Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wig Theft On The Rise

A Guest Post By E. Fink

Many Orthodox Jewish women adhere to the halachic requirement of covering their head in public by wearing wigs. These are not halloween wigs that run $40. Many of these wigs cost up to $3000.

I have heard from a local "Sheitel Macher" (retailer and hairdresser of wigs) some eye-opening developments.

It seems that some frum women steal wigs from the retailers. Many retailers allow payment plans and as in every business many people just cancel the credit card or dispute charges. But it gets worse. Sometimes the woman asks if she can take home the wig to show it off to her husband and they say they will return the next day to decide if they will buy the wig. Many times the women never return. Wig stolen. Sometimes a wig needs to be repaired or colored and this establishment offers loaners until the service is complete. Very often women don't return these loaners either. They pick up their wigs and say they "forgot" to bring in the loaner. They never bring the loaner back. Another wig stolen. Sometimes they say "my husband dropped it off". He never did. Another wig stolen.

In the last month, this particular Sheitel Macher estimates 8 wigs have been stolen. These wigs are the ~$2500 variety.

Three things to think about:

1) Stealing money, or stealing pens from the office, or cheating on taxes are egregious enough. But the money is not directly used in the adherence of halacha. There is a buffer zone between the theft and its use for religious observance. But in the case of wigs, the stolen item is ONLY being used in the adherence of halacha. To me, this is worse.

2) The cost of wigs is prohibitive. So some women steal their wigs. But this only makes the price of wigs rise for the honest folks. Currently, Sheitel Machers must include the overhead of "Stolen Wigs" in their pricing structure. Stealing affects more than the thief and the victim. It affects all of us.

3) There has been plenty of talk within the Frum community about honesty in business. Invariably these events and publications focus on the men. It seems the women need a pep talk as well. No one is innocent.

Search for more information about stealing sheitels at

Going to Israel?
Now get 2 phones for the price of 1 (and free calls too) with Talk'n'Save.

No comments: