Prisoners at Auschwitz, as in other German concentration camps, had all the hair on their bodies cut and shaved off during the induction procedures. This procedure was applied for reasons of hygiene and escape prevention. The SS Economic-Administrative Main Office directed to store prisoners' hair and sell it to German companies as an industrial raw material. The hair of Jewish women murdered in the gas chambers was also put to use. Women had their hair cut off before they entered the gas chambers at the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka extermination centers, but at Auschwitz the hair was sheared from corpses. The hair obtained in this manner was next disinfected, dried, packed in sacks and sold to German companies as raw material for haircloth and felt. Bales of haircloth and almost two tons of hair belonging to almost 40,000 people can be seen at the Auschwitz Memorial.

(Mini dictionary of terms from the history of Auschwitz)