Collecting pieces of a departed person's hair for remembrance is an ancient tradition. Retaining hair for mourning should not be confused with "hair work," which is the art of using human hair to make things such as bracelets, rings, necklaces and wreaths.
Mourning jewelry came into fashion around the 16th century, hitting its peak in popularity during the Victorian era. Mourning lockets and brooches were used to hold a lock of the deceased's hair. In the case of a necklace, a miniature photo might have been included along with the lock of hair. To keep hair intact in a locket, plait it -- weave it around itself in three sections, similar to how you would braid a pigtail. If you have a flatter locket, a plait may be too thick for the jewelry to close; in this case, carefully trim the strands to the length of the locket and leave them loose. When you put hair in the locket, do so in an area that does not have any air movement that might scatter the strands.
Sheila Smith is a copy editor and writer with more than nine years of experience editing and writing for international media syndicate Tribune Media. Additional clients have included Times Union and Edgenuity. She has been involved with several nonprofit organizations, provided etiquette instruction for cultural and religious events and has experience in event planning.