Hair loss seems to be an issue plaguing not just anxious residents of the city but the odd commercial establishment too. Employees of a prominent hair processing unit in Kodungaiyur were flabbergasted when they found 82.08 kilograms of processed hair missing on Monday. This is the second such incident in less than a week.
On Monday morning, around 9 a.m., an employee of Shanmuga Hair products, who was about to open the unit, noticed that the back door had been broken open. The staff immediately alerted the owner of the unit, Muralikrishnan, who rushed there and found the hair missing. The missing hair was worth nearly Rs. 16.5 lakh. A team of police officers lead by assistant commissioner of police (MKB Nagar), Govi Manoharan, inspected the crime scene and said that they were scrutinising CCTV footage. The unit has eight CCTVs.
On Friday, a hair processing unit in Vadapalani also reported the loss of 250 kilograms of processed hair, worth nearly Rs. one crore. In both cases, the lost hair was of high quality —nearly 20 inches long — the kind that is in high demand in European countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, U.K and U.S.A. The hair is mainly used for making wigs and for transplants in these countries.
The quality of hair is measured according to criteria such as length, texture and colour. India is a leader when it comes to hair exports mainly because of Indian firms’ ability to source hair that is longer, especially from temples such as Tirupathi and Palani where people tonsure their heads. Usually, 12-18-inch-long hair is the most sought after and this is sold for an average of Rs. 20,000 per kg. The price varies according to the quality and colour of the hair. “The hair of women from villages is always in high demand because they grow it long and do not expose it to shampoo or other chemicals and dyes,” said 44-year-old Muralikrishnan. There are nearly 150 such hair processing units in the city.