Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sweeny Todd


A(sweeny tod)drian
Originally uploaded by यश
I took this creepy picture of my friend Adrian getting ready to "chop it off" in a men's bathroom at Montgomery hall at SCAD-Savannah.

He took it all off and left me with about half a centimeter of hair on my scalp. Why the sudden decision to get rid of it all? Well, issues like dandruff and thinning did cause me to start hating my hair but there was a little bit more motivation from Adrian.

He is a grad student majoring in sustainability. The project he is working on involves using hair to make a felt like fabric. He showed me a 2x2 sample of what it looks like. It was almost like a carpet. Adrian explained to me the procedure as well. The collected hair first gets cleaned to remove it of all oil. It is then passed through a machine which presses and compresses the whole thing together into a sheet. This is close to the finished product. But the next step involves spikey needles puncturing through the sheet to interweave the hair and lock it down tighter. All the strands sticking out are trimmed away and a very smooth fabric is obtained.

Now I admit like most of you, I was thinking of this in terms of fashion or clothing. But Adrian tells me that hair is very good at absorbing oil. And this can be very helpful in cleaning oil spills in oceans etc. There are other organizations in this field as well. I am surprised I didn't know about this before. Not just that, he told me, there is a bacteria that eats away at the hair mats after they have been used. And thus this is a completely eco-friendly, biodegradable method to clean up oil spills.

So there, I donated my hair for a cause. Besides, he said thin hair is the best for making hair fabric or hair mats.

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