Venezuela, Where Women Sell Their Hair to Make Ends Meet

Rafael Augusto B.L. de Oliveira | @ancient_scrolls

In Maduro’s socialistic “paradise” it seems that the working class is struggling so much that it’s now resorting to selling hair to make quick cash. Yes, you heard that right! Venezuelan women are now shaving almost all their hair to make ends meet by selling their own hair samples. Many women claim that this is necessary due to the water shortages and the ever-increasing cost of essentials. As sad as this may sound, maintaining well-kept long hair in Venezuela is a luxury that only the privileged classes can afford. 

A Failed Socialist Utopia?

The extreme measures Venezuelan citizens are taking to survive show us how Maduro’s government has failed to maintain acceptable living standards for its people. While a selfish elite enjoys a lavish lifestyle, the country’s economy has hit the rock bottom. Citizens are starving to death. It’s not uncommon to see fellow Venezuelans looting garbage and eating it. Some go to even more extreme lengths to suppress their appetites, eating rats, dogs, cats, and other street animals. 

It’s a sad state of affairs that the world must not overlook. We must take it as a lesson of how not to run a country. While developed countries waste mass amounts of food, families don’t have that luxury in Venezuela; they often can’t even feed themselves. The desperation is so high that Venezuelans are eating anything they can find or kill 

Hair as a Currency?

Obviously, beauty has become a low priority for most Venezuelan women. This starkly differs from the days when Venezuela was famous for winning many beauty pageants. Venezuela has been the country of birth of seven Miss Universe winners and six Miss Worlds.

In one particular instance, a 16-year-old student was offered $100 for selling all her hair. She then used the money to help her family out and buy a smartphone. She’s not the first girl to do it. As the economy worsens, an ever-increasing number of girls must do this to survive. 

Meanwhile, local beauty shops have also taken a hit. Many must now sell knockoff products from China and other countries to reduce their operating costs. Nevertheless, many of the local entrepreneurs and shop owners are immigrating with their families to countries with better opportunities. Some have also tried diversifying their businesses in order to keep their stores afloat in times of depression. Beauty care has become a luxury in Maduro’s kingdom. 

Women in Venezuela who refuse to shorn their hair are resorting to washing their hair with dishwashing liquid. Shampoo is simply too expensive for many as a result of hyperinflation. A Venezuelan bolívar is now worth next to nothing. Thus, even the most basic grocery items cost a fortune. 

The tough streets of Venezuela value adaptability and creativity on high. It’s sad and interesting to see how in times of hardship humans are forced to adapt to even the most horrible living conditions. 


Our world leaders can’t ignore the desperation of the Venezuelan people. It should come as a warning of the risks of inflated, centralized governments. A country that was once much better off has been reduced to a mere third-world dictatorship in a few years, largely thanks to one man’s hunger for power.

As the Venezuelan crisis aggravates, it becomes increasingly obvious that the country will either completely collapse economically, or someone will step up and save Venezuelans from starving to death. 

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