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Black Gold, Hair Extensions And The Ensuing Exploitation

In the billion-dollar human hair commerce, ponytails are minimize from ladies in the East and sold to girls of the West.

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It’s an unregulated industry built on exploitation with a whole bunch of hundreds of kilometres of hair – enough to wrap all over the world many times over – moving freely and silently across continents.

Most of the hair is grown in China and during the manufacturing process it’s cantu products on natural hair disinfected, steamed, boiled, dyed and sewn. Each step additional erases any traces of its unique proprietor.

By the point it’s bought in New Zealand as completely packaged extensions, the women behind the hair have been rendered invisible.

Shelley Saunders, for example, has never given the owner of her extended hair a thought, despite wearing it for six months.

Sitting in a salon in Royal Oak having 60cm ombre extensions re-taped into her roots, 24-year-outdated Saunders says she’s “honestly never thought about” the origins of her hair.

“The best way for me to clarify it is that I never really think in regards to the cow when i eat a burger.”

Saunders, a college instructor, says she loves her extended locks: “The feel of it being long and completely natural.” Her college students have “no idea” it’s not her own.

The only downside to extensions, Saunders says, is that her boyfriend can’t run his fingers by her hair as a result of it’s chock-a-block with tape.

The extensions being woven into Saunders’ scalp are a part of the average $2.5 million price of human hair New Zealand imports every year – the equivalent of about 62,500 ponytails.

Hair extensions can cost wherever from $seven-hundred as much as $2000 per head in New Zealand. A ponytail grown over three years in China would possibly fetch its proprietor $80, if they’re fortunate.

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