Things That Matter

Venezuelan Women Are Making Almost Quadruple The Nation’s Monthly Minimum Wage By Selling Their Hair

Hair has become product women sell to help support their families.

As the economic crisis in Venezuela continues, Venezuelans are trying unconventional methods to make ends meet. According to a video by Vocativ, one way Venezuelans women are making things work is by selling their hair. Reuters reports that the monthly minimum wage for a Venezuelan can dip as low as $6, but selling hair can earn around $21 in Venezuela. Seems like a no-brainer for those who can spare some hair. Some women have even resorted to traveling to Colombia and Panama, where they can sell their hair for higher prices, according to Vocativ. The extreme shortage of basic necessities, like food and toilet paper, has pushed average Venezuelans to make drastic decisions about the way they make money.

“I thought, ‘Whatever God wants. I’m going to cut my hair.’ I had it very long and I said, ‘I’m going to sell it,'” Crismary Gonzalez, a Venezuelan woman who has sold her hair twice, told Reuters. “My children come first, then my hair. Hair grows back.”

Venezuela has been dealing with political and economic turmoil for months as President Nicolas Maduro has taken hold of the government and silenced all political opponents. The South American country recently drew scrutiny after offering millions of dollars in aid to U.S. states and Caribbean islands that have been impacted by recent hurricanes. Some are skeptical about the humanitarian efforts and assume that Venezuela is only doing it to win political points.

Check out Al Jazeera’s report on Venezuelan women selling their hair below.


READ: Through Music, Nacho And Spotify Hope To Spread The Word Of Venezuela’s Crisis






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All Aboard The ‘Baby Hair’ Bandwagon, Alicia Keys Ignited A Fever For Embellished Baby Hairs And Edges And We’re On Board

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All Aboard The ‘Baby Hair’ Bandwagon, Alicia Keys Ignited A Fever For Embellished Baby Hairs And Edges And We’re On Board

aliciakeys / Instagram

We’re all obsessed with the way Alicia Keys styled her baby hairs for the Grammys last weekend. So as an appreciation story, we thought we’d to give you a few ideas to style your own baby hairs for date night, work, or just any random day —you’re welcome. 

When Beyoncé declared that she likes her “baby heir with baby hairs and Afros” in the song “Formation,” everyone got ready to style the little fine hairs around the edges of their hairline. Traditionally black and Latina subcultures have been proudly rocking their baby hairs since birth, and now it seems like mainstream culture is finally jumping on the “baby hairs are awesome” bandwagon. 

When Alicia Keys walked on stage at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, she didn’t just wow the audience with her inspiring words and heart-warming ballads.

The singer also has us obsessing over her show-stopping hair. She was wearing cornrows and artfully laid edges —but the interesting part were the Swarovski crystals, each accentuating a swirl of hair. 

It was a beautiful way of putting baby hairs at the forefront of her beauty look. 

Keys’ hair moment was somewhat of a celebration for communities that have sported the look for decades. For black and Latinx communities who have styled their baby hairs for generations, it was a proud moment —and somewhat of an inspiration tbh. 

So instead of straightening them, damaging them with chemicals or “taming” your baby hairs, why don’t you check out the following list for some styling inspiration. Own those baby hairs this 2020. 

Alicia Keys

Of course we were going to start the list with this bedazzled look. Celebrity hairstylist Nai’vasha swept Alicia’s baby hairs into little swoops before adding individual crystals inside each loop. “Alicia and I are obsessed with glorious baby hairs,” the hair pro told Vogue.

H.E.R.

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We here 2020 Grammys!

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Singer and songwriter Gabriella Wilson, better known as H.E.R., also wore her baby hairs in an artful design at the Grammys last Sunday. Sculpted in a wavy pattern all along her hairline and down to her ears, her baby hairs were at the center of her beauty lewk —and they did NOT disappoint. 

Jennifer Lopez

So we’re all used to seeing JLo in super sleek updos and buns, yes. But for her Saturday Night Live promos, Jenny from The Block’s hairstylist Chris Appleton styled the singer’s baby hairs in long swoops that cascaded along her hairline. The design was a beautiful detail to add to an otherwise bland and sleek ponytail. 

Ella Mai

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forever grateful 🖤

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The English singer never misses a chance to stye her baby hairs in cute and artful ways. Her hairstylist Kahh Spence, a self-professed ‘slay gawd’ always slays Ella’s hair, and the hair of many other celeb clients, so I guess he really is a hair gawd of sorts.

Kehlani

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7H9xN-Jf5J/

The R&B singer is a true hair icon, she always styles her mane in crazy colors or intricate styles. We love this relaxed take on the classic top knot. She let her baby hairs flow freely and maybe even curled them a bit —goals. 

Yara Shahidi

The Black-ish star never ceases to amaze us with her flawless skin, hair and style. And in this example, she’s proving that you can always make a statement by styling just one or two swirls of baby hairs around your hairline to make an otherwise simple do, stand out. 

FKA Twigs

The queen of baby hair art. Ok granted, some of Twigs’ signature baby hair looks might require an art degree but hey, nothing a sharp edge control brush and some good gel can’t help you do —with a lot of practice. 

Laura Harrier

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🌸

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Here’s another embellished look that has us floored. A spring time look if ever we’ve seen one. Do like the actress and accentuate each swirl of hairs with a teeny tiny flower. The levels of cute and chic are just beyond. 

Ciara

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🐾

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Serving Ariana Grande vibes, but with way more estilo. Baby hair styling proves, yet again, that with just a few waves, you can make a ‘normal’ hairstyle stand out.

Rihanna

Baby hairs look beautiful braided into a protective style; just be sure to re-braid those pieces as the hair grows to prevent breakage.

La Rosalia 

The urban-flamenco singer also knows that styling baby hairs can add that little extra-ness to her signature high ponytail. Celebrity stylist Jesus Guerrero added a few swoops on the singers temples to create a style that’s a little more glamorous and a little less basic.

Venezuelan Politics Are In Turmoil As Maduro’s Military Blocked The Opposition From Entering Parliament

Things That Matter

Venezuelan Politics Are In Turmoil As Maduro’s Military Blocked The Opposition From Entering Parliament

Paul Rivera Gallegos / Getty

It is sometimes hard to keep up with the roller coaster that are current Venezuelan politics. Since opposition leader Juan Guaido self-proclaimed as Interim President in his capacity as head of the National Assembly, international actors have recognized him as the leader of the South American nation while on the ground political power keeps resting on the socialist government led by Nicolas Maduro. Now a new development has maintained the status quo when it seemed that Guaido would get a boost in his political influence and power and present a bigger challenge to the Maduro regime that some, including most US politicians, call a “dictatorship”. Guaido was set to be re-elected as head of Congress but he was blocked from entering the building by security forces. 

Maduro’s government snatched the National Assembly from opposition leader Juan Guaido and las cosas se pusieron color de hormiga.

The Venezuelan government has now used its security forces to stop Guaido from being re-elected as Head of Congress. As Reuters reports from Caracas: “Troops with riot shields blocked opposition leader Juan Guaido from entering parliament for what was expected to be his re-election as head of Congress, at one point pulling him off the compound’s iron railings after he tried to push past security forces”. Because Guaido could not be elected, Maduro’s party, the Socialist party, handed the post to Luis Parra, who has recently faced corruption allegations. 

However, an alternative vote was held at the headquarters of a newspaper that is favorable to the opposition, and Guaido was re-elected.

National Assembly President Juan Guaido swears himself in as President of the National Assembly with opposition lawmaker votes at the newspaper El Nacional’s headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrea Hernandez Briceño)

So now there are two de facto Heads of Congress in a country that is deeply divided in political issues and is facing economic challenges that seem insurmountable. The opposition’s tally shows that 100 out of 167 legislators voted for Guaido. 

World powers are divided over Venezuela and that is a worrying sign, the United Nations is growing increasingly worried.

As if the tension over Iran wasn’t enough to get many thinking that the world is on the verge of a major military clash, Venezuela is another hotspot of geopolitical tension. While the European Union, the United States and most Latin American countries have condemned Maduro’s forceful cling to power, Chine, Russia and Cuba remain supportive of his regime. Venezuela has rich oil reserves and sits at a key location in the Southern Hemisphere.

Things could get ugly very quickly. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Guaido on winning a second term as Head of Congress: “Venezuela’s political parties came together in a resounding display of unity to support Juan Guaido’s re-election. No regime thugs, no jail cells, and no bribery or intimidation can subvert the will of the Venezuelan people.”

But regardless, things in Caracas remain tense and opposition legislators are being stopped at checkpoints around Congress. As reported by Sputnik News, the United Nations is worried at the recent developments and has said through its spokesperson: “The Secretary-General is following with concern the events surrounding the election of the president of the National Assembly, which make urgently needed dialogue even more difficult to achieve. The Secretary-General calls on all actors to take immediate steps to lower tensions and to work towards a peaceful and sustainable solution to the political crisis”. 

The United States has condemned the move and congressmen have used harsh words.

The United States has long had an antagonistic relationship with the socialist regime in Venezuela first led by Hugo Chavez and then by Nicolas Maduro. The most recent development in the convoluted political landscape in Venezuela has been received with harsh words by US congressmen.

For example, congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security and Trade, released the following statement: “Having dismantled every other democratic institution in Venezuela, yesterday the Maduro dictatorship tried to seize the country’s last vestige of democracy, the National Assembly. Maduro’s months-long effort to bribe legislators to vote against Juan Guaidó failed, so he used force as a last resort to block assembly members from entering the chamber and re-electing Juan Guaidó as their leader.”

US politicians still recognize Juan Guaido as the Interim President.

The statement continued its condemnation of Maduro’s effort to maintain the status quo: “Yesterday’s action changed nothing; it merely revealed the Maduro dictatorship’s desperation to cling to power at any cost. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the legitimate government of Venezuela, led by Interim President Juan Guaidó, to support the Venezuelan people in their continued effort to restore democracy. The need for free, fair, and fully democratic elections in Venezuela has never been more urgent.”