Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Costly Hairstyle Is a Beauty Trend That Draws Thieves’ Notice

The thieves pulled the iron bars out of the windows, outsmarted the motion detector that would have triggered a burglar alarm and did not give the safe or cash register a second look. 

“Whoever did it knew exactly what they wanted,” said Lisa Amosu, whose salon was burglarized.

 Instead they went straight for what was most valuable: human hair. By the time the bandits at the My Trendy Place salon in Houston were finished, they had stolen $150,000 worth of the shop’s most prized type, used for silky extensions.

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.
“I heard about it from a couple of different supply companies and customers who said: ‘Guard your inventory. There’s a rash of this going on,’ ” said Lisa Amosu, the owner of My Trendy Place. “Whoever did it knew exactly what they wanted. They didn’t even bother with the synthetic hair.”
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. This allows it to look more natural and to last longer without tangling. Remy hair from Indian women is the most popular.
But remy hair extensions can cost as much as $200 per package and the average person requires at least two packages. Hundreds of dollars more, and at times thousands, are spent at hair salons to have the extensions attached, often by sewing.
In addition to the $150,000 Houston robbery this month, thieves have recently taken $10,000 in hair from a San Diego shop; $85,000 from a business in Missouri City, Tex.; $10,000 from a shop in Dearborn, Mich.; and $60,000 from a business in San Leandro, Calif. All the values were provided by the storeowners.
Law enforcement officials have been perplexed by the sudden increase in the thefts of hair and the violence that has accompanied some. Some agencies say they had been unaware of the trend before, and others are still learning about it.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said Denise Ballew, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I., who oversees data related to property crimes.
One indication of how quickly the focus of some thieves has shifted to high-end hair is the experience of the Beauty One hair supply store in Chicago: two years ago, thieves went after the store’s cash, but last month, they bypassed the register altogether and took just the hair, which was valued at $90,000.
Detective Vito Ferro of the Chicago Police Department, who is investigating the April 24 robbery, said some recent hair thefts in the city appeared to be the work of people sophisticated enough to have taken custom orders.
“It’s like someone says, ‘I’m looking for a 1992 Cadillac Eldorado,’ and so you go out looking for that car,” Detective Ferro said.
Surveillance cameras outside the Beauty One shop showed bandits using a crowbar and sledgehammer to pry open dead bolts and then loading boxes of hair into a van.
In recent weeks, packages of hair that may have sold for $80 or $100 retail have sold for as little as $25 out of car trunks in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Houston, the authorities said. Hair can be sold at the same types of beauty salons and supply shops that are being robbed.
“They’re selling it to stylists who work out of their house, they’re selling it on the street, they’re selling it out of the car,” said Ms. Amosu of My Trendy Place. “People who don’t want to pay the prices will buy it from the hustle man. It’s like the bootleg DVDs and the fake purses. But this is a quality product.”
egister a second look.

Lisa Amosu, a Houston salon owner, gluing hair onto a client. She valued human hair recently taken from the salon at $150,000.

Not long ago, hip-hop songs and black comedians belittled women who wore extensions and weaves. No longer. It is a style grown in popularity that transcends race and celebrity adherence. The market for human hair also includes cancer patients. 

In a video made by a store security camera, one of the thieves can be seen crawling on the floor to avoid motion detectors.
Prices have risen substantially as the quality of hair and the rarity of the most popular hair has increased. Remy hair from India usually comes from women who have their heads shaved as a sign of having mastered their egos.
Neal Lester, an English professor at Arizona State University who has written on the race and gender politics of hair, said the growing demand for human hair extensions and the high prices had made thefts inevitable.
“It’s sort of a sign of the times,” Dr. Lester said. “Folks are being entrepreneurial, and weaves and hair extensions are expensive, so it’s not surprising that people sell hair the way they sell things on Canal Street, like knock-off purses.”
But with the increased profits has come violence, the police say.
In Dearborn, Mich., Jay Shin, the owner of Sunrise Beauty Supply, was killed during a holdup on March 15 by gunmen who stole 80 packages of hair extensions worth about $10,000. Two young men have been arrested.
Assaults have been reported even when only a small amount of hair is involved. In West Palm Beach, Fla., a 16-year-old girl sprayed a clerk with pepper spray last year as she made off with extensions. And in Lawton, Okla., the police said a customer who ran out of a store with extensions tried to escape with the store owner clinging to the hood of her car.
The threat of theft has prompted salons and beauty supply shops to hire security guards, install bulletproof glass partitions and even require patrons to show identification before they are allowed into back rooms to choose their hair.
But surveillance cameras and an expensive alarm system did not prevent thieves from snatching the inventory at Hair Divas Distributors, a beauty shop in San Leandro, Calif., that was robbed of $60,000 in hair last month.
Thieves skipped flat-screen televisions, a digital camera and the cash register, said Ann Davis, the owner. “They went for all my longer pieces, my most expensive stuff,” Ms. Davis said.
She said illegal hair was being sold everywhere, including by people who have come to her shop offering it to customers and by people who have tried to sell it to her on the street.
“ ‘Yo, I got some hair,’ ” Ms. Davis said, imitating the come-on.
“This is not O.K.,” she added. “I’m a little fearful.”

New York Times

Hair News Network

Wigs for Cure Presents Long Pink Bob Wigs

We all know a loved one or of a loved one who has been diagnosed, been successfully treated or lost their fight to breast cancer. Their courage and determination continues to be inspiration to us.

Cosplay Wigs USA introduces beautiful pink "Wigs for a Cure". The goal is to provide a fun, quality wig to be worn at fundraisers or to simply make a statement in support of the fight for the cure.

Thank you for joining them in our endeavor to participate in the fight. A portion of all sales will be donated directly to “Susan G. Komen for a Cure”.
Purchase your Wig For Cure at

Wigs For Cure

Hair News Network

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weedrobes: Artist creates stunning garments from fruit, weeds, flowers

Weedrobes Camellia Countessa

Weedrobes Camellia Countessa

A wearable garment made from camellia flowers, lilac, yucca, laurel leaves, willow branches, and thorns.

Photo by Nicole Dextras.

Environmental art doesn't necessarily have to be restricted to a pile of rocks stacked together by Andy Goldsworthy -- it can also take the form of wearable, fashionable, and socially engaged garments too.

Made with fruits, weeds, flowers, and leaves, 'Weedrobes' is the delightful series of meticulously detailed, perishable gowns, coats, and suits by Canadian environmental artist Nicole Dextras. Striking a careful balance between style and commentary, the message behind Weedrobes is aimed squarely at the not-always-so-sustainable practices of the fashion industry, while also redefining the perceived immortality of haute couture.

Dextras' garments begin life as plants harvested from a variety of places, ranging from areas affected by invasive species to specimens from Dextras' own garden.

After constructing her pieces, Dextras photographs each Weedrobe with a model, and they are sent out to "engage the public" by interacting with passerby. Afterwards, each garment is left to be 'reclaimed' and to decompose naturally.

Dextras' extensive array of natural materials is a veritable gardener's delight, including yucca leaves, wild red rose, camellia, willow, hydrangeas, crab apples, kale, rose hips, laurels, and thorns to pierce components together. She sometimes uses invasive species like Japanese knotweed to call into question our attitudes toward certain species.

Though it may seem to be a little too fun to be serious, Weedrobes is not just some off-the-cuff project. Dextras' view on fashion is from the inside, with a deep personal history with fashion beginning from her childhood memories of her mother's clothing store and Dextras' own employment in non-union sweatshop, where she witnessed firsthand the poor working conditions and the chemicals used in the process.

Ultimately, the point of these ephemeral robes is to get people to see past the glamorous exterior and at the larger life cycles behind the fashion industry. According to Dextras:

The Weedrobes philosophy is based on being a free thinker, creating one's own sense of style while also raising awareness about the impact of industry on our eco-system. Our most effective tool for change is for consumers to demand more equitable products. It may be impractical to wear clothing made with leaves, but our future depends on the creation of garments made from sustainable resources.

Hair News Network

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aveda Inspiration: Earth Month

Men Report Sexual Impairment After Using Common Hair Loss Drug

Men who have taken a popular pill for baldness say they've experienced persistent sexual dysfunction for months, or even years, after stopping the drug.

The new study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that men who take finasteride, sold under the brand names Propecia and Proscar, may develop an ongoing loss of libido and orgasm, even after they go off the medication.

In some cases, they could have other lasting sexual side effects, including premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, according to lead researcher Dr. Michael Irwig of George Washington University's medical school.

"It's obviously having some effect on the brain," Irwig told AOL Health. "It's messing up different hormonal pathways. Some of these pathways are important for things like libido and sexual function."

Finasteride, the most common hair-loss pill, has previously been linked to "reversible" sexual impairment, as noted on the drug's label, said Irwig. But "this is the first series to find that symptoms persisted for at least three months despite stopping finasteride," he added.

"Three months was the minimum, but some of these guys had sexual symptoms for years, some ... for five to 10 years after," he told AOL Health. "These were young guys with no medical problems, no psychiatric problems, who happened to develop these side effects."

Irwig and his team interviewed 71 men aged 21 to 46 who had taken Propecia or Proscar and reported new sexual side effects after they started the drugs. None of the participants had a history of sexual dysfunction or other conditions that might have contributed, Irwig said -- and some had only been on finasteride for a few days.

Ninety-four percent said they'd experienced low sexual desire, 92 percent reported a dip in sexual arousal and 69 percent had trouble with orgasm, according to the findings. Another 92 percent said they developed erectile dysfunction after taking finasteride.

On average, participants had been on the baldness drug for 28 months and had chronic sexual problems for an average of 40 months, the research showed.

But 10 percent of those studied had used finasteride for less than a month, Irwig told AOL Health.

"It's scary," he said. "For the lack of orgasm and libido, there is no treatment."

Other reported adverse side effects of finasteride are depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety. Merck is currently fighting a number of lawsuits involving the drug, including one in Canada and another in Connecticut.

The company does not warn of possible psychological or persistent sexual problems in information about finasteride on its website, nor does it mention those symptoms on its U.S. labeling. Irwig said the drug does carry warning labels in the U.K. and Sweden about ongoing sexual impairment.
"Be aware that this is a potential sexual side effect," he cautioned. "If somebody chooses to take this medicine, there is that risk. They have to make the decision that it's a risk they're willing to take."

International Society for Sexual Medicine

Hair News Network

Monday, May 2, 2011

Oprah Winfrey Debuts Bob

And you've got...a new bob haircut!

Oprah Winfrey debuted shorter strands on her Wednesday episode titled "Look and Feel 20 Years Younger" where she and her personal trainer Bob Greene talked superfoods, skin care and weight loss. We think it was only natural that the media queen reveal her new look on a show about how you can turn back time.

Winfrey's sleek bob boasts face-framing layers and side-swept bangs that can transform her 'do instantly.


Hair News Network