If you wear hair extensions, chances are you’re pretty picky about what type of hair you wear (Brazilian hair, Mongolian, Chinese).
You know if you prefer Remy or non-Remy hair, Indian hair or Brazilian hair, synthetic or human. You may also believe you can simply look at hair extension packaging to find out its origins.
But the truth is, it’s pretty difficult to tell where your hair extensions come from, and there are plenty of manufacturers who are deliberately misleading about where they source their hair from.
As it stands, the market for hair is large and growing, such that virtually every street corner in Lagos seemingly has a hair merchant. Of course, the neighborhood generally determines the quality and therefore the price of hair being sold.
Interestingly, many sellers have adopted the internet for their sales and have made good use of the medium. While there is no estimate for the trade, it must by now be approaching several millions of dollars.
The video below represents just one source of hair, therefore we can safely say that the trade volumes should be in excess of USD250million; this suggests that there are only 250 similar sized operations in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Mongolia, and the several other countries in South America including of course, Brazil, the supposed source of Brazilian hair.
While trade in foreign hair has elicited many many debates, most satirical, and has even inspired songs and drama skits, there is now a more important angle to the business – the use of very scarce foreign resources for buying human hair from abroad.
In a situation where industries and genuine businesses are scrambling for the increasingly hard to source US Dollar, it is difficult to see how the importation of foreign hair can or should be allowed to continue unchecked.
For the meantime however, the trade will continue to flourish and it is pointless splitting hairs about it.
Please see the video below.