A recent report by Sky News has highlighted the true story behind many hair extensions. Some people use hair extensions made from real human hair simply to achieve a certain look or hairstyle. Many other women meanwhile use them to conceal their own thinning hair.
Hair extensions work by attaching synthetic hair or real human hair to the individual’s existing hairs, using either glue-like compounds or weaving techniques.
While at first glance this might seem to be a simple procedure that does not harm anyone, a report by Sky News’ Moscow correspondent has highlighted that this is not the case.
Hair extensions a lucrative business, for some
Selling hair extensions is a lucrative business. Costs for extensions made from real hair usually start at several hundred pounds in the UK, but can go as high as a thousand pounds. However, despite these high selling prices, the women who supply the hair from their own heads to make the extensions offered by top salons will often receive very little money for their troubles.
What is known as ‘virgin Slavic’ hair is in high demand in the hair extensions market. This is untreated and unprocessed hair from young Russian women. The hair is renowned for its exceptional qualities and is rapidly snapped up by salons in Western Europe. According to the news report, there is no shortage of young Russian women who are living on the breadline and eager to make some fast money to supplement their meagre incomes.
According to Sky News, the Moscow factory which sorts, washes and packages the hair for shipping, has an annual revenue of £10 million. The companies and salons in the UK and elsewhere which buy the hair also make substantial profits from selling it to UK women with hair loss. However, the women to whom the hair originally belonged to see only a tiny fraction of what their long locks are worth. Through economic hardship and financial necessity they take what little they can get for hair that has often taken many years to grow.
Hair extensions can cause hair loss
As well as the ethical considerations of where hair extensions made from human hair come from, there are also other factors which anyone who is considering using them to conceal hair loss and thinning hair should first consider.
Due to the techniques used to attach the hair, often by weaving the extensions around the roots of the individual’s existing hair, they can put extra strain and tension on the scalp. This in turn can damage the hair, leading to breakage and further hair loss. This is even more likely in the case of long extensions which add significant extra weight. If the weave is applied too tightly then it can result in Traction Alopecia, a hair loss condition caused by excessive pulling on the hair.
Grow your own hair back
For anyone concerned with the ethical issues of hair extensions and the possibility of further hair loss, there are far more affordable, longer lasting treatments that will grow hair back, rather than just conceal hair loss and potentially risk further hair loss through Traction Alopecia.
At the Belgravia Centre we specialise in treating a wide-range of hair loss conditions, including Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium. Our approach focuses on identifying the causes of hair loss, taking action to prevent further hair loss and stimulating hair re-growth.
Propecia and Minoxidil are the only two pharmaceutical products which have been scientifically proven to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair re-growth. They are licensed by the MHRA in the UK and the FDA in the US. When used as part of a holistic hair loss treatment programme, these medications can produce great results. As well as these pharmaceutical hair loss products, our hair loss experts often include laser combs and specially formulated nutritional supplements in their bespoke treatment programmes.
For more information on the treatments we provide, have a look at our before and after photos and success stories. If you would like to find out how we can help stop your hair loss and re-grow your hair, contact us for a consultation, or fill in our online diagnostic form.