‘Hoss’ the Ohio hair ball is 125 pounds and counting | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

‘Hoss’ the Ohio hair ball is 125 pounds and counting

1177360_web1_1177360-97ed4154481e45dea0fda7e462334056
Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP
Warden hands a lock of hair cut from Tyra May, of Springfield, to an assistant to adhere to the giant hair ball at the Ohio Expo Center to add to his creation, Hoss, the giant ball of human hair, which is 4 feet tall, and about 125 pounds.
1177360_web1_1177360-98b4e5ed33794bc3b3a56daba4dbd776
Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP
Steve Warden cuts a lock of hair from Chastity Mellott of Jerusalem, Ohio at the Ohio Expo Center to add to his creation, Hoss, the giant ball of human hair, which is 4 feet tall, and about 125 pounds.
1177360_web1_1177360-ad968d55e65443769c68fc8f57366450
Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP
Steve Warden cuts a lock of hair at the Ohio Expo Center to add to his creation, Hoss, the giant ball of human hair, which is 4 feet tall, and about 125 pounds.
1177360_web1_1177360-38e4120b04b74b5481722973c425cd61
Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP
Steve Warden cuts the hair of Aiden Deibler, 10, of Pittsburgh at the Ohio Expo Center to add to his creation, Hoss, the giant ball of human hair, which is 4 feet tall, and about 125 pounds.
1177360_web1_1177360-947c63d8f72049dc9816080b3efad159

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio — What’s 4 feet tall, 125 pounds and is covered in hair?

No, it’s not Cousin Itt of the Addams Family. It’s Hoss, the giant ball of human hair.

Hoss, named after Dan Blocker’s character from “Bonanza,” is an oblong shape and is, well, hairy. Hundreds of people have donated their hair to its creation, so its exterior is an ever-changing mess of different colors and textures.

The hair ball was created by Steve Warden, a hairstylist from Cambridge, who began crafting it after years of conversations with his four children.

“When my kids were younger, they would always say, ‘Dad, you should make a hair ball and get it in the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book,’” Warden said.

So in 2013, with his children all grown and moved out of the house, Warden decided it was time to give it a shot.

Warden started collecting his clients’ hair at his salon, Blockers. When he’d finish a cut, Warden would sweep their hair into a chute he installed in the floor that was connected to a trashcan in the salon’s basement. Above the chute was a little sign that read “Future Hair Ball Hair.”

Warden said none of his clients seemed to be concerned with the collection; most people were just curious.

After a few months of haircuts, it was time to start construction.

It started small. Warden would take some hair and wad it into a ball using glue to make it stick. (Gorilla Wood Glue is the only thing that works, Warden said.)

He would let the ball dry for a week and then add more on top. Warden continued this process for months until the ball was as big as a basketball. From there, Warden used a combination of liquid glue and spray adhesive to attach the hair. Hairspray is used for touch ups.

Finally, the ball at an enormous weight of 97 pounds, Warden reached out to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not to donate his masterpiece last year.

Kurtis Moellmann, exhibit and interactive coordinator for Ripley’s, said Warden’s hair ball has quickly become one of the company’s most popular items.

It’s so popular that Moellmann began taking it with him to different oddities expos across the country. In each city, Moellmann brings along a pair of scissors and a can of glue so people can donate their hair to the cause.

“The first day I did it, I cut about 200 people’s hair,” Moellman said. “It was a huge hit.”

Warden has not, in fact, created the world’s largest ball of human hair. That honor goes to Henry Coffer, a barber from Charleston, Missouri, who claimed the title in 2008 with a 167 pound ball of hair, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Coffer, who was 77 years old at the time, had collected his clients’ hair for more than 50 years.

But at its current weight of 125 pounds, Hoss is still impressive.

Warden and his creation were reunited this weekend at the Oddities & Curiosities Expo at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, where Warden cut people’s hair for eight hours Saturday to add to the ball.

Hundreds of people passed by the Ripley’s booth, which featured a number of other collected oddities. Emotions from onlookers ranged from awe to disgust. But it’s safe to say Hoss piqued the interest of many.

Helen Drosak was cautiously eyeing the hair ball when Warden walked up to her and asked, “Would you like to donate to the giant hair ball?”

“Why not?” the 69-year-old Clintonville resident replied. “I have enough to spare.”

Warden snipped a lock of her graying brown curls and his friend, Ryan Girdwood, glued it to the ball.

Aiden Deibler had planned on growing out his hair this summer, but after seeing Hoss at the expo, the 10-year-old changed his mind.

Aiden and his mom, Aubrey, were in town from Pittsburgh to help a friend who was performing at the expo. Aubrey also donated a snippet of her ombre orange hair to the ball. Girdwood glued the mother and son’s hair next to each other.

“I donated to a big ball of hair,” Aiden said. “It’s pretty cool and pretty weird at the same time.”

Warden knows it’s all a little weird, but that’s OK. He doesn’t mind. To him, the hair ball is a legacy of sorts.

Warden, who currently has two grandkids, bought 12 copies of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book he’s featured in for any other grandchildren he might have. Inside is a note to each of them.

“When I die, my grandkids can see this and know I did something,” Warden said. “They can say, ‘That was our crazy grandpa.’”

Categories: Lifestyles | Travel | News | Top Stories | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.