Untangling The Hair Industry
The morning grind: Alarm sounds off. Wake up. Shower. Shampoo. Shine. Blow dry. Flat iron. Clip in. Spray. Makeup. Change. Coffee to go. Mirror check. Out the door.
Our beauty routines become so mindless we rarely think twice about their effects on the world. The hustle and bustle of the routine truly begins to cloud each individual action.
But...when was the last time you genuinely thought about where one of your morning “must have” items actually came from...like your hair products, for example?
The hair extension industry dates back to 3400 BC when Cleopatra was known to fashion wigs made from human hair and wool. Well, call Cleo a trendsetter, because that style statement led to what has now become a multi-billion dollar industry.
Social media influencers and celebs have popularized the convenience and ease of using extensions thanks to their influx in transparency in their styling routines. Now, smart boss babes across the globe are using them daily - and here at Untangled, we’re #HairForIt. With the easy application of a halo hair extension and the quick clip-in of a hair weft, your entire look can be transformed in seconds.
Little did we know…
While beautiful and shiny on the surface, the integrity of the women donating their hair to be made into extensions is lost in the multi-billion dollar shuffle
Where exactly were these extensions being sourced? And, what exactly were they made of? During our deep delve into the hair extension industry, our team here at Untangled was bombarded with buzzwords like fair trade hair, remy extensions, synthetic hair and ethical sourcing on every brand site we found.
We all agreed that remy hair was the best quality extension we could offer our customers. Then the trouble began…
When we requested that remy hair extension brands prove and elaborate on where their remy extensions came from, we were derailed by vague responses with round-about answers that made us uneasy. This begged the question - What was there to hide? What were we not being told?
The Ugly Truth
In our search for truth, we reviewed countless resources and contacted manufacturers across the globe asking every possible question we could think of! During this quest, we discovered one of the most horror-inducing videos we could have imagined that visually explained the unjust realities of the hair extension industry.
This is what we learned…
Hair brokers have used aggressive tactics to source hair from women for decades. These brokers literally auction women off for their hair or go as far to collect hair from sewers and graves. Yes, you’re reading this right...collecting the hair off of corpses from graves!
The big takeaway: The means to acquire the raw material for remy hair extensions have been anything but ethical for centuries. Women with little means are often the victims of unjust payment, violence, and aggression in the hair trade market. These women have endured atrocities like having their ponytails chopped off without their consent as they walk down the street, or even being promised agreed upon prices for their hair, and never receiving full payment after the fact. The act of being shortchanged, regardless of the circumstance, compromises women’s overall welfare and access to food, water, shelter and resources to raise their children.
Not only is the transaction process for these women ghastly, but hair brokers often times lie about the quality of hair at the point of purchase for merchants. They claim the acquisition process of the hair itself is completely amicable for both parties. They claim synthetic hair as being virgin remy hair. They tell merchants that women volunteered their hair and are happy to have it cut off. They tell lie, after lie, after lie.
Luckily for the hair brokers who serve as the liaison between donors and ignorant buyers, the Hindu practice of shaving one’s hair off as a sacrificial act of one’s ego to the gods provides a reliable and steady stream of material for their business. In fact, that sacrificed hair is sold online in an e-auction for an easy and convenient purchase for hair brokers.
Photo Cred: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool
However, the profiteering of human hair becomes even more exploited when a particular color, style or texture is less common. The more niche, the more desirable and often expensive hair is.
Joining forces with beacons of hope in this unsettling industry, we set out to source ethically acquired remy hair extensions. Armed with the knowledge that there is corruption and darkness looming over the practice of acquiring premium quality hair extensions; the Untangled Team banned together to contribute to the solution.
On Our Way
Simply put, we’re untangling the mess of the hair extension industry as we go, which defines our mission and ultimately became our brand name.We promise to get on the right side of history within the hair industry. We invite you to join us as we release products we can stand behind through our diligent pursuit of ethically sourced hair.
Untangled will launch with hair options that are affordable and ready-to-wear. We offer a premium remy hair extension line made from hair that is guaranteed as being ethically sourced.
The Current Status
We’re excited! It’s a privilege to provide a product we can whole-heartedly stand behind to the everyday boss babes we love, admire and strive to be like. We’re educating ourselves, asking the questions so you don’t have to, and infusing the hair extension industry with the beauty and integrity it truly deserves once and for all!