As many beauty-supply and salon owners have found out the hard way, there are no easy or cheap solutions to protecting human-hair merchandise. In many cases, weave thieves are far from being amateurs and conjure up extremely elaborate schemes to pull off heists, warns Quinn. He recalls one instance where a suspect tunneled through the adjoining wall of a vacant next-door business to avoid tripping the alarms. At one Philadelphia-based beauty supply, thieves have been brazen enough to jump over the counter to grab packs of hair. They have also tried stuffing hair into baby strollers or even using their children to hide the goods, says the store’s manager, who refused to give her name for fear of being targeted.
In light of this threat, beauty—supply and salon owners—especially those who have already experienced theft—have begun taking the matter seriously. Some have installed bulletproof glass, hired additional security guards and/or installed pricey security systems to keep their inventory safe.
Since the break-in at her shop, Davis hasn’t held back beefing up security at her business. Davis says she spent nearly $5,500 in out-of-pocket expenses to replace all her windows and doors with tempered glass, to add three surveillance cameras, and to install a bullhorn outside the entrance that would “wake up the whole neighborhood within a five-mile radius.” And that’s in addition to the surveillance cameras, electronically buzzed door and expensive alarm system she already had in place. “If they get through all of this, I’ll be at a loss,” she says. “I’ve been really loud about what’s happened to me—between bringing it to the media and posting the footage on YouTube and Facebook—hopefully this will make whoever did this think twice before coming here again.”
Similarly, Amosu said she has also shelled out an additional $2,000 for extra security at her salon. Her investments have included adding an extra security camera, Blu-ray and high-definition real-time blackout cameras as well as 24-hour online monitoring. Hair extensions are no longer kept on location, but are brought in daily, and the store now has its own private detective that sits in as a client on a regular basis to help identify thieves and evaluate the security operation, she says.
[Image: Courtesy of Anne Davis, owner of Hair Divas Distributors]