SEATTLE - Going to a beauty salon is all about looking good. Now, a new salon in Seattle is focusing on doing a greater good as well.
Hazel Salon & Organics just opened in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. They focus on organic products, but the hair that's cut is also a valuable, renewable resource.
An oil spill can have devastating consequences on sea life and clean-up is an imperfect process, but help can come from an unlikely source.
Tara Berg, owner of Hazel Salon & Organics, was at a hair show when she heard about mats made of human hair being used to help clean up oil spills.
"That's really the first thing is, wow - they do that?" said Berg.
So she's donating to the cause.
"It's so easy. I sweep up all my clippings like I would and instead of putting it into the garbage I've got a specific receptacle in the back," said Berg.
Customer Gloria Lee's hair will be sent to an organization called A Matter of Trust, which will transform the hair into valuable oil-absorbing mats.
"I'd never even had any thought of what happens to the hair after it gets cut, so definitely it was a surprise," said Lee.
Another surprise: Berg, a fledgling business owner herself, is lending a financial hand to other struggling entrepreneurs. Her business is donating to an organization called Kiva, a micro-loan program for people living in serious poverty.
"They can take out a loan as little as $25 and that can mean getting them into their own livelihood that can really make their life so much better and I thought as a business why not support that?" said Berg.
A Matter of Trust, the organization who makes the hair into hair mats, is having some trouble right now. The U.S. textile makers that produce the hair mats have closed in this economy, so now they are trying to find a new company to make the mats.
The organization survives on donations. If you'd like to help out, click here to their Web site.