Where thieves are stealing women's hair
Demand for extensions is fueling robberies on the streets of one of Venezuela's largest cities.
The thieves hold a woman with long hair at gunpoint, demand she tie it into a pony tail and cut it off with a razor blade, according to the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper. The hair is then sold to beauty salons to be made into hair extensions.
Top-quality hair can fetch about $200.
The crime wave seems to have flummoxed city officials. The paper quotes Maracaibo Mayor Aveling de Rosales saying he recommends that "women avoid wearing their hair down in public."
While sad, the story isn't that shocking, given the sorry state of the Venezuelan economy, which was brought to its knees by the late President Hugo Chavez after he nationalized industries and expropriated assets of foreign investors. The prospect of hyper-inflation looms.
According to a recent Financial Times article, prices in Venezuela rose the most on record in May. Accumulated inflation for the first five months of 2013 was 19.4%, near its annual figure for 2012 of 20.1%.
Maracaibo is a city of about 4 million near the Colombian border, and it's no stranger to crime and smuggling. But Americans shouldn't get too smug about the Venezuelan news because hair thefts happen here, too.
As The New York Times noted in 2011, "...robbers in quest of human hair have killed a beauty shop supplier in Michigan and carried out heists nationwide in which they have made off with tens of thousands of dollars of hair at a time."
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
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Beyonce (among others) is the one who's being supplied with the hair. She constantly wears weaves and wigs. Her real hair barely reaches her shoulders and isn't blonde. Duh. Most celebs use extensions to lengthen and/or make fuller their hair regardless of their race. Hair length, texture and color are genetic and with all the chemicals, coloring and blow drying, even that is compromised so, they buy it thus the demand...........
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