Turns out that hair has other uses, too. Here’s a product that use human hair to prevent environmental damage from oil spills.

The OttiMat uses recycled human hair to repair and prevent the environmental damage caused by oil spills. Comprised of 99% recycled human hair and 1% Polypropylene Skrim, OttiMat adsorbs (holds on to) oil. OttiMat patented technology is environmentally friendly, non-hazardous and all natural.

The Ottimat was invented by Phil McCory, a hair stylist in Huntsville, Alabama. While watching television coverage of the 1989 Valdez oil spill, McCory noticed the difficulty volunteers were having cleaning the fur of otters.

I love stuff like this. Here’s the description of his first test:

In a home experiment, McCory stuffed 5 pounds of hair he’d cut into a pair of his wife’s pantyhose. He tied the ankles of the nylons together to form a ring shaped collection bundle. Then, filling his son’s baby pool with water, he poured a gallon of used motor oil in the pool and then dunked the pantyhose. Two minutes later he pulled out the nylons and noticed the water was crystal clear. Not a trace of oil was left in the water, said McCory.

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