Diversify, DIY, or die - Page 3

CAREERS & ED: How to turn economic crisis into professional catharsis

Soon, more and more people were contacting her to ask if they could participate. The site allows people to sell straight to buyers rather than going through a salon. Interested parties — whether wig makers or, yes, hair fetishists — browse through ads with frequently laughable sexual connotations, such as "20+ inches virgin uncut Asian hair: asking for at least $1,000." Jaclyn says site traffic has increased 40 percent since the Dow first plummeted in September 2008.

An Oakland resident and www.hairtrader.com user who prefers to remain anonymous says she is slightly embarrassed that she sold her hair instead of donating it. "But, I have to pay my bills — and I got over $500 for the hair I've had on my head for years."

It's hard to keep a positive financial outlook these days. But sometimes — as these Bay Area residents discovered — it takes a layoff or a similar struggle to get out of one's comfort zone and take a chance on change.

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