The darker side of hair extensions
Even though we are currently amidst a recession, the hair extension industry, which could safely be considered a luxury business, is booming. It continues to grow in revenue year on year. A stock in trade for celebrities and particularly actors and actresses, hair extensions have become high fashion with the public.
They offer the chance for a woman to try different hairstyles and do it with ease. Real hair can be matched to colour, thickness and curl to ensure that the join is totally invisible. New hairstyles can be created to reflect a woman’s best physical features; for a specific event; current fashion or even to co-ordinate with a specific dress.
This is all very well and that flexibility is precious. But as any hair stylist will tell you for hair extensions to look the part they must be made of real hair. So, where does the hair come from?
UK hair salons
In the UK, hair salons, hairdressers offer a service whereby they will give you a price for hair that has been cut after creating a new hairstyle. This hair is then sent to hair extension companies for preparation. This is all voluntary, the giver receives a fair price and a smart new hairstyle and sometimes it is all done for charity. But there is also a darker side to where real hair comes from.
India, China and Eastern Europe
The fact is most the hair on sale today comes from India, china and Eastern Europe. Agents tour villages in these areas and target the poverty stricken. It has now become a well-known trade where those in desperate need for money will sell their own hair to hair extension companies for a small price. But we are not talking about creating a lovely new hairstyle here – we are talking about women having their heads shaved.
There seems to me something sad and almost indecent to this trade. Hair is not a possession it is part of our identity. In 2006, The Observer reported that in some cases husbands were forcing their wives into having their heads shaved and children were being tricked into doing so by the promise of toys. The Moscow centre for prison reform found that prisoners were being forced to have their heads shaved for the trade. This again of course is exploitation. In China, women travel to religious temples to pray for sick relatives or for a better harvest. When their prayers are answered, they offer up their hair. The hair is then sold to hair extension businesses.
This is surely a trade that needs further investigation. Especially as the price for hair extensions continues to go through the ceiling. At least women should be aware of exactly where that real hair has probably come from.
Skalp® Micro Pigmentation offers a great service for people struggling with hair loss or who just want to join the bald fashion trend and look their very best. Trained practitioners apply pigments to the scalp so it appears as if you have a full head of hair – but cut fashionably short.
Skalp® have clinics around the world. We have clinics in New York, Los Angeles, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Marbella, Milan and Amsterdam.