Does the global hair trade exploit poor women? | The Stream

Inspired by celebrities and fashion trends, more women are embracing hair extensions and wigs, fueling a booming human hair market. The product hit nearly $1 billion in worldwide sales in 2018, and is forecast to continue surging in the coming decade.

But few consumers stop to think about the source of all that hair. Activists argue that the industry takes advantage of poor women who are essentially selling a body part to meet their basic needs.
As suppliers struggle to keep up with demand, the “dark side” of the hair trade is only expected to get worse.

In this episode we ask, does the global hair trade exploit poor women? Join the conversation.

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34 Comments

  1. Use My Robinhood link! Free stock on January 6, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Women with low self esteem powers the hair industry.

  2. Rachel Menendez on January 6, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    YES!!!

  3. Nick Iseb on January 6, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    I want to sell my hair!

  4. 1 kyne on January 6, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Subscribe pls

  5. The Professor on January 6, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    I think Black women need to grow their own hair instead of clamouring to wear other people’s shaved hair as if having kinks is shameful…

  6. Abraham Tsfaye on January 6, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    The main buyers of this ‘hair’ are black women but they are handing over billions and billions to Asians who control the business and entire supply chain industry. So people are being exploited and it is black women.

  7. Dick on January 6, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    do black women not like themselves?

  8. Evil Troll on January 6, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Poor black women that’s about it

  9. Bro. Ezii on January 6, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Don’t Indonesian women wear burqa? So why would they worry about selling their hair?

  10. Vesselin Nikov on January 6, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Isn’t the consensus at the present moment dictate that only "victims" should weight in opinion? I can’t imagine a single woman that will ask hair from these participants and that host…

  11. C. Lincoln on January 6, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Black women need to embrace their own natural hair. Grow Afros, get braids … even get short haircuts (just not bald)…. but don’t waste any more money on hair hats. Please.

  12. Love And Peace on January 6, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    That is nothing for the bad guys.

  13. Zeroclones94 on January 7, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Collect the hair strands? How about not do it at all it’s all bad and that’s to much to go through

  14. itisistacy TarotReader on January 7, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Hell yeah.. They talk or brainwash women into shaven their heads for free.. Under religious beliefs. Or just a few pennies…. ??? N theres a middleman… N he trades..n there u go..it takes years to grow hair. Years. Get a hair cut n have man say ..oh gee u would look so cute.. If your hair was cut a above your ears around your ears. Short cut. See how many months it takes u. A inch a month??? And yeah even those women cant grow their own hair back that quick. But they put a sheet over it any way. Crazy.. Its crazy!!!!!!!!! Oh ps yes im a hair dresser.

  15. MrCalisce on January 7, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for spelling everything out so clearly – super helpful for someone who’s never bought hair or even spoken to a friend about it. Eye-opening vid!

  16. Butter Ball on January 7, 2021 at 12:05 am

    He’s telling the true they mix it to stretch it’s product unless u go there and cut it yourself it will never be pure hair ✨

  17. Derwin Evans on January 7, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Hair the blood diamonds of the beauty industry .

  18. Sandra Richardson on January 7, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Well°⚖` exploration° if nurtured " becomes the norm"🍆⚖°!?./

  19. OneHairyGuy on January 7, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Who has that "Hair" closet ?? Who has that much hair extensions anyway ??

  20. The World of Sam on January 7, 2021 at 12:10 am

    These two "ethical hair" manufacturers on this show are hypocrites. One says she’s collecting her hair from single hair strands…. LIES! The other one is stealing hairs that people donate at temples for religious purposes. Now that’s some real exploitation!

  21. Al Jazeera English on January 7, 2021 at 12:10 am

    Thank for watching everyone. Tell us what you think of the global hair trade in the comments below.

  22. Falanqeeye on January 7, 2021 at 12:12 am

    Africa is where there is high demand because most african girls except few like somalis, ethiopians and eritreans dont have natural hair so we are afticans are exploiting these poor people.

  23. iONLY on January 7, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Black women spend BILLIONS trying to look like white women but Asians own the market.. smh pretty embarrassing

  24. Isaac Onyach on January 7, 2021 at 12:16 am

    Hair grows back. there are greater problems in the world right now

  25. GAME PLAYER on January 7, 2021 at 12:20 am

    In Pakistan many buy hair of women and export it to China. What is it used for? I am surprised.

  26. Bro. Ezii on January 7, 2021 at 12:20 am

    By the way, I see all black women here discussing hair extensions. How much of the desire of black women using straight hair from other ethnic groups have to do with inferiority complex?

  27. R. C. on January 7, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Humans are exploited at every turn making it difficult to avoid. But to knowingly have an exploited woman’s hair glued to your head & to walk around feeling great about it is absolutely sick. You sleep on another humans suffering. Literally.
    You cannot ever guarantee human hair is ethical. It cannot be untangled.

  28. Derwin Evans on January 7, 2021 at 12:27 am

    Like blood diamonds

  29. OneHairyGuy on January 7, 2021 at 12:29 am

    I’m a man who has long hair. I don’t use hair pieces or extensions or wigs. I’m not sure how some of these Asian women who sell their own hair are being exploited ?? Poor people all over will do whatever they can to get money to eat or feed their families. Some people sell hair, some sell blood, some sell a body part. If they were roaming groups of "Hair Thieves" that were cutting the hair off of women in Asia, then I’d say that’s unethical. It looked like that lady, Thuy willingly sold her hair. She was disappointed about having short hair, but she now has the funds to keep her family members alive.

  30. John Roddy on January 7, 2021 at 12:35 am

    Poor women you feel so sorry for them,To make some painted Plain Jane Beautiful

  31. Hans Jürgen Ochsenfahrt on January 7, 2021 at 12:35 am

    stop eating the cheap bread… its in the mixture – the bakers use… made by the fricken chemical industry – poisening – and soft killing…

    there will be a shortage in chinese hair… because of the CORONA virus and the trade war of the windmillers of minds… this is windowdressing for it…

  32. peace on January 7, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Confidence is awesome to have. I’m glad I don’t need this type of thing to improve my self esteem. Im looking at the man in the mirror. I’ll never date a woman who wears a weave. I think I speak for 90% of men.

  33. Use My Robinhood link! Free stock on January 7, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Black Women talk about unity with other women but never for the ones who make less than a living for them to walk around with them wigs on their head..

  34. Nazik on January 7, 2021 at 12:39 am

    I love you, Erica. You rock!

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