A HAIRDRESSER found an unusual way to help the environment using material that most people wouldn't think of off the top of their heads.
Adele Williams has been a hairdresser for nearly a decade that had worked all around the world when the Covid pandemic prompted her to start her own workshop.
In March 2020, Adele left Canada to move back to Wales, where she is originally from and began a workshop that could teach people how to be sustainable.
At her old hair salon, Adele said all the waste hair was sent away to be recycled into mats that were used to absorb the oil from water when oil spills occurred.
This gave her the idea to create a service that allowed salons in the UK to do the same, but no other shops were using this method.
Instead, the average oil spill 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 sent hair from all over the place, and it's all human hair. It is amazing how much I receive,” she told Newsweek.
“A lot of individuals donate to me; if they have a haircut they will send me an envelope of their hair. I'll get a package in the post and it'll be hair again, it is quite strange.”
She said that her experience as a hairdresser makes it so the thought of touching hair and heads “doesn’t creep me out” as it would for other people.
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“And, most of the hair that is sent to me is washed and cleaned anyway,” Adele added. “When I receive hair from individuals, I leave for three months in case there is anything in there. But I have never actually found anything unpleasant.”
Adele made her first mat in November 2020 and has since made about 100.
She said the mats absorb at least four times their weight in oil and she’s tested them using several different methods.
The process takes about two hours but Adele says that with two people, it can be about 45 minutes.
“So my goal now is to set this part of my business up as a social enterprise and get funding to get a big unit or factory so we can be making these mats on a bigger scale and become the first response for oil spills around the UK.”
Adele said she’s inspired to make the world a better place and thinks it’s amazing that “we have this material growing out of the top of our heads” as it can solve a lot of issues.
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It’s become her passion since it’s much more effective and not harmful to the environment.
Adele is now the founder of Green Wave Hair Workshop in Pembrokeshire in the UK.
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