This is my double page spread for the Future Of Money project. My idea was that somewhere in the future the majority of the human race have lost the ability to grow hair on their heads and they are bald. To compensate for the lack of a crowing glory, people have begun to wear wigs. And because of the scarcity of natural hair and people’s dissatisfaction with synthetic wigs, the value of real human hair has skyrocketed and it has overtaken paper money and coins and credit cards as the main form of trade and commerce.
Within the concept of hair currency itself, different hair colour and types have varying values with silky blond hair being the most highly sought after. I wrote a short article set in this fictional universe.
MILLION HAIRS CLUB: THE RAPUNZELS OF THE WORLD
The human race has gone from keeping their wealth and money from the wallet and bank to wearing it on their heads. When you walk down the streets of every village, town or city in the world today you will see a mixture of people in brightly coloured synthetic wigs. Retro-fitted to their scalps with powerful electromagnets to prevent hair theft, each wig will have strands or thin locks of woven natural hair (most commonly coloured black) carefully secured into their weave. Through touch pad and genetic coding each strand of hair can only be carefully removed by it’s owner during a transaction. What transaction? Well hair has replaced money and gold as the method of payment for all goods and services now.
It’s been 47 years since the population of the world succumbed to Folicfailure, the drug that became a disease. Once known as the Fountain of Youth, it was hailed as the answer to eternal life, it instead transmuted into a disease that infected 96% of the entire population of the world. While it may have prolonged youth and vitality by an extra 10 years, the drug also caused every human who ingested it to drop every single strand of hair on their scalp. Soon it evolved into a infectious aerial disease, jumping from one person to the next until only 4% of the world’s population is able to produce hair.
The governments call them Growers, we call them the Rapunzels or Million Hair Clubbers. The elite pool of genetic lottery winners born with the genes naturally resistant to Folicfailure. Kept in a secret location and separate from the rest of the population to prevent any possibility of new infection. Herald as the wealthiest people on the planet, these members of the Million Hairs Club live in a utopian paradise where every need is met and provided ten fold. All they need to do is stay alive and grow healthy hair. We know almost nothing of the actual people who grow our wealth. Not even what they look like, only that the Rapunzels carry the planet’s wealth on their shoulders. Literally.
With the world’s currency shifting from money to hair, humans have proven once and for all that they are at heart; narcissistic creatures.
Illustrated below is an artist interpretation of the most famous of Rapunzels; Kenneth Dollziwack. As the only person in the world left with golden blond hair, a single strand of 20 metre long hair from his head is worth a three bedroom house and a luxury car.