May 18th, 2011
Fashion News, Hair
In the New York Times: Theft of Human Hair Extensions and Wigs on the Rise
By Claire

An article in yesterday’s New York Times documents the rise of human hair theft in select cities.

The opening story tells of My Trendy Place salon in Houston, which lost $150,000 worth of human hair due to crafty thieves. The article states, “The break-in was part of a recent trend of thefts, some involving violence, of a seemingly plentiful material. During the past two months alone, 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…The most expensive hair type — and the one in highest demand by thieves and paying customers alike — is remy hair, which unlike most other varieties is sold with its outermost cuticle layer intact. This allows it to look more natural and to last longer without tangling. Remy hair from Indian women is the most popular.”

Oh no, they’re not stealing the Afro puffs:

They’re going for the gold!
This is hilarious. And reminds me of this clip from Chris Rock’s Good Hair:

What do you think of this epidemic?
Read more at the New York Times.

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46 Responses to “In the New York Times: Theft of Human Hair Extensions and Wigs on the Rise”

  1. Brittany says:

    I’m only surprised that the rise in these types of thefts happen sooner.

  2. sun.kissed says:

    I think it’s crazy. Its hard to believe that people are stealing hair, then again people will steal and buy anything. Brings a whole new meaning to “Ladies, hold on to your weaves!”

  3. Ally says:

    This doesn’t surprise me what I am surprised about is how long it took for this to reach the public. There is a very large beauty supply store around the corner from my home. The korean lady that owns this shop has numerous pictures up of people who have stolen hair, many of whom I recognize. And this is precisely the reason why I take so much care of my own hair. I refuse to pay over a grand for something that I can grow myself with help of a weekly deep conditioner and a daily moisturizer.

  4. Mrs Windy City says:

    I didnt know it was national…. it was a major deal here in Chicago when it happened. Broadcasters acted like they had never heard of remy hair let alone weave theft

  5. Miss Smith says:

    This story is beyond tragic. A family has lost their loved one over some hair. Smh.

  6. yeah! this is nothing new to me. The good hair is really costing $$$. It’s crazy! I agree with Ally. I’m about this close to growing my own hair out with a perm and getting it done on my own. I’m tired of weaves! I’m tired of the Natural hair BS, people are judging you no matter what! Either you are joining the trend by doing natural hair, you are judged by it when looking for work, or something or another. You get your hair permed and ll the natural hair girls who can actually work with their hair then want to judge you! it’s so annoying. I just do what i want with my own hair its mine dammit! lol

  7. BOOBOO says:

    This is sad. I can’t believe ppl r tryin 2 bootleg hair n ppl r dying over it?! Sum hair?! Wow..smh

  8. B says:

    LOL! This is especially crazy to me because, given the “high quality weaves” that are supposedly being stolen, women continue to rock the cheapest, frowsiest weaves on the market!

  9. hehe says:

    @Michelle of Chellbellz

    Umm wtf do you mean natural hair bs? My hair isn’t a trend. I swear some ppl can be so ignorant and your comment was proves it.

  10. zy says:

    …and this is why I have locs…

  11. Elle Wills says:

    it is disgusting that someone has lost their life over hair. however, asians have dominated the black hair care market for as long as i can remember. its out of fustration that we have acted so recklessly; “by any means necessary.” i wish that we could had take a better approach to actually get into the market and set up legit beauty supply stores of our very own.

  12. missjoie says:

    i dont think her comment was ignorant. i under stand what she means and it does seem to be a trend. with in the last 3 years people have been coming out the woodworks trying to go natural. if you are natural you do get funny looks from people, and the girls that are natural seem to want to look down on other with relaxers. i see it every day

  13. Tif says:

    Nothing about this surprises me. These high quality extensions are in high demand so of course they’ll be a black market demand for them.

    And before people start with the ‘If black women didn’t wear weaves blah blah blah’, do you think they’re the only ones buying these stolen goods? Nope! And furthermore I don’t understand how certain people talk so much crap about weave but come to sites like these and covet goods sold by companies who, for a lack of a better word, hate them. It’s the same thing!

  14. Dobe says:

    This is just crazy, but not surprising. Bottom line, if you can’t afford it, do without.

  15. Nunyabizniz says:

    So that means I’ll soon be able to call up DeDe around the corner and get me some real Remy? Sweeeet!!! LOL, j/k
    But really though, this saddens me deeply. We’re now killing for some weave? it can’t be that serious… SMH
    Enough already with the Natural vs Relaxed vs Weavewearer vs All of the Above battle, it gets old. Can we just be proud of the choice of hair we made, and respect other’s choices as well, even if we don’t like it?

  16. hehe says:


    I like how ppl like to say that natural girls look down on women who relax their hair but no one talk about how much natural hair is looked down upon. Whether natural hair is less attractive or less professional. I’m not trying to be divisive but wearing my hair in its natural texture is not like wearing the rihanna’s hairstyle meaning it’s not a trend.

  17. Mak says:

    cosigning with @hehe, natural hair is NOT a trend. but to each his/ her own on their choices.

    it’s a damn shame that weaves are in such demand that ppl are willing to kill and steal to obtain it. what does that say about our society? it shouldn’t be that serious.

  18. dyshaun says:

    I am not surprised. Hair + BLACK WOMEN (yeah, I said it; only US!) = a mess. What did Oprah say? Black women and hair is like white women and weight. CTFU.

    And the puffs/afro hair are almost always synthetic hair made to resemble tight /super dense coil patterns…. Thats my hair type, and uhhhh it is one of the hardest types to grow long so yeah, *wags finger no* its not for sale.

  19. dyshaun says:

    Natural hair is a trend? Hmm so rocking what you were born with, being yourself to the utmost is trendy?

    Most of the black women I know wore natural hair until they convinced moms otherwise (maybe middle school/9th grade)…I’m in a VERY corporate environment with my VERY nappy ass hair and nobody dont say shit…cause I dont work with my skinfolk (I said that too) and they really could care less…in Oprah’s words again…aint nobody thinking bout your hair!

    I do believe that natural heads are more vocal because of a lack of representation but I liken it the the 60′s (when Black became vogue and everybody was doing their Black thang)….just like fat acceptance…coupla years ago nobody wasnt trying to hear/see obese people loving themselves and the skin they are in. Even now they get shade if they say, “hey i like me as I am”

    Ppl looking at me funny????Awww man and here I was thinking they were looking cause I’m cute. #boo

  20. dyshaun says:

    “I’m not trying to be divisive but wearing my hair in its natural texture is not like wearing the rihanna’s hairstyle meaning it’s not a trend.”

    @hehe Well said.

  21. Brittany says:

    Dang typos. My post should say that I’m surprised that the rise in the thefts DIDN’T happen sooner.
    I’m just glad the afro weave isn’t coveted. I was able to get myself a nice afro phony ponytail puff that matches my hair texture for $12.

  22. tasha says:

    This completely surprise me… I mean not shocked cause people will do anything for a come up but to kill and steal for a dollar is not that dang serious. They took a person life for some remy hair… smdh

  23. llehsal says:

    @ Dyshaun…COSIGN!!! I have ONLY worked in Corporate environments and tuh-rust me dahlin, nobody don’t care bout my hair. Once I am doing what I was hired to do…I’m cool as a cucumber. I love my natural hair and who so ever looks down on it, lol….well I’m sorry for you cus I just don’t give a shit.

  24. artsylee says:

    This is sad and disgusting. I honestly don’t know what to say. To hurt someone for some hair? God take the wheel!

  25. Truth says:

    Now you see the level of Envy?
    The people who spend the most time bragging about how they are great and can do all stuff, just proved their level of envy, by stealing something that is un-natural to them so they can look like, those people they put down.

  26. [...] to say about this. For every reason you can think of, this is pathetic. Envy,theft,boast,greed. More on the topic in New york Times (function() {var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 = [...]

  27. esme says:

    the sad part about this is that someone was killed so that HAIR could be stolen. ridiculous. and i also want to point out that black women are not the only people consuming weaves, a lot of white women use weaves to add to the volume of their hair as well.

  28. Truth says:

    “esme” you are making some weird assumptions.
    1. Who died? Where does it say that someone died?
    2. Why do you feel the need to suggest that any race needs extensions? It’s just hair. Why does it have to be a racial thing?

  29. esme says:

    @truth- first of all, learn to f**king read:

    “During the past two months alone, 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…”

    second, the article itself insinuated that this was somehow tied to black women, complete with a clip of BLACK HAIR and everything, so i pointed out that black women are not the only consumers of weaves. now what the hell was your point again?

  30. missTIAUNDRA says:

    As someone that works and pays for my Remy tracks (about $150-$170 for 2 packs) this sickens me! Im not spending my last on weaves but its not fair that I work for mine and u got ppl out here stealin the shit for free! If you can’t afford it then you don’t need it PERIOD!

    and as far as the natural vs. relaxed its NOT a “trend” to wear the hair God gave you! Im transitioning(under said weaves) and the reason why I decided to do it is because of the growing market of natural hair products, back in the day I (or my mom) couldnt manage my curls to save my life! All we had back then was Pink Oil Moisterizer LOL now theres Kinky Curly, Miss Jessies, and list goes on so why not take advantage of it?

  31. Hohosaretasty88 says:

    This is extremely sad that someone had to die over packets of weave. What is this world coming to?

    Also, I’ve been natural for a very long time, but I do not think I am better than anyone else, I’m not following a trend, nor do I think anything much about it. I can’t even remember my last perm, but I remember telling my mother when I was little that I didn’t like the way the perm felt, so she stopped putting them in. Being natural suits my lifestyle (busy college student and athlete). I do not have to run from the rain, nor do I have to worry about sweating out a style during practice or after a long workout session.

  32. Divathang says:

    This is RIDICULOUS!!! No one should die over weave.

  33. candicurl says:

    Crazy ,mental slavery is real.murder over mental hair slavery. why hold yourself to an ideal thats not really you? why pretend? confidence is what is key here,see what was given to you as good.good hair is hair that grows and covers your head and is not balding or has bugs in it!

  34. Lex says:

    This is a damn shame. SMDH.

  35. Gemini says:

    This is a super dame shame. Lol

    Why don’t African-American females or other racial groups just grow there hair naturally?? There are some good hair care regimens out there to follow.

    Here is my advice: Relax/Texturize your hair and trim or cut into a style.
    It is also important to deep condition your hair and treat it well. Moving on, you want to try hair growth formulas that work like vitamins/hair oils that make your hair grow. I recommend Wild Growth it is a hair oil that can be found at your local Sally’s and it works!!!

  36. missb says:

    This is really sad. All for vanity smh.

  37. bagladynyc says:

    Are we any less of a person because we perm or weave? Whatever makes you happy is all that should matter. How about we support each other and stand UNITED.

  38. Nickieluv says:

    what a materialistic world it is..hmmm…some people are happy in the box it appears.

    Peace Love & Light

  39. Truth says:

    Again, I see no where that it states or insinuates any race is responsible. and I say this even after I saw the surveillance cameras and who actually stole the hair.
    AND FYI, no one died in the Houston event.

    Wearing someone else’s hair is gross.
    I get nauseated when I see someone wearing another person’s natural hair and rutting around like they deserve some sort of confidence for it.

  40. binks says:

    lol I know this isn’t funny but I just hard to imagine someone putting in that much thought into stealing false hair, who does that. I feel sorry for the salon owner for dying over some foolishness when the robbers could have gotten a 9 to 5. I know it is expensive but darn…that is so sad and shady. Personally, I never been a fan of extensions or wigs so I never got the hype but I know some women who would drop money on hair like it was nothing so I see the incentive behind this crime but wow…smh. I think it is time we take back the power and get to a level of comfort with hair in general, this is getting beyond crazy

  41. TicaPica says:

    personally, i think what’s trending is “ethnic” hair styles, which at times people are semantically confusing with “natural hair”.
    what i’ve found living amongst black people from many many backgrounds lately is that generally, the number of people who wear weaves etc has stayed the same, but there are more people who want to style their hair (whether it is a weave or not) in more ethnocentric styles. for some people, certain styles are “natural” (i.e., their hair grows out their head looking like that) but i know a lot of women who style their own hair into a certain look (e.g. an afro) even though that’s not how it grows out of their head. i think the whole “natural” argument is redundant especially because it’s only relevance is in relativity to somebody else’s hair, not truly “as nature intended”

  42. Indigo says:

    When will people get it through their heads…. IT’S NOT ABOUT LENGTH, IT’S ABOUT STYLE!!! And black women are always degraded,because we can rock hair like no other, so how else to break us down? Attack EVERYTHING we do… I don’t hear anything about Jessica Simpson,Britney Spears,Demi Moore, Kim Kardashion(sp) or many other “non black” females rocking extentions,weaves and wigs… Apply the WL theory to anything and you’d get the same result “sepration”

  43. esme says:

    truth- did i say that anyone died in the houston event? no, i said someone was killed, which someone WAS, IN MICHIGAN, during an incident where hair was being stolen. i even cut and pasted the part of the article where it says that a beauty shop supplier WAS KILLED IN MICHIGAN while being robbed of hair extensions. and on top of that, the article here and the article in the new york times reference hair thefts DIFFERENT U.S. CITIES, so why are you only talking about the houston theft? stop trying to change the goalposts to somehow make correct the fact that you tried to contradict my FACTUAL statement for no reason, when your challenge was really based on your apparent refusal to read and comprehend the article. clearly someone was killed, it wasn’t in houston and I NEVER said it was houston. admit you were wrong on that point or drop it.

    second, in the article here i do feel like the hair thefts were being linked with black women. the reference to afro puffs not being stolen? the pictures of the black hair shop on here and the new york times? the picture of the black woman wearing a weave on this website? the clip of the film “black hair” which is about black women’s hair? well if YOU don’t think that black women weren’t somehow being associated with this, then that’s your prerogative and your opinion. my opinion is that they are, which why i stated that black women are not the only women that wear hair extensions.

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