Where does the human hair come from for hair extensions?

14th Sep 2009

Since pop star, Jamelia’s TV documentary on exploring how hair for human hair extensions is sourced, some women have been more cautious about purchasing human hair extensions for their own beauty needs and desires. Jamelia was right in stating that many salons and individuals do not know where the hair has come from.

Undercover Glamour takes care to understand where the hair originates from and we certainly would not be happy using human hair extensions created from someone that has unwillingly or unknowingly given their hair. Time has been taken to find a trusted supplier and we stressed the importance of our ethical values.  Pictures below show our founder, Catherine with Ying at the hair extension factory (2nd pic) and Lan (1st pic) sewing the clips onto the hair extensions.

woman working in hair extensions factory         

Undercover Glamour sells Asian human hair extensions and the hair is purchased from the inhabitants of rural communities in China. The majority of the Chinese welcome the human hair extensions trade as it is bringing income, and selling their hair will be over a whole month's salary.  All individuals are paid directly for their hair.

hair extensions factory in China

As Jamelia’s documentary highlighted, you have to be careful when buying Indian human hair extensions if you are concerned about the origin of the hair.  It is common for women in India to sacrifice their hair to the temple; this hair is known as Temple Hair.  Women are encouraged to sacrifice their hair, which is in turn sacrificing their beauty to ensure good fortune for their family.  The women do not get paid for their hair but the Temple will then sell their hair to be made into human hair extensions.  It is unlikely that the Indian women realise that their hair is being used to make human hair extensions and therefore a profit.  However, it can be argued that greater good is achieved by selling the hair as the Priests claim that the money is used for the benefit of the community.  Some temples can prove that they have used the money to invest in schools and orphanages. Not all Indian human hair extensions are sourced in this way, many women have realised that they can sell their hair directly to a hair collector.

Jamelia’s documentary also showed that a 13 year old Russian girl sold her hair for human hair extensions. The girl in the documentary was excited about selling her hair as it was worth about one month’s wage to her and her family. You may feel that it is ok to buy your human hair extensions using the hair from a girl as young as 13 as it will provide her family with extra income without any harm being done.  However, it is difficult to know if every child wants to sell their hair or are in some cases being forced to by their family.  Our hair supplier has ensured that the hair that is sourced for human hair extensions is from 18 year olds and over. We wanted to guarantee that the hair is from adults to prevent children from being forced to sell their hair.

What do you think?  Is buying human hair extensions is ethical?

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