The market for weaves of all luxurious lengths is pretty large these days, and it seems that more and more people are looking to buy extensions, but at a cost that’s not as exorbitant as some beauty supplies sometimes try to sell them for. This demand makes way for a black market, where individuals are bold enough to throw bricks in beauty supply store doors to break in and take as many bundle packs of extensions that they can get, only to make a profit on the streets.
In 2012, thieves busted through the wall of a beauty supply store in Chicago to steal a massive $230,000 worth of weave. Earlier this year, a beauty supply store worker, also in Chicago, was pepper sprayed as a woman grabbed 10 packs of remy hair, valued at $100 each. And when a group of men and women tried to rob a couple purchasing hair at a beauty supply in Atlanta late last year, one of the suspects ended up being shot dead. Things are getting quite crazy for some hair, ya’ll.
And just this week, a beauty supply store in Oak Lawn (which is just outside of Chicago) was burglarized, as nine people broke in (using a brick), grabbing all the bundles of hair extensions they could get, with the owner saying he lost $50,000 worth. But aside from the weave, the robbers didn’t want anything else. The store owner says they didn’t bother to even go near the cash register.
“It’s crazy, it’s unbelievable the way it happened,” said beauty supply store manager Al Salman in an interview with an ABC affiliate in Chicago.
“If it was a one person thing you would think, okay he needs some money, he broke in. But this was organized. That’s what makes this scary. They did it right. They knew what to get, they exactly got the expensive stuff. You’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars gone in less than a minute.”
Salman believes someone had been keeping an eye on the beauty supply before the robbery, because one of the burglars knew to open a closed box that held quite a few bundles of stored extensions.
No one has been arrested for the theft as of yet, but Salman wants justice, and to see “any organized crime like this” stop. Such robberies have been hitting many beauty supply stores all over the city in the last year or two, and really, been hitting stores all over the country.
In a piece on these thefts done by CNN last year, Arizona State University English Professor (and lecturer on hair matters) Neal Lester had this to say about this uptick in robberies for hair:
“People who have the audacity and the ingenuity to do this will be able to sell them. It’s no different from selling DVDs, where they are sold out of the back of your trunk. The trend speaks to the notion that hair is so intricately wrapped to one’s identity that there are risks people take. And it’s a telling moment in the economy, that people are now ready and willing to pay such a price.”