Hair Help the Oceans: How wasted hair saves the oceans

Hair Help the Oceans: How wasted hair saves the oceans

07/31/2022 07:00 (act. 07/31/2022 15:57)

Hair is no longer thrown away at Roswitha Zehetner's hair salon in Dornbirn.

Hair is no longer thrown away at Roswitha Zehetner’s hair salon in Dornbirn. ©VOL.AT/Mayer


Wash, cut, save the seas. At the Zehetner hairdresser in Dornbirn, cut hair no longer ends up in the trash. They become water filters.

Cut hair is no longer simply thrown away at Roswitha Zehetner’s hair salon on Dornbirn’s Marktstraße. Since 2022, “Friseur Zehetner” has been a partner of the German start-up “Hair Help the Oceans” – in English: “Hair help the oceans”.

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Roswitha Zehetner’s hair salon in Dornbirn. ©VOL.AT/Mayer

Collect instead of throwing away

“A colleague in Germany did this, I found it very exciting and Googled it right away,” the owner explains to VOL.AT. “Hair no longer goes to waste, but is collected in a paper bag.” All hair is collected – whether colored, natural, short or long. The filled bags are placed in a collection box and collected.

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These information boards are in the hair salon. ©VOL.AT/Mayer

One kilo of hair filters eight kilos of oil

Numerous salons in Europe have already registered with “Hair Help the Oceans”. Hairdressers pay a monthly contribution of 25 euros, which covers logistics, transport and processing costs. In Bückeburg, Germany, the hair is tangled in mats and then placed in three-foot-long tights. This can be used for fish oil, gasoline, and impurities like sunscreen residue out of the water.

According to the start-up, one kilo of hair can filter up to eight kilos of oil. According to “Hair Help the Oceans”, hair filters are used all over the world: in lakes and bodies of water, in front of industrial areas and on coasts. For example, they were used in Mauritius when a freighter ran aground and lost several thousand tons of oil. Despite the oil slick, worse things could be avoided according to the company with the water permeable hoses.

Zehetner hairdresser in Dornbirn

So far the only salon in the country

For me, it’s incredibly important to do something for the environment”, Roswitha Zehetner told VOL.AT. “If everyone makes their small contribution, there will be a big thing at some point”. are totally excited, they think it’s great that we’re participating, yes,” says the hairdresser happily: “I hope many colleagues now jump on the bandwagon,” she says.

Biodegradable towels and bathrobes

Zehetner’s company also takes other measures for the environment and climate. His company cooperates with “ClimatePartner” and tries to reduce CO₂ emissions as much as possible. “We now have biodegradable towels, as well as barber coats,” explains the owner. These go in the organic waste. “They’re composted in a hundred days,” says Zehetner. “So we need less water, less electricity, because otherwise we already use a relatively large amount of electricity. The washing machine only works once a week and not every day and the dryer never really works”, describes the hairdresser in an interview with VOL. . AT THE.

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