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Another harebrained scheme comes up short – Winnipeg Free Press

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Doug Speirs By: Doug Speirs 
Posted: 4:00 AM CDT Saturday, Sep. 11, 2021
What with being a big-shot newspaper columnist with champagne tastes and a beer budget, I am always scanning the horizon for get-rich-quick schemes.
What with being a big-shot newspaper columnist with champagne tastes and a beer budget, I am always scanning the horizon for get-rich-quick schemes.
I am talking here about the sort of genius schemes that allow participants to bring in big bucks without having to break a sweat or lift anything heavier than an icy mug of beer.
I discovered my latest concept for becoming insanely wealthy the other day while scouring the internet for the sort of idiotic stories that people with too much time on their hands find amusing.
Which is how I stumbled on a gaggle of news reports about how a baseball-sized clump of hair that came from the head of Elvis Presley sold at auction last weekend for (wait for it) US$72,500.
Here is the genius thought that popped into my head as I read these stories: "Wow! Some idiot forked out $72,500 for a clump of Elvis’s hair."
The auction house said the baseball-sized clump of hair was collected over the course of multiple haircuts by Homer (Gill) Gilleland, Presley’s personal barber for more than two decades. "The hair was kept in a plastic bag by Gilleland, who gifted it to Thomas Morgan, a close friend of both the barber and the singer," Kruse GWS Auctions said.
The weekend auction also included the sale of the King of of Rock ’n’ Roll’s iconic sparkly jumpsuit and cape from his 1972 Madison Square Garden performance for (again, wait for it) US$1,012,500.
But today’s column has nothing to do with flashy jumpsuits; no, today’s topic is getting filthy rich via the technique of selling your (bad word) hair.
I should mention here that US$72,500 is not the largest amount ever paid for strands from Elvis’s famed pompadour. In 2002, a hunk, a hunk of Elvis’s hair — also sealed in a jar — set the world record, fetching US$115,120 from an anonymous bidder, described as a "big Elvis collector," in a bidding war in an online auction.
The point I am trying to make is that these stories got me thinking that it just might be possible for me to improve my financial outlook by selling the only valuable commodity I have left, by which I mean my hair.
Although most of my aging body parts have seen better days, I am still fortunate enough to be blessed with thick, luxurious sandy-coloured hair that looks as though a furry woodland creature crawled on top of my head and died.
Despite being an OLP — "Outstanding Local Personality" — I am not deluded enough to think that wealthy bidders would offer hair-raising prices if I were to allow my shaved locks to hit the auction block, so to speak.
After reading about how much Elvis’s hair sold for at auction, I combed the internet — for the record, that was a hair joke — and discovered that selling your hair online can be a short cut — OK, another hair joke — to making some extra spending money with a minimum of effort.
"If you’re always getting compliments on your long locks, you might want to consider selling your hair. It could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the right buyer," the website gushed. "The best wigs and hair extensions are made from human hair, which means healthy hair is always in high demand. And it happens to be pretty easy to sell online."
According to a variety of websites, the first thing you need to do before raking in the easy money is choose one of the many websites that specialize in non-celebrity hair sales.
It turns out they are kind of fussy in the sense they don’t want hair that has been dyed, bleached, permed, cut into layers or subjected to heat in the form of hot irons, hair dryers or straighteners. If you smoke or drink, your hair is also considered less desirable.
Anyway, once you’ve chosen a website, you need to write a glowing description of your hair — for example, "resembles deceased raccoon" — describing the length, colour, texture and your daily hair-care regimen, including what sort of shampoo and conditioner you use.
Then — and this is the confusing part — you need to figure out a fair market value for your hair, which (and this is an important tip) you are not supposed to cut off until you have found a buyer.
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If you have no idea what your hair is currently worth, most of these websites feature links to an online price calculator to help you determine the value of your luscious locks.
I punched my personal hair details into the calculator at, which asked questions about the length, thickness and colour, as well as whether my hair is "virgin" (as in not chemically treated) or "non-virgin."
Prepare to be extremely jealous, because, according to the hair-price calculator, the fabulous head of hair you can see in my column logo would fetch $98, and we’re talking U.S. dollars so that is a pretty decent score simply for going bald.
Even being a longtime Elvis fan, this is not an easy decision to make. Can I part with my hair? I could definitely use a few extra bucks, but the truth is my hair has been growing on me for a long time.
As a wise man once said, money doesn’t grow on trees, but it just might grow on my head. Sadly, it’s too late to get your hands on Elvis’s hair, because it has definitely left the building.
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Doug Speirs
Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.
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