Sharky Museum Collection: Leila's Hair Museum, Kansas City
Leila, Leila, let us check out your museum!
One determined woman. One unique art form. One truly sharky museum.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl named Rapunzel trapped in a high, high tower by an evil witch. Rapunzel was very lonely, and her main daily activity was taking care of her long, luscious hair.
Every evening, the witch would come to Rapunzel’s tower, and she’d call, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.” Rapunzel would drop down her long locks, and the witch would climb up the rope of hair.
One day, in a fit of jealousy over the girl’s beauty, the old witch chopped off all of Rapunzel’s hair. Rapunzel was saddened by this, but then she had an idea. She sat down on her stool, and spent the rest of her days making jewelry out of her shorn locks—the first hair art ever.
Ok, so we don’t know if the bit about Rapunzel is true, but there is one thing we know for certain: hair art has been around for hundreds of years, and was first used as a keepsake (before photographs).
In the 20th century, ex-hairdresser Laila Cohoon began collecting pieces of art and jewelry made out of hair. Eventually, she decided to open a small hair museum in Kansas City, MO, to showcase this “lost art form” (and maybe even find a piece of Rapunzel’s hair). Some pieces in her collection even include hair from celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson!
Leila’s passion for collecting antique hair art has grown into a business of its own, making her possibly the only owner of a hair museum in the entire world.
Visit the hair museum if: Your favorite pastime involves braiding, washing, and/or cutting hair.
Don’t visit the hair museum if: Just looking at the hair on the floor of hair salons makes you shudder.