In 1909, Friedrich Wilhelm Emil Müller of Chicago received a patent for a hair tonic that, so he claimed, would cause hair "to grow on bald spots of the head." All you had to do was thoroughly rub it into the scalp with the tips of the fingers several times a day.
The tonic struck some at the patent office as sounding quite tasty. So it was served as an aperitif at the 1936 Thanksgiving-week banquet in Washington DC celebrating 100 years of the American patent system.
In 1969, the Wyoming Senate approved an amendment to lower the voting age to 19, but added the condition that young men would only be able to vote if they had short hair conforming to military standards. No similar condition was imposed on young women.
Some of the opposition at the time could be outrageous—and unconstitutional. In Wyoming a rogue state senator, J.W. Myers, proposed an amendment to the 19-year-old vote requiring all voters to met military grooming standards. "If we're going to give these youngsters voting privileges, they should look like citizens," Myers insisted. Their hair should be "at a length and grooming to meet standards prescribed by the military service." A Montana state senator, Joseph B. Reber, made the same claim. If young people are going to vote, "they should get a shave and a haircut and be like the rest of us."
Although Myers's amendment may have started as a joke, the Wyoming Senate initially passed it before finally removing it. "Young people in Wyoming were not laughing. They were embarrassed. They were shocked," wrote Philip White, the editor of the Branding Iron, the student newspaper at the University of Wyoming. Making appearance a qualification for suffrage was unconstitutional, and Myers knew it. Neither hair, clothing, nor skin color could be taken into consideration for determining voting rights, White explained. Young people wanted the vote. "But we will not stand to be judged by the length of our hair." In the end the controversy subsided, and the Vote 19 referendum would go before the state's electorate in November 1970.
Noella Charest-Papagno coined the term 'desairology' to mean doing hairstyling and cosmetics for the deceased. She created the word by combining 'des' (for deceased), 'air' (for hair), and 'ology' (a branch of learning). She thought the term sounded better than 'necrocosmetologist,' which had previously been the job title for funeral hairdressers. Her term seems to have caught on within the profession. At least, it has a wikipedia page.
In 1980, Papagno also authored the first book on hairdressing for the dead — Desairology: The Dressing of Decedent's Hair.
She created the somewhat bizarre video below around 2015. It's titled, "Dead lady speaks. Looks better now."
Peter Watson, in his book Twins: An Investigation Into the Strange Coincidences in the Lives of Separated Twins, related the following story:
Paul Kammerer, an Austrian biologist of the early twentieth century who is chiefly remembered for his fraud over the midwife toad, discovered a "law of series" in which coincidental events run in (say) threes. For example, a bus ticket and a theatre ticket (bought the same day) both bear the number 9, and they are soon followed by a telephone call in which the same number is again mentioned. Kammerer would spend hours, wherever he went, recording the height, hair colour and type of hat worn by every passer-by. He made the observation that men with red hair tended to pass by in clusters with long gaps in between.
This tendency of red-haired men to be seen in clusters is known as the "Redhead Cluster Phenomenon". I'm not sure if it applies to red-haired women as well.
More info about it can be found at the site RhCP, created by Toronto journalist Joe Clark.
Charles Davis collected elephant hairs — in particular the long hairs that grow from their tails. By the time he was 83, in 1962, he had hairs from 357 different elephants.
Cincinnati Enquirer - June 14, 1959
Details from a syndicated article by Ramon J. Geremia (Weirton Daily Times - Mar 24, 1962)
Davis, 83, who uses the title "Elephant Biographer," lives alone in a six-room house surrounded by mementoes of circuses and of elephants he has known, loved and pulled hair from. There are statues of elephants, elephant-shaped lamps, pieces of ivory, elephant bull hooks, even a tooth garnered in 1933 from an elephant named "Vera."...
But the elephant hairs make up the bulk of the collection of elephantiana. The longest one is 13 inches, the shortest, plucked from a 200 pound baby elephant, is one and one-half inches long. They include colors ranging from black to white with a few red chin whiskers.
Most of them were plucked from elephant tails — some were cut from the more belligerent behemoths. Every zoo in the nation is represented, except the Bronx Zoo in New York...
Davis started his unusual hobby as an elephantphile in 1928. He asked a circus elephant trainer to suggest something he could collect from or about elephants and the trainer suggested hair. Davis, a retired optometrist, says his collection "took my mind off business."
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.