It’s a hair-raising trend that’s sweeping the nation – and it’s not just the ladies who are getting in on the action. Brazilian, Peruvian and Italian hair weaves and wigs are all the rage, with women of means willing to pay between $200 and $600 for the latest styles. But with this soaring demand comes a dark side – and it’s not just the high prices that are leaving women feeling scalped.

Wig snatching is on the rise in Zimbabwe, with criminals targeting the most expensive weaves and wigs in the downtown areas of Harare. These so-called “soft targets” are often ambushed as they leave fast food outlets, with the snatched hair pieces later resold at giveaway prices.

But it’s not just the snatchers who are cashing in on this booming business. Hairdressers and individuals are also getting in on the game, buying up the stolen wigs and extensions for as little as $20 before re-inventing them and reselling them to unsuspecting clients. So-called “second-hand” or “pre-loved” wigs can fetch anything between $30 and $120 on the black market.

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And it’s not just the snatchers who are making a killing. The hair business is booming in Zimbabwe, with statistics showing that the country spent over $13 million on hair and hair care products alone in 2014. Imports of hair products in 2020 were worth $1.85 million, making them the 298th most imported product.

But while the trend may be on the rise, it’s leaving many women feeling like they’re losing more than just their hair. With criminal gangs operating in the central business district, expensive hair extension wigs are becoming a hot commodity – and a soft target.

So, ladies, be warned – it’s not just the high prices of these authentic hair weaves and wigs that you should be worried about. With wig snatching on the rise, you may be in for a nasty surprise if you’re not careful. Keep your locks close and your eyes peeled – it’s a jungle out there!