The Oil-Absorbing Properties of Hair

Hair easily absorbs oil

The media is currently reporting that organizations are ostensibly collecting human hair from salons, and dog hair from groomers, to create booms. These booms could be used to help prevent the Gulf of Mexico oil spill from coming ashore. Why hair?

Hair naturally absorbs oil. There are microscopic glands in the skin that give off a waxy and oily substance named sebum. Sebum lubricates the hair and skin of mammals. This oil waterproofs and protects the skin and hair by preventing them from becoming dry, brittle, dehydrated and cracked.>Continue reading The Oil-Absorbing Properties of Hair” />

Since human and dog hair naturally absorb oil, they may be useful to sop up the Gulf oil spill. Some reports indicate that the hair booms may actually increase pollution. There are conflicting reports as to whether the hair is actually being used.

It is a myth that moderate amounts of sebum directly cause hair loss. Most hair loss in men is genetic in origin (male pattern balding), and in women, hair loss is often caused by hormonal problems. Keeping the scalp healthy, however, and preventing excess sebum from building up is good for over-all hair health, and may help stave off pre-dispositions to hair problems.  Regular shampooing helps prevent sebum from building up.

In the case of hair loss, a doctor must be consulted for a diagnosis. Some underlying conditions can be treated. For many people, the only permanent solution to hair loss is a hair transplant by a qualified hair transplant doctor.