There are a lot of myths and speculation around the hair extension industry. But India sources 80% of the world's real human hair extensions and for good reason.
How does India produce so much hair?
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and the most prominent in India. Part of hindu customs is to shave the head of a human as a sacrificial offering at the temple. Hindus believe that by doing so, they have taken one step closer to repaying their debt to their Gods by surrendering all ego. Men and women alike donate hair which is collected every six hours and exported all over the world.
Historically, there used to be a group of 12 wealthy Indian families that controlled the hair trade within the country. However, smaller businesses began to complain to the Indian government which then lead to the demonopolization of the hair trade.
Now, India exports an estimated 2,000 tons of temple hair every year through an auction process, making it the largest exporter of human hair in the world! This auction process happens on a quarterly basis and there is a distinct hierarchy of buyers. Because of this hierarchy, the hair can often pass through 5-6 different touch points before it reaches the end customer. Making the price markup significantly high.
But with 85% of the Indian population being Hindu, and hair donation being a strong religious tradition, Indian hair companies do not anticipate a shortage of human hair any time soon. Which is great news for all the hair extension wearers out there!