Yesha Callahan

Venezuelan Women Warned To Guard Their Tresses

hair robbers

Typically piranhas are known as flesh eating fish, but in Venezuela they’re the hair thieves that are attacking women in the of city of Maracaibo. Women are literally guarding their tresses and scared that someone will randomly approach them and cut off their ponytail.

“You have to see it to believe it,” Maracaibo resident Egmari Villarreal said in a video posted on the Panorama newspaper’s website. “We’re not going to be able to have long hair anymore. As a woman, this is something traumatic.”

What’s interesting with these scalpers is that the hair is being sold locally to different salons and aestheticians.  I guess they haven’t figured out how much of a hot commodity it would be in the states. Strands of 22 inches, can cost between 2000 ($317) and up to 5000 ($780) bolivars.

In response to the hair thieves, the city has stepped up its security and warns women to be cautious when they’re walking around with loose hair.

“As part of our operation of citizen security, we are giving them a forceful response, posting men and women to keep watch and stop this from continuing to happen,”  said Maracaibo Mayor Eveling de Rosales.

President Nicolás Maduro has vowed to take action against the hair thieves as well.

“We will capture these people, we will legislate to ban this crime. What sort of aggression is this? Our girls are sacred and we will apply the law with great force,” Maduro said on Wednesday. He claimed that the gang originated from neighbouring Colombia.

  1. August 19, 2013 - Reply

    Scalping for dollars is what’s hot in the streets these days I CAN’T.

  2. August 19, 2013 - Reply

    We’re not going to be able to have long hair anymore. As a woman, this is something traumatic.”

    • August 19, 2013 - Reply


      Yes, really. Long hair is widely accepted as a sign of femininity and a woman’s crown and glory; heck, even the bible references long hair on women, so having it taken from you can be traumatic.

    • August 19, 2013 - Reply


      Getting attack and having your hair taken off isn’t potentially traumatic?Whatever.

    • August 19, 2013 - Reply



      Most black women wouldn’t be able to understand…sorry it’s the truth

      • August 20, 2013 - Reply

        @Edith Young

        I’m not sure why you got thumbed down for telling the truth, that was the first thing that I thought of. That and how it would be nice if black women/girls ever heard ‘Our girls are sacred’.

  3. August 19, 2013 - Reply

    LOL. I predict a universal anti-weave movement arising.

  4. August 19, 2013 - Reply

    Movement tagline: “Grow your own d*mn hair!”

    • August 19, 2013 - Reply

      @Beautiful Mic

      i know right?

  5. August 19, 2013 - Reply


    I believe that having one’s hair cut off of their head can be traumatic. It’s not like these attackers are making clean and fast snips, when it comes to cutting these women’s hair. I’m sure that these women are being physically pummeled into submission before their hair is cut off.

    • August 21, 2013 - Reply


      exactly its no different than people in S. Africa cutting off dreadlocks and reselling them. it years of love and care to grow your hair and for someone to snatch it…horrible

  6. August 19, 2013 - Reply

    This is getting beyond ridiculous at this point. I agree with those who said they can see an anti-weave moment happening too…or at least steps to establish a fair trade system.

  7. August 19, 2013 - Reply

    I just can’t believe people are running around scalping women for their hair! A woman should be able to walk down the street with her hair in a long ponytail without worrying about some crazy chopping it off to sell in America. I’m just curious, who is fueling this mass demand for weave??? I’m looking at you, black women in Hollywood and many on the streets!!

    • August 19, 2013 - Reply


      …because Black women are the only people to wear weaves.

      Shut up.

      • August 19, 2013 - Reply


        Black women are the only people I know to wear weaves that are the complete opposite of their natural hair texture (not all but a lot do).

      • August 20, 2013 - Reply


        Blacks wear weaves that don’t even look natural! You can’t tell me that a black person’s hair looks remotely like a Koreans, Indians, or Venezuelans?? At least when whites wear weave, it’s the same type of hair, not so with blacks. And yes, black women do wear weaves in larger amounts than women of other races, that’s a fact.

  8. August 19, 2013 - Reply

    You know what would be hilarious? If a woman wearing her long weave in a ponytail gets “hair jacked.” I wonder if that’s already happened? Hmmmm….

  9. August 20, 2013 - Reply

    Can’t do nothing at this point but laugh at the stupidity of this all. I get wigs, I 100% think those are cool but weaves? They’re just ridiculous to me.

    • August 27, 2013 - Reply


      This comment makes no sense.

  10. August 20, 2013 - Reply

    Do you see what you have caused black women? This is why weaves should be left alone. Women of other races can’t even enjoy their own hair anymore, simply due to the insecurities of you all. Grow your own hair. Period!

    • August 20, 2013 - Reply


      Your comment was very ignorant and pretentious. The last time I checked wearing weave wasn’t a black thing people of every race wears it. Also just because you wear weave doesn’t mean that you are insecure about yourself. This is truly a sad situation but it is not the time to attack Black women or play the blame game.

      • August 20, 2013 - Reply


        Typical response, “Every race wears it”. Well actually they don’t wear it at the rate that black women wear it. They may use it to add volume or to extend and accentuate their OWN hair. Also, the everyday white/asian women does not wear hair weave. Only the older ones who are balding and those who are wealthy. On average, over 87% percent of black women wear weaves on a daily basis, both poor and rich! They have been covering their heads since they were little girls with “hair hats”. And to make matters worse, they are wearing textures that are opposite their own. I’m not trying to attack, and I apologize if it comes out that way, but you cannot deny that it is the truth.

    • August 20, 2013 - Reply


      How is this phenomenon in Venazuela about black women, especially considering you don’t know if the women buying the hair are black? And the market for hair, cars, tvs, kids, or anything else doesn’t justify criminals going out and stealing these commodities. Do u blame consumers need to consume for all acts of theft? Or so you leave your righteous indignation for black women.–Your posts were full of racists assumptions, including a statistic you made up. 87%? and little kids having weaves? And only little old white women get weaves right after you stated that white women wear weaves but only for thickness and length. Uhh! dummy that means there could be a market in Venezuela for this stolen hair in the local salons who service non-black hispanic women. —Let me clue you in, in any slum, where you have poor, desperate people, some suppressed evil being will do anything to get ahead. We live in a world where people will sell children and women for sex and torture. They will sale a person to harvest their organs. So of course they will sale somebody’s hair

    • August 20, 2013 - Reply


      I hate weaves with a passion, but as others have stated, you are wrong to target/attack black women. Capitalism, and nothing else is to blame. While I agree with you that we wear weaves at a disproportionate rate when compared to other women (google it) those women would have been scalped regardless of the race of the end consumer.

      Whether it is the sale of people (slavery is not dead), or hair, as long as someone has money, evil will find a way.

  11. August 20, 2013 - Reply

    Americans get all kinds of products from other countries through some type of shady means, not just weave. Clothing really comes to mind.

    There are probably a lot of women with hair types who would grow it out and sell it. Some a$$ stealing the hair off people’s heads is a really awful kind of theft.

    Makes me think of that bit in the documentary Good Hair about opportunistic people taking hair that Indian people shaved in a religious ceremony. That isn’t as bad, but those people could have been paid. Or it could have gone against their beliefs to have it sold, but at least they willingly cut off their own hair.

    I had an ex, a guy from India, used to do a head shaving religious ceremony when he was a kid. As an adult, he was the most hair obsessed person I’ve ever known, man, woman or child, of any race lol. He was just very into his look if he had shaved his head or had it long or anything in between. Hair is part of a lot of people’s identities.

    • August 20, 2013 - Reply


      But the article states the hair is being sold to local hair salons, nothing about this hair being sold in the American market.

      • August 21, 2013 - Reply


        Good point. I think me and some other commenters were missing that. It doesn’t specify what race of customers are buying the hair.. I don’t know the demographics in Valenzuela. It doesn’t have anything to do with black U.S. women or other U.S. consumers. Glad officials are making some attempts to crack down on this crime, reportedly.

  12. August 20, 2013 - Reply

    Not trying to make light of their situation. The statement seemed superficial to me. I didn’t think how the way their hair was taken off could be tramatic. Also the attacks on black women need to stop we are not the only ones wearing weaves

  13. August 20, 2013 - Reply

    All these ignorant folks trying to blame black women in America for buying weave: where do you think your clothes come from? Your kids’ toys? Your cellphone? Somebody in a third world country made it, for pennies a day.

    And if you follow the money, I guarantee you the whole unfair system does not stem from black folks. It’s a shame that this is happening, but black women buying weave does not force anyone to scalp strangers in the street.

    SMH. People are so quick to demonize black women for having any little thing that makes them happy, when they have the least influence over the way the world works. You need to be scrutinizing the white jackasses who screw us all over.

    • August 27, 2013 - Reply


      Damn true statement. On another note (but similarly) I’m currently an EFL teacher in South Korea and they’re pretty no-no about showing cleavage here. One Saturday, early morning I decided to walk downtown and I wanted a bit of a tan on my chest so I wore a slightly low cut top and walked into town on main roads and places that no one would know me, it was all good. I get to a really busy bus stop and EVERYONE is staring at me, giving me the biggest stink eye and saying in Korean “slutty” while right in front of them (NO LIE) an old man is whipping out his piece and pissing on the street. It was way more important for them to throw shade on my ‘other,’ female, body than to address blatant male indiscretion.

      • August 28, 2013 - Reply


        Hey guys ppl are mean to white women too!!!

  14. September 1, 2013 - Reply

    Let me find out y’all out here running up on these women to steal the hair off of their head! Lol. I literally put my head in my hands after reading this. The weave game is something serious! I don’t know what to say..

  15. September 2, 2013 - Reply

    It is so sad that we have come to this. Sad. Weaves will get the heat at a certain point because of such incidences…especially the ones made from human hair.

  16. September 5, 2013 - Reply

    This is sick.

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