With the entire movember movement, supporting prostate cancer initiatives, I suddenly started to think more seriously about hair and how such a powerful month could lead into other possible initiatives as well. During this month, we will see clean-shaven faces turn into fine artful moustachery; all to raise awareness and prompt action. Funds help to support the number one male cancer-prostate cancer and go to Movember and Prostate Cancer Canada. Totally awesome!
Anyway, it made me think of all that hair….I also just happened to get my hair cut yesterday and had Kayla the pug groomed. Every place I went there was hair and I started to think about where all of that hair could go. So, as my trusty hair-dresser Joe went about cleaning up, I piped in and said, “Joe…ever think of saving that hair and re-using it?” Joe said, “Shelly, I know you come in here to pick up the old newspapers for the rescued dogs, now what’s on your mind?”. But even with the shaking of his head, I proceeded to go past the uncertainty and doubt, and told him there were things he could do with that hair! Then, I proceeded to pick up Kayla at the groomers, and asked Debbie the same question. Debbie did not have as much doubt as Joe, as she muddled her way through the globs of dog/puppy fur covering the tiles on her floor. Again, I said, “Debbie..there are lots of things you can do with that fur!” My friend Natalie was along for the ride and she simply said, “this is not exactly how I pictured a girlie afternoon but promise, we will stop for a cafe o’ lait along the way!” I agreed.
A couple of years ago, I posted an article about how various hair salons and pet groomers, could make a difference by saving all that hair/fur to help with the cleanup of the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill. Alabama Hair Stylist, Phil McCrory, is the inventor who came up with the idea of taking clippings and turning them into oil-collection tools by stuffing hair/fur into nylon stockings ( you can re-use those too) and tying together to surround/contain a spill. Each cubic foot can collect up to 8 gallons of oil in less than 3 minutes..imagine! We shampoo our hair because hair collects oil so think about how effective and efficient these hair/fur filled stockings work getting oil out of water? Check out Matter Of Trust.
Anyway, all to say, my Saturday was caught up into thinking the various ways this hair/fur could be re-used.
First of all, you can donate your hair. The Canadian Cancer Society helps those living with cancer find wigs and other types of headwear when they lose their hair as a result of cancer treatment. They do not collect hair but provides the following instructions on the process:
- Hair must be clean, dry and not swept off the floor ( told Joe he needs a new method)
- Hair must be a minimum length (varies on program-see below)
- Hair should not be chemically treated (bleach, colour or perm).
- Hair should be bundled (ponytail/braid)
- Hair should be sent by regular mail (include name/address)
It takes about 12 donations of unprocessed hair and costs about $1,200 to craft a single hand-sewn wig for a child. If the donated hair cannot be used, it will not be returned to the donor.
Order Quality Wigs, Inc.
CanDonate Hair Program
5847 chemin Cote-des-Neiges,
Montreal, QC, H3S 1Z2
Order Quality Wigs, Inc.
CanDonate Hair Program
Pierrefonds, QC, H9H 3E4
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
P. O.Box 434
2110 Kipling Avenue
Etobicoke Station B, ON M9W 5L4
*requirements: length – 8 inches. Visit www.beautifullengths.ca for hair guidelines and cutting
instructions (Send by Canada Post only)
A Child’s Voice Foundation
Angel Hair for Kids
3034 Palstan Road, Ste. 301
Mississauga, Ontario, L4Y 2Z6
Minimum requirement: length – 12 inches (30cm), no processing, preferably braided
Hair for Kids Program, c/o Continental Hair
92 1/2 Avenue Road
Ontario, M5R 2H2
Minimum requirement: length – 10 inches (25cm), minimal
Saving and re-using hair/fur does not stop there. Crafting and knitting seem to be making their way back. Think “Chatangora” — Danelle German, owner of Catty Shack Creations, makes one of a kind handbags from leftover Persian and Angora cat hair; a unique and crafty way to recycle large amounts of (clean) pet fur that is otherwise left to waste. Kendall Crolius’ Book. “Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You’ll Never Meet” is also getting rave reviews. I am not so crafty and knitting is not my thing, but I know there are many montrealdogblog followers who definitely are:) The fur is spun into yarn- Anybody out there with long-haired breeds like huskies, newfoundlands or chow chows? That can be a lot of fur in one year!
And for those who just want to keep it simple, why not remember to collect the hair/ fur and add to your compost? Few pet owners consider the ecological burden associated with pet sheddings and do not realize that human hair clippings/pet fur can be disposed of in a manner that actually benefits the ecological health of our planet. Some garden experts claim that many garden pests dislike the smell of human hair and therefore hair clippings around your garden can help rid of those pesky pests. Pet hair helps to add structure, stability and nutrients to soil.
If you don’t compost, you can still utilize pet fur as an additive in soil by simply mixing shedded fur into potting soil and adding it to your favorite house plants to help refresh the stability and provide your precious house plants with added nutrients. Something to keep in mind for next year-pet fur is also a good substrate for germinating seeds. When you start your seeding indoors, place the seeds in slightly moistened pet fur until they sprout and are ready for transfer.
So all you boys out there sporting those sexy moustaches, for all of you who have hair to spare, and for all of you who brush/groom your pets-think about all the ways to re-use that hair/fur-
This month is Movember but as I always say, “a great month, and great time, to think about paying good deeds forward”.