I recently watched a mini-documentary concerning where hair for extensions and wigs comes from. I suppose I don't think much about it, but it was very interesting to see. The story followed a woman in Vietnam, who made her money purchasing hair from poor women to sell to the companies that make the extensions and wigs. I believe she might pay the women as much as $3(for lenth) for their hair. She would then turn around and sell it for about double the price. It was a way for her to make money and also help support the local community, by paying for their hair.
It was fascinating to watch as it seemed, in some cases, that she just selectively used a razor to only take some of the hair off of the women's heads, rather than just taking a whole ponytail. I hadn't thought of that as an option.
The documentary also briefly touched on how some temples in India would take the ritual shaving of devotees and sell it. I am not sure how I feel about that. To think that a person would have their head shaved in a religious ritual, as an offering to a god, would then have that offering sold off so some person across the globe could have "nice hair". I can see how the purchasing of human hair is expensive, due to the supply and demand.
I was trying to figure the math, given the population of the planet, the amount of poverty stricken women(mostly) who would grow their hair to sell, the amount of "wealthy" women who would be purchasing the hair, and how long it takes hair to grow to suitable lengths. I will have to work on this particular equation, to understand if it is a sustainable industry, or if I should not participate in the practice of using poor people's hair to beautify my clientele. I also would like to check into where the manufacturers of the dollheads I use get their hair.