A question being asked more and more frequently due to consumers becoming more conscious of their purchases, is about ethicality. Many of us are reducing plastic, shopping organic, and concerned about the environment, and therefore as a hair extension wearer it is only natural to question how your hair is sourced.
The Hair Extension Industry Is Unregulated
Sadly, the hair extension industry is hugely unregulated. It can be very difficult to know how the hair was sourced, whether or not this was done via ethical means, and whether you are receiving exactly what you paid for. The hair extension market is huge, and is estimated to reach revenues of over 10 billion by 2023. That is a huge amount of people wearing hair extensions, and therefore the demand for people to grow and sell their hair is even higher.
Sourcing Hair Extensions Globally
Due to the high demand for human hair products, hair extensions are sourced from all over the world. Hair typically comes from India, Russia, Europe and China, and then due to their high level processing capacity, most of the hair is transported to China to be processed in factories, before making its way to Europe and the USA. SimplyHair are fortunate enough to work with a wonderful factory, who process our Indian hair, retaining its beautiful quality. It is important to understand that hair is sourced globally, as it is very easy to become mislead into paying a premium for hair that is not always as it seems. Take Mongolian hair as an example. You only have to do a quick Google search to find companies selling Mongolian hair which is considered more premium and therefore more expensive to purchase. However you will only need a very basic understanding of geography to question how this is even possible. According to 2019 statistics, in 2019 Mongolia had a population of just over 3 million. Seems like a lot, right? It isn’t, as only 1.3 million of this total are women. Great 1.3 million people for which to donate hair….wrong, approximately 600,000 are aged between 18-40, the rest are elderly or children, and quite rightly shouldnt be selling their hair. So now we have 600,000 women left...only a small percentage of these women are going to have hair long enough to sell, and even less that are willing to sell it. So lets say a quarter fall into this category that only leaves you with 150,000 donors. To put this into perspective, the population of the UK is over 66 million, and the US is 327 million. How on earth can a company selling Mongolian hair from 150,000 potential donors, support the demand of populations of over 300 million. It’s simply is not possible, and therefore it is highly unlikely to be genuine Mongolian hair. The issue of Mongolian hair is just one example of how easy it is to become confused as to where hair is sourced from, and how the hair is sourced.
Remy vs Non Remy Hair Extensions
Much like the issue with Mongolian hair, there is also commonly the issue of remy hair. Many consumers believe that they are purchasing remy hair, which means the cuticles are all facing the same direction, however in order to maximise profits, many companies sell non remy hair as remy. This is why you can find perfect looking hair extensions matt and tangle, and is a huge problem due to the industry being unregulated.
When establishing SimplyHair back in 2013, it was hugely important to us to find a supplier who was honest, and valued its staff and donors. We wanted to ensure that we were not only producing the highest quality hair, but that it was also coming from an ethical source.
Our Hair Comes From A Single Donor & Seller
There are many ways to source hair for human hair extensions. The most ethical and highest quality method is to source from a single donor. This means that many sets of hair extensions will be from a single donor, rather than a mix of different donors. Think of it like buying a single ponytail, as this is effectively how your hair extensions start their journey. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers will source from single donors, and will instead increase their own profit margins by sourcing “fallen” hair. This is hair that is found in hair brushes and on salon floors. It is low quality as the hair is not remy, and its origin cannot be known for sure. Some manufacturers are even known to mix fallen hair with synthetic hair, and this is truly the lowest quality. Our hair extensions are sourced 100% from single donors. It is how we can ensure that our hair extensions are of the highest quality, and it is also how we can ensure that the origin to known. We have worked closely with them to ensure that this is done via ethical means, and that those selling are paid for their hair.