Posting about the experience she said, "Thank you, India". I'm assuming she is not thanking a stylist named India, but rather referring to the origin of the extensions.
I have never been a fan of hair extensions. I think they are a conspicuous expression of vanity. If you want long hair, grow it out! That is, unless you are a starlet or a supermodel or a rock-star. In her defense, Popular Blogger is an accident victim with resultant hair issues.
"Thank you, India" got me thinking about the hair industry. Where do all of those hairs, millions and billions of strands, come from? Whose head did that hair, now weaved and glued to your head, once live on ?
Every day, tens of thousands of Hindus make religious pilgrimages to temples.
There they pray and give thanks for their blessings. Desiring to demonstrate their devotion, they make a sacrifice to the goodness of their Gods. Many have no money to offer the gods; the most valuable thing they can give is their hair or the hair of their children.
At the temples, barbers are lined up 24 hours a day, wetting their razors and shaving the heads of visiting pilgrims.With the popularity of hair extensions in the Western world, temples found they could sell the sacrificed hair to middle men in the hair extension industry for $200 to $300 a kilogram.
After sale, the hair is washed, brushed and combed by hand at a factory in Bangalore, before being shipped to factories where the color is removed and it is dyed a range of fashion colors. Now its value has jumped to $500 a kilogram, approximately 2.2 lbs. It is then sent to hair salons in more than 50 countries across the Western world, where women pay as much as $4,000 dollars for a longer, thicker, sexier head of hair.
The Indian women are able to make a sacrifice to their Gods, the temples make money, which they claim they use to support pilgrims and community programs, and the hair industry in the West has a new product to work with and make customers happy.Why does this whole process bother me?
While the pilgrims might not feel exploited, there's no question that their hair is now a valuable commodity, and the hair extension industry is making some people very rich.
To me, it's like someone hanging out by the sacrificial altar, taking the remains and then selling fresh, lamb gyros.
Read the highlighted links and tell me: What do YOU think?
I welcome all opinions!