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Leila's hair museum is a museum that displays antique hair art and jewelry, and focuses on the history of the creation, uses and purposes of decorative items made from hair. The museum opened in 1986, and was founded and is owned by a hairdresser named Leila Cohoon. Most of her collection has been acquired through purchases at antique stores, estate sales and from donations by other hair art collectors.

  • A photo of Leila with one of the hair wreath's in her museum's collection from the museum facebook page.
  • A photo of one of the pieces in Leila's collection from the museum facebook page.
  • Ozzy Osbourne and his children with Leila in her hair museum.
Leila Cohoon has been a hair dresser for over 60 years. She is also the owner of the Independence College of Cosmetology in Independence, Missouri. She began collecting hair art in 1956 when she purchased a framed piece of hair art from an antique store in Kansas City, Missouri. She bought her second piece, a larger hair wreath later that year from a woman who was visiting her beauty salon. She began displaying all of her pieces at the cosmetology school she opened in 1960. When she ran out of space she opened up her museum in 1986.
In the museum there are over 150 wreaths and 2,000 pieces of jewelry in Leila's collection. Most of her collection is from the 19th and early 20th centuries, but she does have a few pieces that date back to the late 17th century. Her oldest piece is a brooch containing a piece of hair from the 1680s.
Many of the hair wreath's were from the 19th century, when it was common to make hair wreaths using hair from different family members to create a family tree record. Hair jewelry was also commonly made by women to be given to loved ones, especially lovers, as keepsakes to remember them by. Leila spends time researching the pieces in her collection and sharing with the public the history of these pieces of art and jewelry and the processes in which they were made. Along with displaying her collection she also hosts hair art workshops in the museum.

First Person: Leila Cohoon. Financial Times. August 30, 2013.

Leila's Hair Museum. Atlas Obscura.