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Tresses to Treasure

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If you were to go through a few of the cupboards in my house, you would find some pretty weird stuff. Baggies containing teeth that our children lost over the years. There is even a baggy that contains our daughter’s first haircut. I think you would also find a few kitty cat claws, whiskers and teeth stashed around here too.  Why do I hold onto this stuff? Why can’t I throw it away?


I cannot answer that question.  I read this blog to  my mother- and she shed some light on the subject. Apparently this is a passed down tradition in my family…we all have quirky families. Yes. That is what I will blame this weirdness on.  


Now with two women in our house- it seems that there is more and more hair everywhere. And it keeps popping up all over the place, except where it belongs, on our heads! In the car. On the chair. We both have long hair- so maybe that is the reason. I find it everywhere. I leave it everywhere!! LOL.  


You are saying to yourself- this woman in nuts…What is she possible writing about? Things that animals and human lose.  Well there is a point to this.  


I think I need a coiffure catcher. AKA as a hair receiver.  What? Yes. It’s a hair receiver.  It’s something that was used in the Victorian times and was still in use up through the decade that I was born. (You figure it out.)


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Hair receivers were small round containers with a hole in the top. They could be made from glass, porcelain, metal and celluloid ( a type of plastic). Woman would brush their hair and deposit the strays into the container. The hole in the top was used to deposit the pieces of hair inside with a push of the finger. Sometimes they had matching vanity accessories such as a  box for trinkets or a jar for powder that went along with it.  The hair receiver containers would then accumulate the strands- until which time the owner would “repurpose” the hair. Yuk. I know. Re-purposing hair. But hey- if you are on Got Good sites, you are already a fan of up-cycling….so read on carefully.


But before we get into the uses of the repurposed strands, we need to address the hair care of the time. There were no “shampoos” like we use in today’s world. Woman did not wash their hair as much as we do now either.  When they did- they used plain old soap and water, egg washes, and powders.  They made pomades out of lard and castor oil. Honey, oils and herbs such as rosemary were also used. Ahh… how I love the Victorian times- but I surely appreciate the conveniences that we have in today’s’ world.


So after these threadlike strands were collected and put into the jar-the proud owner could do many amazing things.  She could form a ratt. Imagine a bun like object of hair. This ratt would be temporarily “added” to the ladies own head of hair- to make her hair pouffier. Victorian styles had alot of that pouffy stuff going on. (I think some woman nowadays pay big money for extensions and things such as these).  

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Tiny pillows were also stuffed with the leftover locks, and they were used to make pin cushions. You read it right.  The hair oils were a great lubricant for the metal pins.  I imagine a Victorian seamstress sewing an item….


Also- women fashioned jewelry,wreaths, and other unique items from hair.  There is a great museum online called Leilas Hair Museum. I suggest that you check it out!! Here is the link:  If you are like me, you can appreciate the talent that these people displayed and know that the Victorian art of making things out of hair, also known as hairwork, is still alive and well!


Well even though I love the thought of not having Chloe’s and my hair all around the house and having it stored in a small container on a vanity- I cannot imagine using one of these for its’ intended purpose.  I think I will stick with a vacuum cleaner!! And I think I will finally be cleaning out those cupboards.   

hair receiver

Hair Receiver and Powder Holder, Courtesy of Lisa Loya Grover, Owner, Grover’s Corner


Thank you to Lisa at Grover’s Corner for allowing me to use her photograph.  You can buy this amazing item on the Got Good Bones™  Facebook selling group  located in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Also make sure to follow us on

Johannah Back
I have been a picker\collector\decorator my whole life. I grew up in an eccentric family of artists and collectors. I studied Interior Design- but never finished my degree, as being a mom of two amazing children always seemed to close the door on my college pursuit. I know what inspires and motivates me.

2 thoughts on “Tresses to Treasure

  1. I actually have a set that sits on a tray that I have saved swatches of my hair when I cut it. It is actually quite full

  2. Thanks for the insight. I wondered what that was used for. Like you, still think I’d use it for something other than hair.

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