Death Threats & $3 Ponytails: What The Fake Hair Trade Is Hiding
The industry has long exploited poor women, but one new company is stepping up to create fair trade hair.
“Most people do not know where their hair comes from. Until it's regulated, you're not gonna have a concrete answer of exactly what's going on.”
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to wear someone else’s hair, but how are consumers supposed to shop when it seems nearly impossible to make an ethical choice? For many brands that strive to source fairly, like Great Lengths, Woven Hair, and Hailes’ Just Extensions, India has become the most popular option, since women freely give their hair during a religious Hindu ceremony called tonsuring. Because they don’t accept money in return (the temples profit, but costs are still low for bulk hair buyers), it keeps the overall overhead low. But not everyone thinks the tonsuring route is best: Hasidic Jewish women, for example, are a large consumer of hair, but choose not to wear hair that is tied to another religion. India offers few texture variations, so those looking for a specific color or type are also left wanting.
Our prices are anywhere from five to 10 times our competitors, which is why we've received dangerous threats.