weaves–it’s like selling crack

according to the new york times, a rash of hair weave burglaries, valued between $10,000 and $150,000, have occured nationwide.  human hair is a hot commodity in black communities, prompting a detroit cosmetologist to conclude “weaves–it’s like selling crack.”  in fact, human hair is so profitable, theives are bypassing cash registers and going straight for the most expensive hair in the stores–packs of remy (indian hair) than run upwards of $200 a piece.  a few packs of those are as valuable as a diamond ring.

while diamonds are forever, once used, hair extensions are worthless.  unlike precious stones, gold, art or real estate they aren’t passed down by families through generations.  i’ve never heard a sister say–“i’m wearing my grandmother’s 10″ pure, virgin indian remy.”  in fact, it’s not the hair that’s prompting burglaries and murders (a store owner in detroit was killed), but instead the illusive confidence and self-esteem in each pack.  the more expensive the hair, the greater the boost in self-esteem.

while “scientific” research reported by psychology today is informing sisters how unattractive we are, the new york times is putting our insatiable appetite for indian women’s hair on full blast.  coincidental? not hardly.  it’s the belief, created by white hegemony, that our natural hair is unattractive that drives our need to spend hours in salons hiding the hair with which we were born. stolen weave and low self-esteem are concomitant concepts.

the fact that this mess was published by a major media outlet is an additional assault to black women’s dignity.  perpetual wars and regime changes in the middle east, millions stolen from hud housing developments meant to provide low-income housing, and off shore drilling recommenced by the obama administration are just a few topics more newsworthy.



  1. In further thought (and I this may be difficult for me to articulate) but I think this is more evidence on how the idea of "poor" and "black" are tangled. Who are the people robbing hair stores or spending an irrational proportion of their take-home pay on packs of hair? It is like a real life "Bluest Eye". Instead of blue eyes that the little girl believed would make her pretty and all her problems go away we have hair texture and the "baller complex". the ability to have good hair and "stunt" with it is irresitable.


  2. i agree that black and poor are often tangled but expensive hair weaves aren't simply coveted poor black women. i doubt many "suburban" blacks could resist the allure of half-priced "quality" hair. we all own a few bootleg dvds. i think sisters with higher disposable incomes simply spend more on their hair than our less affluent sisters. we've all been hood-winked (no pun intended).


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