Leila's Hair Museum

| November 6, 2002 Issue

Leila's Hair Museum, Web site review by Abbie Jarman
According to hairworks.com, "When Leila Cohoon tells people she owns a hair museum, they envision old curling irons, hair dryers, and other such tools. However, this is not the case." For three dollars, visitors can see Cohoon's vast collection of art and jewelry made out of human hair, including 159 wreaths and 2,000 pieces of jewelry made from hair no younger than 100 years old. Cohoon began collecting hair (she scours garage salses, auctions, and antique dealers) 37 years ago, when she founded the Independence College of Cosmetology--now the national headquarters for the Victorian Hairwork Society. VHS, an Internet-based society, brings together people interested in hairwork, while providing accurate information about the craft "so that it can be elevated to its rightful place as a folk art." For a mere $35 and a lock of hair, hirsute participants can join VHS and receive networking lists, e-mail newsletters, a Hairball Medallion, and an invitation to the Semi-Yearly HAIRBALL Convention. The 2000 Convention ("Hairway to Heaven") offered a weekend of workshops, lectures, and hair art demonstrations for $275. Members can also buy and sell hair at hairworks.com, where a shopper can browse through pictures of chopped braids and the backs of heads for the perfect locks for their brooch or watchband.
--Abbie Jarman
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