Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Markets for human hair

I recently received this email:

Hi Al,


I noticed that you article posted some time ago (Markets for hair, blood, plasma and eggs) contains a link to The Hair Trader which has now closed. I own website BuyandSellHair.com and it has been running for almost a year. It is now the largest hair trading site based on traffic and number of ads listed.


I was hoping that you'd be able to update your link from The Hair Trader to my site. In exchange for your trouble, i'll send you $20 via PayPal - just send me your PayPal email id.


Look forward to hearing from you.


Kind Regards,


Sunny
BuyandSellHair.com
...The Human Hair Marketplace
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While I didn't take Sunny up on his offer, I did check out his site. The business model is that he charges for ads, but all transactions appear to be between buyers and sellers, and a quick glance suggests that typical sellers are individuals living in the United States.

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The market for human hair has attracted one sure sign that it is thriving: it's now a target for crime, the NY Times reports. Costly Hairstyle Is a Beauty Trend That Draws Thieves’ Notice

"During the past two months alone, robbers in quest of human hair have killed a beauty shop supplier in Michigan and carried out heists nationwide in which they have made off with tens of thousands of dollars of hair at a time.
...
"Once stolen, the hair is typically sold on the street or on the Internet, including eBay, shop owners and the police say.

"The most expensive hair type — and the one in highest demand by thieves and paying customers alike — is remy hair, which unlike most other varieties is sold with its outermost cuticle layer intact. This allows it to look more natural and to last longer without tangling. Remy hair from Indian women is the most popular.
...
"Remy hair from India usually comes from women who have their heads shaved as a sign of having mastered their egos."

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Hair from India has become controversial in one particular market, since wigs are worn by (among others) some orthodox Jewish married women (who are obliged to cover their heads). There have been some problems with deciding what hair is kosher, relating precisely to the question of whether the hair is cut as part of a religious sacrifice.
(Different orthodox rabbis differ on the question of whether a wig is a proper head covering at all, with some rabbis finding them repugnant.)

2 comments:

Kaushik Krishnan said...

Shaving one's head is a very common practice among Hindus. It is normally done either as a sign of sacrifice or when a loved one passes away (normally a parent).

Tirupati, a Hindu temple in South India, is one of the largest and most famous places for head tonsuring. I was told by many people that it is the place where the most hair amount of hair is shaved, but I don't know if this has ever been verified. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirumala_Venkateswara_Temple#Hair_tonsuring).

This cheap supply (no one gets paid for getting their heads tonsured) probably accounts for why Indian hair is sold a lot.

Idnaguen said...

There is also another marketplace for virgin european hair which is http://www.sellhairstore.com/ .