You may not ever think about it at the salon and you may not talk about it either, but the fact is, the hair used in extensions to create amazing effects came from somewhere. Clients in the United States may arrive at a salon with the hope of looking more like Beyonce or Rihanna. The origins of the hair used to create the desired look are hardly considered in most cases, but some clients want to know: where did that hair come from?
Sometimes the hair used to create hair extensions may come all the way across the globe. Indian women are known for their beautiful hair. They work very dutifully on their dreads. After the hair has been braided and then cut, it is sent straightaway to a port city and auctioned to a Chinese exporting business. Then, the hair must be washed and then packaged before it can be loaded up and shipped overseas to the United States.
The hair extensions that are available in salons throughout the United States are becoming more and more popular with each passing day. The market for these extensions has been increasing annually at the rate of about 40 percent. Over the past two years, United States salons that are offering hair extensions has increased by almost 30 percent. One of the biggest and most successful hair vendors in the country, Great Lengths Hair Extensions, has seen an incredible growth of 70 percent over the course of about five years. Women who haven’t considered hair extensions are quickly becoming the minority.
One of the reasons why hair extensions are so much more popular today than they were a few years ago is because there are new technologies that have made human hair less expensive. A new technique known as “strand application” has increased the longevity of locks and made them look better than they did before. By fusing tiny bits of keratin (which is a protein that naturally occurs in normal, living hair) to the extensions, strand-by-strand, it’s possible to make extensions look as natural as real, living hair and stay put for up to six months at a time. In the past, hair extensions would dry out quickly and have to be discarded, but today, women can don another woman’s locks for almost half a year.
As the market for hair extensions continues to expand, the technologies surrounding it will as well. Some extensions are woven into place, while others are glued, but perhaps in the near future, there will be new options that become standard. Now that the lifespan of human hair has been extended, it’s hard to say just how the technology surrounding these enigmatic hair tools will grow.