Although it may creep us out now: wearing and exchanging locks of human hair have actually been significant for centuries. Giving a lock of hair in ancient times symbolized an exchange of power. Ancient Romans would sacrifice locks of hair to the Gods. By the 16th and 17th centuries, it became extremely fashionable for men to wear a love lock, a lock of hair worn separately from the rest of the hair. In the Victorian era, locks of hair became a popular method of mourning the loss of loved ones, especially after the Civil War. Victorian mourning jewelry was made out of the locks of lost loved ones and worn as a portable memorial. The hair of the deceased would be woven into tight braids and incorporated into necklaces, brooches, watch chains and rings and then engraved with initials or messages. Truly special pieces might even include small photographs or painted portraits as well. Hair of living family and friends could also be worn in the Victorian era as a token of love.
Today, Victorian mourning jewelry is for sale through nostalgic websites and has become a collectors item. It has also inspired a frightening new trend for incorporating hair into jewelry and accessories.
Take a peek in our gallery and let us know if you would you wear something made out of human hair?