Hair today, shoes tomorrow for one Taiwan woman

Mon May 16, 2011 1:23am EDT
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By Christine Lu

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (Reuters Life!) - Taiwanese hairdresser Tsai Shiou-ying has won many prizes for her cutting and decorative hair extensions in a four-decade career.

Now she has gone one step further, making decorations including shoes, brooches, fruit and animals from hair left on the salon floor after the cutting is done.

Tsai, who started working with hair in her teens and learned the skills of styling from her mother, recently showed off some of her creations in her small salon in the central city of Taichung.

Her pride and joy is a pair of high heels made entirely from human hair that for her are a substitute for the real thing.

"I personally love high heels very much, but I am flat-footed. I can only look at them and try them on, but if I buy them they will only be stored away until mold grows," the 54-year-old said.

"I can't wear them, so I want to make a pair of heels that I really like. This way, even if I can't wear them, at least I created a work of art."

Only real hair can endure the shaping process, Tsai explains. A single heel needs hair from at least three people, and she asks her neighbours and relatives to contribute to her stock. It takes a month to make a single pair of hairy heels.

"With real hair, I can perm and dye it into all sorts of different colors," she said.   Continued...