Show Notes From our Hair Matters Podcast featuring Hair Extension Expert, Diane Galvin, sharing her first hand experience purchasing & wholesaling hair extensions.  Deep discussion about hair extension factories in China.  To Listen:  https://www.buzzsprout.com/300068/episodes/1957255-where-do-hair-extensions-come-from

 

You seem to never get a straight answer as to where hair extensions come from!  So many claim countries such as Brazil, Italy and even Russia - unfortunately, if this hair exists it is less than 1% of the hair being sold.  Approximately 90% of hair used for hair extensions, wigs and hair pieces are sourced from Southeast Asia - Vietnam & Cambodia.  This hair (raw material) is then shipped to a myriad of factories in the mountains of China specifically Hunan China.  The hair is put through acid baths, heated, curled, keratin bonding is attached, tape is applied or other attachments.  As Diane mentioned the odor of the factories raw material is nauseating!  There is no sunshine - a constant haze is abound due to pollution.  Some of the factory conditions are not very humane, while others are better.  These factories would never be allowed in the United States,  and the cost of hair would be excessive.

Where do Hair Extensions Come From

The factory workers literally live in the factories - although she did not see young children.  They do observe some holiday's, particularly Chinese New Year!  

Does Indian Hair Really Exist?

The majority of hair exported does not come from Indian, although we are aware of Indian Temple Hair - most likely this is a very small percentage.

Unfortunately, there is no governing agency that demands the hair is gathered humanely, remy and high quality.  Make no mistake this hair is assembled in China and there is no guarantee you are receiving Indian Hair.  The only way to know if to travel to India.  

What is Remy Hair?

Remy hair means the cuticle of the hair is taken off the donor in the same direction as it grew out of the donors scalp.  This quality allows for hair that does not tangle and lasts a long time.   So many factories will tell you that hair is remy?  How do you know if the hair is remy?  Take a bunch, turn it upside down in sunlight, separate it and make sure there are no white dots on the ends.  If there are white dots (most likely the donor's papilla) then the hair is not remy - steer clear.  Drums as large as small pools are filled with hair and stirred like a cauldron - these are acid baths.  Understand that hair extensions are not colored with hair dye, instead textile dye.  This is why you can not alter or lighten color properly. 

The factory workers of China literally assemble, attach keratin bonds, tapes, sew wigs by hand.  

This a a billionaire dollar industry and we need to realize that what is advertised in not necessarily the case.  Some of the hair is from a Yak in animal similar to a buffalo!!  Hair additions have existed since the days of Pharaohs! Our next episodes will discuss more about who is actually donating there hair!  

Hope you find this helpful, and if you would like to contribute to our podcast or have information to share please email noelle@noellesalon.com

 

 

 

Topics: Hair Extensions

Noelle Spinosa

Written by Noelle Spinosa

Noelle Spinosa has been hair stylist for over 25 years. She has been featured on television in Chronicle Magazine, Channel 7 News and the WB morning Show. Noelle has also been highlighted in both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald for her in depth knowledge of hair extensions.