Natural hair is a highly sought-after commodity in the lucrative hair extensions market. Many women choose to have hair extensions fitted simply to enhance the look of their own hair, to combat hair loss, or to achieve a certain style. As with any case of supply and demand, this growing popularity of hair extensions made from real hair rather than synthetic materials has led to spiralling costs for the raw material needed: human hair.
Spiralling cost of human hair
Several weeks ago we looked at how impoverished young women in Russia were selling their own hair for a fraction of the price it was worth to fulfil Western demand for hair extensions. Now it has emerged that there are others who are losing out as a result of society’s obsession with cosmetic beauty.
New Zealand based wig-maker Averill Barrington manufactures and distributes wigs for people around the world who are suffering from the hair loss condition Alopecia. But as the popularity of hair extensions has grown, Mrs Barrington says that her business, Freedom Wigs, has found it increasingly costly to acquire the human hair it needs to make its wigs.
“The bald ladies need hair,” Mrs Barrington told the Otago Daily Times newspaper. She and her husband set up the business over thirty years ago in a spare room of their own home, and they eventually began to specialise in making full prosthetic hairpieces for women with Alopecia. Today, Freedom Wigs has 38 staff and produces approximately 1,400 wigs a years for customers all around the world, each needing up to ten ponytails, but the increasing cost of human hair have put the business at risk.
“If we shut down tomorrow, for many of our clients around the world, there’s nowhere else to go. Our product is the only one that works for them,” said Mrs Barrington. “[The wigs] enable [people] to have the confidence to really live their lives as everyday people.”
Alopecia Areata is a hair loss condition which is caused by an auto-immune disorder, in which the body’s own natural defences attack healthy hair follicles. The exact cause of Alopecia is not known, but it is thought to be linked to traumatic and stressful events, as well as periods of illness. In many cases the hair will eventually grow back, but if the condition progresses to Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis, it becomes permanent.
Treatments for Alopecia
While human hair wigs are an effective solution for those suffering from irreversible Alopecia, for those who have only partially lost their hair there are other options available.
The Belgravia Centre regularly treats people suffering from Alopecia, and our hair loss experts have achieved impressive results in re-growing hair that has been lost from patchy alopecia. The Belgravia pharmacy produces its extra-strength minoxidil cream to deal with this condition and it has proven successful in hundreds of cases of mild to moderate alopecia.
To find out how we can help you with your hair loss, contact us today for a free consultation, or fill in our online diagnostic form for a home-use treatment programme that we can post anywhere in the world.