Syrian Women Sell Hair for Living

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Enab Baladi Issue # 84 – Sun, Sep. 29, 2013

بيع الشعرJoudi Salam – Enab Baladi

A woman’s beauty is more in her hair, cares much about it to brag in front of other women. Today, Syrian women think she who has long hair is lucky, not to brag about it, but rather to secure bread for her family. Many Syrian women are selling their hair so that they support themselves and their kids.

Om Samir is a mother of three orphans; she has no one to help her financially, nor could she get a job to earn money to feed her children. Om Samir gave up her beautiful attractive hair and sold it to a salon for real hair extensions and wigs in return for 50000 Syrian Pounds. Om Samir says she can manage her financial situation for the three coming months with this sum of money; but she has no idea how to support herself and her children after that until her hair grows long again.

Om Samir felt deep sorrow when she saw her reflection in the mirror after cutting and selling her hair, which she used to boast about. She says it was painful for her to know that another woman will be enjoying wearing her hair, but she had no choice. Om Samir was also worried that it might be prohibited to do so according to her religion, yet she never consulted religious people, since it was her only choice. If it is prohibited then she will seek God’s forgiveness, for she did it only for her children’s seek.

Rama is a student in the open learning program in Damascus University. She has also decided to sell her hair for cash as her family could not afford her tuition.  Rama says that a well-taken-care-of long hair may be sold for as much as 60000 S.P, and the shorter the hair gets, the lower the price goes; short hair may be sold for 25000 S.P. only.

While Syrian women are suffering extremely, high class ladies in other part of the world, mainly in the Arab Gulf, are happy with the Syrian women’s suffering. Online forum, pages and websites overflow with advertisement for: Syrian real hair extensions and wigs for a natural looking option at bargain prices; it can be cut, styled, permed or colored to suit your personal taste. A wealthy lady from the United Arab Emirates says that recently she can buy an extension from Syria for 300- 400 $, while she used to buy it from Beirut for 1000$. The Emirati lady expressed gratitude for the crisis that is helping her save 600$ a year.

Another lady also seemed content with the crisis that provided her preferable product, since the Syrian hair is well known for its beauty and quality. However, it was not so easily available, since the Syrian did not tend to sell their hair, and it was very rare to find a salon that sells real Syrian hair. Now, things have changed, and the Syrian women find themselves forced to sell their hair to protect their dignity, better than being forced to beg.

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