Leila’s Hair Museum: Exploring Craziest Piece Ever

Published on : Thursday, October 28, 2021

It is the world’s only hair museum located in Missouri.  This unique museum displays more than 600 wreaths and more than 2,000 pieces of jewellery made out of only human hair. It is the finding that hair art actually dates back to at least the 1400s.

It is Leila Cohoon’s Hair Museum. It is a private museum owned by Leila Cohoon.

It is located S. Noland Road, Independence. This small but quirky museum displays Cohoon’s collection comes from as far back as the 17th century. Earlier, collecting hair was a way of capturing the essence of a person, and keeping the memory of a deceased love one near.

Preserving Hair Art

For first-time visitors to the museum usually don’t know what to expect. History does not define the actual date or year of beginning of the hair art began, known to but it is have flourished in the Victorian times and can be traced back to the 12th century.

Hair Story

The hair was known as a token of love in these times as well as a remembrance of someone who passed away. The age-old tradition of giving a lock of hair goes back thousands of years and can be traced from different cultures as well as different time periods.


Reliquaries contain crushed bone fragments, hair or blood of a person. The oldest badge collection in the museum, with a piece of hair enclosed in a crystal case, was made in 1680. It arrived in the United States in the 1800s through a family in Sweden. The gentleman, who was the last of his bloodline, sold the brooch to this hair museum so future generations could admire the masterpiece.

There are neckpieces called sepia, which is a scene, painted with pulverized hair. There is one sepia piece that is a weeping willow tree made from a young woman’s hair, passed away at the age of 25. The scene of her husband weeping at her grave is painted with hair. When hair is pulverized into powder it can be mixed with paint and used as a medium for painting scenes.

Each piece of jewellery in the museum tells a story of why it was made. Sometimes it will have the name of the person as well as their birth date and death date. You will also find pieces containing hair from Queen Victoria, four presidents and multiple celebrities ranging from Michael Jackson to Marilyn Monroe. The museum also has reliquaries of Mary (Mother of Jesus), the cross, and St. Anne (Jesus’ grandmother).

The museum also boasts some rare pieces of Americana. One such is a mourning brooch, contains a lock of hair from American statesman Daniel Webster, played an important role in the forging of the United States of America. The brooch has 32 seed pearls around the woven locks of hair. The reverse is engraved “Daniel Webster Oct. 24, 1852” (the date of his death).

There is even a wreath made using the hair of members of the League of Women Voters, dated 1865.

Other collections include wreaths, watch fobs, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, chains, brooches, hat pins, postcards, cuff links, rings, bookmarks, buttons, pictures and other interesting items made from human hair can be found.

This museum is known as a rare find worldwide.

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