Hair and beauty is a multi billion dollar industry. A woman on an average spends $50,000 on her hair in her lifetime, not because appearance is most important but our hair represents our personality, thoughts and beliefs. A woman feels like her hair is a ‘crowning glory’ and we can see that hair contributes greatly to women’s self-esteem.
The global market for human hair extension, weaves and wigs, is expanding in an incredible rate and expected to grow due to rising concerns about self-image. Besides hair fall is a growing concern among women, increased experimentation and posts by celebrities like Kardashian sisters, Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Ema Watson in social media is contributing a rapid growth in the industry. It is seen that African- American men and women spends billion on their hair and black women are the largest consumers in the hair industry.
There are 2 types of hair usually sold. Remy hair, ( the one whose cuticles are aligned in the same direction) and the another is Non Remy hair ( whose cuticles are not aligned in the same direction). Sometimes the non remy hair is further made into remy hair by arranging their cuticles in same direction and then sold in the name of remy hair.
The original remy hair ( whose cuticles are aligned from the beginning of its origin) is a high demanding product because of its natural properties and longevity. These come from donors who donate their hair in exchange of money in many poor countries. Apart from that, there is huge availability of such remy hair in India from the Hindu temples where devotees sacrifice their hair in the name of god. This hair is then cleaned, sorted and sold in the Western Market. Thus India is the most prominent destination for the international hair traders.
The hair from the temple is mostly auctioned or sold directly to various small and big hair companies involved in the trade. The hair that is collected in Indian temples are not sold directly in the market as this needs to be cleaned, filtered with bad hair and good hair, sorted with their individual lengths and color, washed several times before converting them into a luxury hair product.
The demand of natural hair is growing year by year and showing no signs of coming down in near future. The black hair care market has gone through a lot of transformation in last few years, While they keep on embracing the natural hair and decline usage of relaxers. It indicates, wearing natural hair makes a black woman feel more liberated, confident and different from others. A good quality remy hair wig can fetch up to several thousands of dollars in USA and other European countries, while a good quality weave of 100 grams, made of natural remy hair can fetch up to several hundreds of dollars in the market.
The demand of hair is not only within the boundaries of beauty and fashion industry but a very important requirement among the cancer patient who loose their hair during the treatment.