(Updated March 31, 2019)
We all know celebs like Kim K and Kylie Jenner love their wigs. But their Instagram photos and paparazzi photo ops are merely a glimpse into their vast collection of wigs. These hairpieces cost thousands of dollars. Wigs are often expensive because of the massive demand for human hair and the lucrative nature of the industry. But the human hair industry has a secret... A dirty little secret. It's a tale of lies and deceit. Let's dive in.
In early Medieval Europe, wigs were popular among wealthy men and women, most of whom were suffering from some kind of hair loss. After some time, so many wealthy individuals were wearing wigs, that it became a trend. Every aristocrat wanted one. At that time, wigs were usually sourced from poor people (as though their medieval plight was not enough) or made from animal fur. Thank man's best friend, buffaloes and trusty yaks.
Centuries later, as demand for wigs increased, animal hair was no longer acceptable. Most animal fur could not meet the need for lengths over 18 - 20". So the majority of hair used in wigs and extensions was sourced from people located in India. Indian religious people made, and continue to make, pilgrimages to temples such as the Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, India, where they would shave/tonsure their heads in a ritual of devotion. Hundreds of barbers shaved a new person's head every five minutes. The temple then took these strands, which could go as long as 30 inches, and sold them at auctions. 'Temple' hair could cost $700 a pound!
Unfortunately, as demand for human hair became exponential, retailers began taking shortcuts and using marketing gimmicks to sell subpar hair. You see, a majority of the hair on the market is actually purchased inexpensively from the poor in China and, as of 2019, even North Korea (medieval much?). This hair is then marketed as Brazilian or Peruvian hair and sold for often 10x their original cost.
But why the lies? Let's take Brazil, for example, Brazilian women are synonymous for their exotic beauty, which we all assume to equate with beautiful exotic hair. It just sounds better than Chinese hair. It sounds so good, millions of women are willing to pay that much more for it. There are little to no regulations in the human hair industry, so most, if not all, hair manufacturers are able to get away with it.
While sourcing raw hair for our products, we had to beg manufacturers to tell us the REAL origin of their hair. I mean literally beg. Even after insisting that we knew there was no such thing as Brazilian hair, our suppliers would still lie.
Think about it... how on earth could you get all that Peruvian hair from Peru. Have you ever seen Peru on a map?? There aren't enough heads, male AND female, to fulfill the world's demand. What's sad is that most boutiques and hair vendors don't even know the difference. They believe exactly what their manufacturers tell them. And why blame them?
Unlike many wig retailers, we REALLY know where our raw hair comes from. We use only the highest quality Cambodian human hair our team can find. And more importantly, we're always searching for even better hair.
Our Cambodian Human Hair
Our Cambodian hair is sourced from the rural parts of Western Cambodia. Cambodia has a population of approximately 15 million and its official language is Khmer. Its ethnic makeup consists of 3 main groups, Austroasiatic, Malayo-Polynesian and Tai. Our hair is sourced variably between those peoples but come mainly from the Austroasiatic peoples.
Cambodian hair is light, slightly more coarse and lustrous in texture which is why it’s our preferred type of hair. The light texture of this human hair makes it effortless to wear and maintain, and it's unique texture allows each individual strand to hold heat and permanent colour with ease.
We love wigs! And we know you do too! But love is better when you know the truth.
Shop our Cashmere Cambodian Human Hair Wigs