Hair thieves known as “piranhas” are causing mass hysteria among long-haired beauties in parts of Venezuela, where men armed with scissors are attacking women for their tresses.
The thieves sell the lopped-off hair to beauty salons for a pretty penny.
It’s a terrifying threat to women in a country where long, shiny hair is prized by men and women alike as a symbol of youth and beauty.
“You have to see it to believe it,” Maracaibo resident Egmari Villarreal told the Panorama newspaper. “We’re not going to be able to have long hair anymore. As a woman, this is something traumatic.”
Police in the city of Maracaibo told Globovision they’re stepping up patrols in response to attacks there.
At least one such attack has also been reported in neighboring Colombia.
Arlen Lunatold Caracol she was wearing her hair in a braid when thieves attacked her in the city of Barranquilla.
Before she knew it, she had lost 8 inches of hair.
While synthetic hair typically costs anywhere from $40 to $160, depending on its quality, natural hair can fetch more than $500, according to Caracol.
Read more: Global Post