Television show host Mike Rowe, of “Dirty Jobs” fame, visited Independence Monday to learn the old craft of hair art.
Leila Cohoon took snippings of Rowe’s and his crew members’ hair to create hair artworks at “Leila’s Hair Museum,” at 1333 S. Noland Road in Independence. It was all part of filming a new show set to air later this year on CNN entitled “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” on which Rowe will feature some of the hair art techniques taught by Cohoon. CNN says Rowe’s new show will bring “viewers face-to-face with men and women who march to the beat of a different drum...This show is about passion, purpose and occasionally, hobbies that get a little out of hand.”
“It feels good,” said Cohoon about her museum being featured on national television. “He (Rowe) was funny and fantastic.”
Leila’s Hair Museum, she said, is the only one in the world that features the “real old art form” of fashioning hair into jewlery, wreaths and embroidery. Cohoon said Rowe and his crew arrived in Kansas City to film favorite tourist attractions and her museum came up many times.
Rowe wrote a post on his Facebook page that said Gwen Carver informed him about Cohoon being the “perfect example of the kind of person who’s simply ‘gotta do it.’”
“Leila is on a mission to preserve the ancient and mostly forgotten craft of hair weaving,” he wrote on a Facebook post. “She achieves this goal every day by featuring a rather unique collection of artistic works comprised entirely of human hair.”
Cohoon said Rowe and his crew stayed at her museum for four and a half hours Monday filming her teach Rowe some of the numerous hair art techniques. She also said her segment on “SGDI” should air “sometime before Nov. 27.” An exact air date has yet to be determined, she said.
The museum that showcases an art form “traced back to the 12th century” had visitors from nine countries in the past year, she said. But given this exposure on television, Cohoon anticipates more international tourists. She is also in the process of publishing a hair art book that will instruct “32 out of the 36 known techniques.”
For more information about Leila’s Hair Museum, visit her site at www.leilashairmuseum.net . The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for seniors and children.