The Hair Museum of Avanos

Regarded as one of the weirdest museums in the world, the Hair Museum of Avanos, in Cappadocia, is definitely a must-see if you’re into bizarre tourist spots.

Ever since 3000 BC, Avanos has been known for its high quality earthenware, made from the mineral-rich mud of the Red River, but in recent years, the town has mostly been mentioned in relation to a unique hair museum created by skilled Turkish potter Chez Galip. The unusual establishment, located under Galip’s pottery shop, is filled with hair samples from over 16,000 women. The walls, ceiling, and all other surfaces, except the floor, are covered with locks of hair from the different women who have visited this place, and pieces of paper with addresses on them.

The story goes that the museum was started over 30 years ago, when one of Galip’s friends had to leave Avanos, and he was very sad. To leave him something to remember her by, the woman cut a piece of her hair and gave it to the potter. Since then, the women who visited his place and heard the story gave him a piece of their hair and their complete address. Throughout the years, he has amassed an impressive collection of over 16,000 differently colored locks of hair, from women all around the world.

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Twice a year, in June and December, the first customer who comes in Chez Galip’s shop is invited down into the Hair Museum to choose ten winners off the walls. These lucky ten will receive an all-expenses-paid week-long vacation in beautiful Cappadocia, where they will get to participate in his pottery workshops, for free. This is the artist’s way to give back to the women that helped him create the unique museum which bring in new customers every day.

The Hair Museum doesn’t have an entry charge, and women don’t have to donate their hair, but if they wish to do so, scissors, sellotape, pens, paper and drawing pins are provided.

 

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