An uber-expensive unicorn, except in the books.
10 Most Expensive Hair Strands in the World
How much is your hair worth? If your tresses are healthy, you might get a thousand bucks selling them. But if you’re a celebrity, then it’s a different story. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you 10 of the world’s most expensive strands of hair. Not surprisingly, they all belonged to famous people.
Here’s a roundup of the most expensive locks of hair - mostly from well known personalities who have passed away, except for one. For those who find collecting a dead man’s hair a macabre pursuit , stop reading. Those who are not offended by this, read on and find out who owns the world’s most valuable hair.
10. Neil Armstrong’s salt and pepper strands of hair: $3,000
Stories of making a profit from selling a famous person’s hair isn’t a new thing. But there’s a law forbidding it - especially if the celebrity is still alive. The man who walked on the moon asserted his rights to his locks and sued Marx Sizemore for selling strands of his hair. Armstrong used to come to Marx's Barber Shop in Lebanon to get a trim. But when he learned that the owner collected his hair clippings and sold them for $3,000, he filed a case pushing Sizemore to donate the profit to a charity.
9. John F. Kennedy’s impeccable thick brown hair in a bag: $4,160
Hair collecting might sound yucky but back in the Victorian Age, this was how admirers showed their affection to their idols: they asked for hair samples. In May 2011, a bag of hair strands from the head of late president John F. Kennedy, sold for $4,160 at the Juliens Auction in Beverly Hills. Kennedy’s family hairdresser, Harry Gelbart from Barber to the Star, obtained these samples a few months before the president’s shocking assassination.
8. Mickey Mantle’s reddish-brown thatch of hair: $6,900
A devotee of Mantle who wanted a little piece of the Baseball star paid $6,900 to keep his hair trimmings. The auction was held in 1997 at Southgate Tower Hotel, New York. Mantle’s hair, item No. 174, was neatly placed inside an unglamorous sandwich bag. According to Mantle’s agent, Greer Johnson, the Great Yankee Slugger gave it to him as a joke.
7. Beethoven's lock of hair: $7,300
Beethoven’s legendary lock of hair has traveled far and wide, yet its value remains high. At the Sotheby Auction in December 1994, his grey, white, and brown hair (DNA-tested and proven to be his) came in various lengths (7-16 cm.). It hammered $7300 at the auction, proving his timeless influence. There’s even a film based on a book written about his locks titled “Beethoven Hair”, much to the excitement of his fans.
6. A small piece of David Bowie’s 1983 coiffure: $18,000
We have Wendy Farrier to thank for David Bowie’s hair samples from 1983. Farrier was an employee of Madame Tussauds who recreated the rock star’s hair for a wax figure. A self-confessed fan of Bowie, she has kept a snippet of his hair as a memento. While the hair samples were expected to only sell for $4,000 at Beverly Hills’ Heritage Auctions last June 2016, it fetched $18,000 after the bidding. Only one thing can explain this: the “Space Oddity” star still lingers in the hearts of his wealthy fans, bumping up the cost of his remaining hair strands.
5. President Abe Lincoln’s 30 + strands of hair: $25,000
Before ex-President Abraham Lincoln passed away in 1865, his general surgeon Joseph Barnes removed some of his hair during an operation. The strands of hair from the ‘Great Emancipator’ was later collected by Donald Dow and added to his historical gallery. Dow died in 2009 so his son sold off Abe Lincoln’s lock of hair along with 301 other items at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, which fetched a staggering $25,000 far from the opening bid of $10,000.
4. Marilyn Monroe’s golden locks: $40,000
A 31-year-old Monroe fan shelled out five times the estimated value ($8,000) for blonde locks that were once in the possession of the beautiful Hollywood star. When Frieda Hull, friend of the late actress, put up Monroe’s tresses for sale at Julien’s Auctions in late October this year. Remi Gangarossa, a huge Monroe devotee, grabbed the opportunity to be part of Hollywood history and bought the a piece of Monroe for an insane sum of $40,000.
3. John Lennon’s lock of hair: $48,000
The sale of John Lennon’s lock at at Gorringe’s Antiques and Art Auction house in December 2007 exceeded our imagination: $48,000. The hairdresser of the late Beatles’s front man, Betty Glasgow, auctioned off this item in the UK. Lennon has given strands of his hair to Glasgow as a gift along with this humorous message: “To Betty, Lots of Love and Hair, John Lennon xx.” Meanwhile, in February 2016, a tuft of Lennon’s hair cut off for his 1967 film, How I Won the War, fetched $35,000 at Heritage Auctions held in Dallas, Texas. The UK collector named Paul Fraser was the winning bidder.
2. Ernesto "Che" Guevara’s post mortem hair: $100,000
Just how popular is the Marxist leader Che Guevara? Famous enough to convince a 61-year-old buyer and only bidder, Bill Butler, to pay over $119,000 for his tresses along with photographs and fingerprints. Heritage Auction Galleries auctioned off the Che’s belongings in Dallas in 2007 despite of the protests they received from the socialist’s widow and supporters.
1. Elvis Presley’s jar of hair: $115,000
So far we’ve noticed how barbers are cashing in selling strands of hair from their celebrity clients. The late heartthrob performer Elvis Presley is no exception. An avid collector actually paid $115,000 for Elvis’s black hairball in a jar at the internet auction called MastroNet Inc. last November 2002. What the anonymous bidder would do the hair, auctioneers had no idea. One thing is obvious: the buyer is a huge fan and collector of Elvis Presley’s memorabilia.
As we broaden our search, we discovered more celebrity hair being auctioned off here and there. If you are into this queer or awesome hobby, dig deep and you might stumble upon your idol’s hair at an auction. I wonder how much it would cost to collect hair strands from Game of Thrones’s highest-paid actors.