Cures for baldness don’t come much stranger than this – being licked on the top of your head by a cow.
But in Colombia, one hairdresser says he’s had spectacular results with his cow tongue technique and he’s got queues of bald men lining up for a licking.
This is the city of Pereira, mostly known as the capital of Colombia’s main coffee producing region.
But it may soon be known for one of its hairdresser’s bizarre baldness cures.
Here on this quiet street is located the loftily titled ‘Institute for Capillary Health and Beauty.”
Its owner, Ancizar Duque, claims to have the secret to preventing hair loss.
He says he has over two hundred customers – mostly Colombians but even some from as far away as the U-S and Spain.
His philosophy is simple – male hair loss has to do with blocked follicles resulting from pollution and men not drying their hair properly.
He says that because men simply towel dry their hair, the follicles fill with water and with the added pollution the hair then rots and falls off.
But he has a secret weapon.
Meet ‘Simona’ the cow and her secret weapon.
Simona is here not for her milk but for her tongue.
Duque says that her lick combined with his special hair tonic make hair grow.
He claims the cow’s rough tongue acts like an exfoliator opening up the capillaries.
The tonic then stimulates growth.
Of course, the cow won’t lick someone’s head voluntarily – the customer’s head is first smeared with molasses and oats to entice the animal.
Duque says people were skeptical at first.
SOUNDBITE: (Spanish)
“People at first have a bad reaction, but once they meet the cow, they become more and more enthusiastic. Initially, of course, they laugh. They think it is something out of folklore, but when they see the results, they are happy.”
SUPERCAPTION: Ancizar Duque, hair dresser
And the results, according to Duque are astounding.
Here he shows a number of before and after pictures of happy customers.
He says while they don’t regain the hair of their youth, there is a notable difference.
Duque says the cow’s powers of hair stimulation are the subjects of common wives-tales that he never paid much attention to.
But nonetheless he thought he’d give it a try.
Of course the road to success was not easy.
And this is not the first cow they’ve used.
SOUNDBITE: (Spanish)
“I said to him, let’s try the treatment again on your hair, but he said ‘Which cow? I already killed it.” He made it into meat. He killed the cow. I wondered what I was going to do. So I tried out a baby cow. But you know, the baby cow was like a child – he had no concentration! He starts licking and then he wants to leave. It is very difficult. I tried and tried. I tried also with goats, I thought maybe a goat would work, it can be manoeuvred easily right? No, no. I then tried with horses. No, No.”
SUPERCAPTION: Ancizar Duque, hair dresser
The hair tonic was formulated after a friend of his came back from the Amazon area and commented that the indigenous peoples there never seemed to lose their hair.
Duque began to experiment with plants and came up with a hair tonic that is 100 percent natural and uses fifteen different plants, some from the Amazon.
He mixes the product himself and has called it – in a no nonsense way – ‘More Hair’.
This customer says he has never felt better.
SOUNDBITE: (Spanish)
“I feel more manly, more attractive to women. Everything looks good on me now, I feel better. My friends even say, ‘What are you doing you have more hair, you look younger?'”
SUPERCAPTION: Henry Gomez, customer
The treatment costs around 30 U-S dollars for a treatment of 12 cowlicks.
That does not include the hair tonic and shampoo which runs around 25 U-S dollars each for a large bottle.

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