One of the most asked question in the hair extension trade is “Where does the hair actually come from?” or “How do you source your human hair?”. There are many misconceptions of how hair is sourced, or nightmare stories that give the hair extension trade a bad name. Horror stories such as hair being obtained from dead people or the use of animal hair are often floating around, however the authenticity of these stories are doubtful.
So where do hair extensions typically come from? The answer is through donations, these donations are typically religiously motivated. One example is the temple of Tirumala Venkateswara in India, where tens of thousands of pilgrims flock each week to “sacrifice” their hair to their gods in order to have their prayers answered.
After the religious ceremony, the temple would sell the hair to “hair farmers” who would then go through the process of washing and making the hair extensions. The upshot of this is that the money obtained from the hair is then pumped back into the villages that surround the temple. The other advantage is that the hair has previously been well cared for by the hair donor, which in turn gives the end user better quality hair extensions.
There are other sourcing location other than India, however 9 times out of 10 your hair extensions would have been sourced in India. Hair extensions branded as “Russian” or “European” are likely to have been obtained from these temples in India.