If you have hair extensions made from real hair, you’ve probably wondered where they came from and whose head they once belonged to. The New York Times investigated the hair extension business, and the atmosphere sounds to us like the making of a James Bond-like conspiracy movie. The reporter goes behind the scenes at one company in Russia, which is a huge producer of the product because of the higher availability of blond locks (which are more profitable). Describing the scene, the reporter notes: “The road into town is a potholed track, passing villages of log cabins and fallow fields that speak to the poverty that has gripped this part of central Russia for as long as anyone can remember. But on a lane where geese waddle through muddy puddles, a brick building holds crate upon crate of this region’s one precious harvestable commodity: human hair … ” The business is also susceptible to theft and so one owner keeps a security guard watching over the grounds.
This is certainly not what we expected when we thought of how human hair gets processed. Then again, perhaps that’s because we were afraid of what we’d find out. [New York Times]