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Continued: Human hair is increasingly being used in hair extensions

  • Article by: ADRIENNE BERARD , Columbia News Service
  • Last update: March 13, 2013 - 2:21 PM

While there is a huge profit to be made on Indian locks, there is no monetary compensation for the Indian women who donate their hair to temples as an act of faith. Many women have no idea they are part of an expanding industry that crosses several international borders and is nearly impossible to regulate.

According to trade figures released by the United Nations, between 2009 and 2011, China tripled its imports of Indian hair, from 800 pounds a year to 2.4 million pounds.

Smith believes that if consumers knew where the hair was coming from, they would have second thoughts about purchasing extensions.

“I rarely get a client who asks, ‘Whose hair am I wearing?’ ” Smith said. “They think about it like they are buying an expensive leather purse and not asking, ‘What cow did it come from?’ ”







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