Why Women In Venezuela Are Selling Their Hair

Photo: MCT/Getty Images.
If you cross the bridge from San Antonio, Venezuela to La Parada in Colombia, you will hear men yelling, "We buy hair!"

Many women hear this call as a chance to feed and clothe their children. Amid the country's escalating poverty, they're getting their hair chopped off and selling it for extensions so that they and their families can survive.

About 200 women pass through each day, five of the middlemen told The Guardian. Medium-length locks can sell for around £16.

These women are often getting haircuts from stylists on the street. "Most of the women come here with little kids and after cutting their hair they go buy food," said one named Jenifer Nino.

With inflation at nearly 1,000%, Venezuela's economy is deteriorating faster than any other country's, according to The Guardian. Many citizens are surviving off subsidised food, and basic goods like toilet paper are scarce, The Washington Post reports. Venezuela's pharmaceutical association estimates that around 70 percent of the medicine the country's citizens need hasn't been distributed.

"I suffer arthritis and I need to buy medicine," Celina Gonzales, one of the women who sold her hair, told The Guardian. "This won’t be much, but at least I can buy painkillers."

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