EPISODES

The East Side

EST

The East Side

The East Side

Hair: The Billion Dollar Industry Exploiting Asian Women

Hair, in many cultures a symbol of pride amongst women, is one of the fastest growing markets. In the US, hair strands sell for up to $2000. But in South Asia, where women are selling their hair for children’s tuition, two years of growth will get you $3-7. Since there are no regulations on where hair comes from, Asian women and Hindu temples are being exploited by this industry. In 2020, $800,000 of human hair products, believed to be illegally harvested from prisoners in Uighur detention camps, was seized by customs. But there’s still no regulations to stop this from happening. China, India, MyanMar, and Bangladesh are the biggest exporters of hair, while the US is the largest importer. As consumers, here’s how we can have awareness and advocate for ethical sourcing and fair compensation.