get hair sent to me from everywhere and it’s all human hair. It’s amazing how much I’m getting,” she told Newsweek.
“Many individuals donate to me; If you have a haircut send me an envelope with your hair in it. I get a package in the mail and it’s hair again, it’s pretty weird.”
She said her experience as a hairstylist made it so that the thought of touching hair and heads “doesn’t scare me” like it would for other people.
“And most of the hair that is sent to me is washed and cleaned anyway,” Adele added. “When I get hair from individuals, I let it sit for three months in case there’s anything in it. But I’ve never actually felt anything uncomfortable.”
Adele made her first mat in November 2020 and has made around 100 since then.
She said the mats absorb at least four times their weight in oil, and she’s tested them using a variety of methods.
The process takes around two hours, but Adele says it can take around 45 minutes with two people.
“My aim now is to build this part of my business as a social enterprise and get funding to build a large unit or factory so we can make these mats on a larger scale and become the first oil spill response across the UK.”
Adele said she’s inspired to make the world a better place and thinks it’s amazing that “this material grows out of our heads” as it can solve a lot of problems.
It has become her passion as it is much more effective and not harmful to the environment.
Adele is now the founder of Green Wave Hair Workshop in Pembrokeshire, UK.
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5772436/hairdresser-uses-hair-mats-oil-spill-environment-sustainability/ I collect human hair – my old job inspired me to start this hobby for an unusual purpose