Tangled? Hair Castle Raises Wonder and Disgust

Artist Agustina Woodgate doesn't know why she began collecting clumps of wet hair from her shower drain six years ago. She just knows that it felt right.

Her interest snowballed -- or should we say hairballed -- to the point that Woodgate, 30, began giving curbside haircuts to passersby on the streets of Miami, New York, Puerto Rico and Buenos Aires -- wherever she happened to be. When customers learned of her purpose, they usually warmed to it: "People would say, 'Cut more hair,' and I'd like trim the entire head."

She amassed the follicles of her labor for five years -- along with hair-filled envelopes stuck under her door by friends -- until she had four massive trash bags of hair in her possession.

Then, "It became what do I do with it?"
The idea came to the Rapunzel-influenced artist when she was doing her residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico: She would build a tower.

Learning to "felt" -- a process of distressing hair fiber by immersing it in hot and cold water -- she wrapped strands around foam cores to create 3,000 bricks of alternating shapes and sizes. She then stacked the bricks around thin wood framing to form a structure four and a half feet tall.

"I have a window," she says, "just in case I ever want to fit inside -- I can still breathe." To many observers, the structure resembles a castle. And while they are initially drawn to it, when they learn of its composition, their attraction often turns to repulsion -- an effect Woodgate intended.
"On one hand I'm very aware of how repulsive it is," she says. "It was very repulsive for me to actually make it."

"It becomes very itchy," she adds.

But the profound "social observations" that a hair tower allows, she says, compelled her to bear the itchiness seven days a week and 12 hours a day, for one month, until she completed the tower. The sculpture was on display in a Miami exhibit which ended in July.

One function of the structure is to represent and help explore traditional gender archetypes. Traditionally, many boys want to be knights in shining armor, she points out. And girls? "Who doesn't want to be a princess?"

But, in fact, the archetypes aren't for everyone, she says, and in some ways, are damaging.

The archetypes are like a house of cards, a hairy tower of hairy cards.

Meanwhile, Woodgate is collecting nails.

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There are so many homemade remedies but they are not solutions for very tangled hair. Tangled/matted hair is a very serious issue. It leads to balding, damaged hair, or very thin hair

There is a product on the market called the Take Down Remover Cream-That will save your hair. It de-tangles dreadlocks(strands of matted, uncombed hair)

We are so fustrated with the downplayed issue of Tangled Hair with men kids, parents, longterm care patients, and women. We provide the service of detangling and advice-but it is not enough.
Pet owners have the same issue with matted pet fur.

Most hairdressers just want to cut the hair when it is serverly matted or tangled. We are trying to save hair.

We get distress calls and emails from people all over the world. They tell us that their dear hairdressers just want to cut their hair off.

Mothers don't know what to do with their daughters matted hair-that is getting worse by the day. People healing from longterm hostpital stays have the same issues.

Lets get serious about Tangled hair & SAVE our hair

August 08 2011 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Having been a hairdresser for over 17 years, hair does not gross me out; think that it is pretty awesome what she did with the hair; most i have ever done with cut hair is send it to Locks of Love to make into wigs for children going through cancer treatment; don't know about the nail thing though, will wait to see before i pass any judgement

August 05 2011 at 5:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

my hair could be in there lol

August 05 2011 at 5:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


August 05 2011 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the hairy castle is pretty cool, but nails? What in the hell is she gonna do with nails??

August 05 2011 at 5:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


August 05 2011 at 4:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember something I watched on T. V. a while back about a Victorian Age practice of making all kinds of things out of hair. I think there was even a museum.

August 05 2011 at 4:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Linda Belinda

This is impressive. However, this is not a new 'art form' .. way-back-when, people would braid the hair, cut off the braid and make wreath-like objects to be displayed on a wall. It was not uncommon for Mothers to save a swatch from 'the first haircut' for the baby book. I've seen hair placed in Bibles (along with leaves, small flowers, etc.). Hats off to the girl who built the castle .. I would not be able to do that, simply due to my queasiness when it comes to hair.

August 05 2011 at 4:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

No wait!!!!! It's a giant voodoo doll...be afraid, be very afraid. Got a stomach ache anyone?

August 05 2011 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, next it will be lampshades made out of the tatooed skin of dead people. Wait, thats already been done!


August 05 2011 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marcyshamb's comment

Ok, you are vile!

August 05 2011 at 4:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply