Dallas Hair Weave Thefts Have Reached Epidemic Proportions

When employees of USA Beauty Supply arrived at work on the morning of December 26 after taking Christmas off, they were surprised to find that the Red Bird store was already open. The doors were still locked, but the gaping hole in the brick wall provided easy access inside.

That's evidently what the person or persons who had made the hole had intended. They had taken, employees soon learned, the store's cash box and the $3,000 it contained. But the real prize was on the shelves. Those they cleared of $40,000 worth of top-of-the-line weaves, taking 20 hair clippers for good measure.

On Wednesday, the manager said he couldn't talk about the burglary without the owner's permission and that the owner very rarely visited the store. In other words, no comment.

The USA Beauty burglary isn't unique. Matter of fact, Dallas is seeing a wave of hair heists. On Tuesday, a woman tried rather brazenly to walk out of Super Beauty Supply on Bruton Road with two boxes of weaves but was grabbed by the store owner before she could make her exit.

On January 14, two men were caught on a surveillance camera prying open the door of KK Designer Nails & Beauty on Jefferson Boulevard and stealing 60 packages of Tasha-brand hair. A similar burglary occurred the previous month at UK Beauty Supplies on Alpha Road.

If you include all hair-related products and businesses, it's a veritable epidemic. Sometimes they steal the weaves, sometimes clippers, sometimes just cash. During the burglary of a salon on Malcolm X Boulevard, thieves stumbled upon a margarita machine and $1,600 worth of liquor which, of course, they stole.

A cursory review of Dallas police reports turns up 11 cases of theft from salons, barber shops, beauty supply stores.

Why someone would want to steal a large quantity of human hair isn't particularly difficult to figure out. The New York Times, in a 2011 trend story written in the wake of a massive, $150,000 theft from a Houston hair shop and the murder of a Michigan beauty shop supplier, reported the obvious: "Once stolen, the hair is typically sold on the street or on the Internet, including eBay, shop owners and the police say."

"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," the Times reported. "This allows it to look more natural and to last longer without tangling. Remy hair from Indian women is the most popular."

So far, thieves have steered clear of hair that is attached to people's heads, but it's only a matter of time. You heard it here first.

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