` The World's Biggest Hairball - Signature Forum

The World's Biggest Hairball

by Andrew Clayman
02/22/08


Hair removal comes in many different forms, and almost every day, we spend at least a few minutes saying sionara to another batch of follicles. For most of us, that hair that we shave, wax, or trim winds up in the trash or down the drain pipe. But what would happen if we decided to collect all that removed hair, every day, and keep it in one place? Now, imagine keeping up that routine for 30 years! If it sounds more than a little far fetched, or even downright nutty, you clearly haven't heard the tale of Missouri barber Henry Coffer and the “World's Largest Hairball.”

For most of us, it's impossible to fathom the sum total of a year's worth of hair removal, let alone a lifetime's worth. Within a week alone, you might shave your face or legs daily, wax unwanted body hair, tweeze a stray hair here or there, undergo a session of laser hair removal, and perhaps go to your local hair stylist or barber for a haircut. That's an awful lot of hair, never to be seen again . . . until now!

For customers of Henry Coffer at Charleston, Missouri's lone barber shop, the hair they leave behind doesn't get swept into the garbage. Instead, it begins a brand new life as a part of the World's Largest Hairball, a 167 pound heap of hair that's been drawing media attention from around the world.

Mr. Coffer started building the hairball decades ago, when a local farmer asked him to save his hair clippings as a way to keep snooping coyotes out of the customer's watermelon patch. The custom caught on, and the hairball kept growing, made from the clipped hair of just about everyone in the small town.

Coffer is happy that the Guinness World Records folks have taken an interest, but he has no plans in retiring the hairball, or retiring from his job as Charleston's friendly barber. In the meantime, he's helped us all get a better idea of just how big a part of our lives hair removal truly is.

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