All Articles Tagged "fake hair"
Africa’s Thirst For Human Hair Is A Billion-Dollar Business & Indian Companies Are Weaving In The Dough
Indian beauty firms, specifically human hair sellers, are racking up the big bucks in Africa. Because Indian hair is popular for its strength and texture, it’s highly sought-after commodity in Africa, where it is used for wigs or extensions. In fact, demand is so high that there is a push by many Indian companies to not only export hair, but to invest in hair care businesses in the continent itself.
Just last week, a company called Godrej Consumer Products India said it will buy South Africa-based hair extension company Friska hair for an undisclosed amount, reports Quartz.
“This acquisition reflects our continued commitment to providing African consumers with a wide range of superior quality products at affordable prices,” Godrej’s managing director Vivek Gambhir said in a statement. “We remain very excited by the tremendous potential of the African market.”
Godrej is just the latest Indian company to make such a move. There have been others before, including Marico, Dabur and VLCC that all have hair care businesses in African countries such as South Africa, Morocco, and Nigeria.
No wonder these companies are expanding. The Indian hair export market is estimated to be worth about $393.5 million annually, with a yearly growth rate between 10 percent and 30 percent. Indian hair companies tend to export two types of hair: Remy and non-Remy. Remy hair is usually collected from temples and is of the highest grade. Non-Remy hair is processed. Because Non-Remy hair has cuticles that do not face the same direction, it is treated with hydrochloric acid to remove the cuticles. This reduces the quality of hair.
To get natural, chemically undamaged hair Indian companies go to great lengths, such as holding online auctions. The Tirupathi Temple in Andhra Pradesh (one of the 29 states of India), which holds online auctions annually, has earned $97 million through the sale of hair via e-auctions since 2011.
Africa is a prime market for Indian hair. Its dry hair market (the market for weaves, wigs, and extensions) is currently estimated to be worth $6 billion a year and booming. The market is so big that global giants such as Unilever and L’Oreal are investing heavily in African hair care products.
Picture it. Sicily. 2013:
You’re out at a romantic restaurant on a date with a beautiful, dark stranger. He is a friend of a friend, who thought you two would hit it off. So far, that friend is right. You two are having a wonderful time. He is charming, funny and you both have so much in common. Everything is just so perfect and you really feel like you hit the jackpot with this one. And then you drop your fork on the ground. You’re embarrassed at your clumsiness but your date, being a perfect gentlemen, pays it no mind. He even does the gentlemanly thing and retrieves the lost flatware for you. But as he bends over, you become suddenly aware that your dream man may not be all that he seems. No, it can’t be? Can it? You know it is rude to ask but admittedly the curiosity is killing you. So you buck up and ask, “Um…I don’t know how to say this but..er…is that a weave…”
That’s right your perfect man is William Shatner. He explains he has been wearing it off and on for several years and that he actually loves his man-weave. You’ve got to give him props for braving the scrutiny of hair extensions however, you just don’t know if you are comfortable enough in your own hangups to be cool with such a thing. But he is such a nice guy though and perfect in just about every other respect. So could you live with the charade?
If you are wondering why I’m thinking about crazy hypothetical scenarios, blame Facebook or more recently Bossip, which has compiled a list of men, purporting to be rocking the man-weave. No, these are not your father’s toupees. I’m talking about man-weaves in various lengths and styles from dreadlock-weaves; to the high top fade-weaves; to the Caesar with the deep waves all the way down to the sideburn-weaves. Among Bossip’s list of unbe-weave-able men, are celebrities like Jamie Fox and Ray Lewis, who both have suspicious hairlines, and Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer, who’s better known for spray painting his head black and perpetrating it as real hair, than his actual jump shot. While I’m sure that some of the celebrity men listed are just the gossip blog stirring the pot, I will say that there is an unusually high percentage of male celebrities with “naturally” healthy heads of hair compared to the rest of the male population.
And it’s not like there isn’t precedent. Former tennis Pro Andre Agassi revealed a few years ago that his signature mullet was actually a hairpiece meant to hide his personal shame over losing his hair. According to the UK Daily Mail, Agassi’s obsession over wearing his weave grew so intense that he actually blew the 1990 French Open (and his first chance at a Grand Slam final) focusing on his wig, which had started shedding heavily in the shower prior to the Open and had to be held together with 20 hair clips. He was concerned that it would fall out on the tennis court. The Daily Mail quotes Agassi as saying, “My wig was like a chain and the ridiculously long strands in three colours like an iron ball which hung on it.”
As pathetic as it sounds, male pattern baldness is a very scary thing for many men, even as statistics show that 40 percent of them will likely lose their hair by the time they turn 35 years old. With no cure to deal with the receding and thinning, men have very few options to address their conditions. No guy believes he has the head for a baldy. The natural receding hairline look, while distinguished is just too mature for some dudes. And comb-overs are just too offensive to most folks’ sensibilities. So it may be possible that for some dudes, the only real option they feel they have in feeling whole is having some hair on their heads – even if it is not their own.
Of course as women, who have been blessed with the privilege of hair-diversity, wearing a weave is not such a big deal and is regularly regarded as a matter of style rather than self-esteem. But if a woman chooses to wear a wig to help her feel aesthetically appealing to herself and others, the grand majority of us might be sympathetic to that too. I don’t think I can say the same for men.
Even as I ponder my own hypothetical situation, the righteously progressive and gender inclusive part of me wants to say, what’s the big deal? And to my credit, I have evolved on my feelings about the man-weave from my position of “yo that’s wack” to my new position of “I’m not going to hate, instead I’m going to admire the skill.” Also I would like to think that I would happily accept any dude, who treats me well and is overall a decent human being – regardless of his follicle situation. But that’s what I would like to think.
So what say you? Yea or Nay to the man-weave?
The conversation started off with a lean and a “girl, can you believe…” So, I knew it was about to get real. The follow up question didn’t live up to my expectations though.
It went something like, “Girl, can you believe this woman just asked me where I got my hair from?”
I sat back and thought for a minute, then said, “… And you were offended by that?”
Though, her weave was expertly sewn into her head, a black woman would have had to be completely ignorant about weave culture to know that this hair didn’t grow out of this woman’s head naturally. I always thought that if you wanted to know where a woman’s hair came from, you simply asked her…politely. It was something I’d seen done often. I would have taken such a question as a compliment. A black woman would obviously inquire because she admired or planned to duplicate the look for herself.
This woman didn’t see it like that. She said, “You go through all this trouble, trying to make it look real, only for people to come up to you and ask where you got it. It’s rude.”
Hmm…now if the woman ran up on her and put her fake hair on blast for all the world to hear, then maybe that’s one thing; but as a woman who’s worn weave before, it’s not something I would have been offended by. I would have taken it as an opportunity to help my fellow sista tap into her own level of flyness. But that’s just me.
We want to know what you think about this.
Has a woman ever asked you where you got your hair? How did you respond? Do you think it’s rude to ask a woman where she bought her hair?
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Wigs and weaves have come a LONG way, haven’t they? Remember when you’d walk into your grandmother’s dressing room and to your horror you discovered her patchy scalp and a big ole piece sitting on top a wig head? Or the super shiny hair extensions that never even tried to match the wearer’s own color and texture?
For the most part those days are far behind us. So much so that it’s hard to tell if someone is wearing a wig or a weave. So we’re putting YOU to the test, StyleBlazers! Scroll through the gallery and tell us: WEAVE or WIG!
For the photo gallery, visit StyleBlazer.com
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By Lavette Slater
Stylish, glamorous, trendy, sophisticated, appealing, unnatural, fake, ugly, artificial, matted…all have described women wearing a hair weave. What many people don’t understand is that there are many different methods and techniques to apply a hair weave. Each method provides something distinctive that will be suitable for each individual’s needs. In some cases hair can be of a fine texture and adding volume requires special attention. For some women wearing a hair weave is a preference of choice to add color, length, volume and/or just simply wanting to try a new style. But for some, wearing a weave is not a choice due to reasons such as alopecia, damaged, thinning and broken hair. In some cases wearing a hair weave may not be a good decision which gives many options of wigs and hairpieces (reference last weeks post Wigs and Hairpieces)
(Black Enterprise) — Yaki. Mongolian. Chinese. Indian Remy. Once a hush-hush taboo, hair extensions have become the must-have accessory among women. From celebrities to everyday professionals to top CEOs, many proudly spend top bank on what they consider an investment—hair—with a price tag that can range from a couple hundred dollars to thousands per installment. The hot commodity is so coveted, it’s hit the black market, with thieves swiping thousands of dollars in inventory from supply stores across the nation.
As you may have learned in my article, “Let Me Count The Ways: 6 Reasons Why I Love My Weave” , I have been wearing hair extensions on and off since the age of thirteen. Shortly after having my hair professionally micro-braided for my eighth grade graduation, I attempted to braid my hair myself. Needless to say, I spent many days of my freshman year of high school looking a hot mess. There was the time I unknowingly bought synthetic hair and ended up with a head full of waxy, shiny, unable-to-be-curled craziness. Oh and let’s not forget the burgundy individuals that hung way past my waistline and made my neck muscles about ten times stronger. Eventually, after much trial and error I perfected my craft, and soon had friends wondering how much I charged. (The funny thing is ‘till this day I still can’t style anyone else’s hair as well as I style my own). From micro-braids I graduated to weave ponytails and when I get enough time, I vow to master a sew-in weave without the help of my stylist.
This post expresses my unending gratitude to all of the weavologists and stylists of the world. I still can’t claim to be a master in the arts of installation and style of extensions, but I have learned a few lessons along the way: