human hair

anonymous asked:

Wait so real human hair wigs and extensions come from exploited women? Is there anything else we should avoid??

Ah, well, that’s a pretty broad question. Trying to find ethical consumption in a capitalist society is difficult, but I think that not using anything that is harvested from human bodies is a pretty good start, that tends to come disproportionately from poor and exploited women.

Here is just one excerpt from this article for anyone who isn’t familiar with this issue:

More worryingly, back in 2006, the Observer reported that in India some husbands were forcing their wives into selling their hair, slum children were being tricked into having their heads shaved in exchange for toys, and in one case a gang stole a woman’s hair, holding her down and cutting it off. When Victoria Beckham said in 2003 that her “extensions come from Russian prisoners, so I’ve got Russian cell block H on my head”, she may have been joking, but it was not long until the Moscow Centre for Prison Reform admitted it was possible: warders were forcibly shaving and selling the hair of prisoners. 

Part of the issue specifically with human hair is that it’s a difficult resource–most of the hair donated to Locks of Love, for instance, is thrown out. Hair that is long and not chemically treated tends to be the most treasured asset. That generally comes from regions of the world where hair is a part of the culture and a source of pride for women–India and Peru come to mind. They are also areas where economic depression can lead people to drastic decisions. Hair is such a huge part of many cultures, and removing a woman’s hair is often considered a sign of subjugation.

There are companies that put a premium price on hair that comes from women within the country. That doesn’t guarantee they aren’t exploited.

Are there other things to avoid? Well, yes, plenty. I’m not sure I can list them all. 


I’ve always had a bit of a thing for hair, artistically and otherwise. At uni it became the material and conceptual focus of my Bachelor of Fine Arts. In addition to drawing and photographing it, I embroidered, knitted and felted with it. Friends and family were more than happy to donate their hair but it was never enough, so I used to visit the hairdressers down the road and take the bags of hair they’d otherwise throw in the dumpster, sorting through it for different lengths and colours.

I’m a bit of a hoarder, especially of art materials, so I’d hung on to the leftovers from my BFA until recently when I was cleaning out my cupboard and decided it was time to free up some space. I’m always reluctant to throw things in the garbage and add to the already abundant mountains of landfill so I had an idea.

During my degree I’d read somewhere that as well being useful in cleaning up oil spills, hair also makes for great mulch because it’s incredibly effective at suppressing weeds on account of it allowing water through but felting in the process. So I’ve decided to put it to the test in a section of the garden where I’ve been battling some particularly persistent weeds!



Just dug up these in-process photos, and thought I’d share. Hair lace portrait of L.V. in progress on the embroidery hoop; and before final stretch/mount; the last image being of the finished product stretched on top of paper. L: thanks again for last picture! That was a great choice of frame for it, too.

Wow, the things one discovers when going through pictures from art school…



IT’S SOOOOO FUNNY when people say that they say “I don’t like black girls because they wear weaves,” or “I prefer a white/Mexican girl because their hair is natural.” Please stop✋. For one there are a handful of African American women who wear their natural hair as for white women too. But little do people know that it’s not just black women who wear weaves. Other races sport around fake hair all the time. Extensions mainly, to make their hair look fuller. But it gets freaking irritating when people downgrade black women because we wear weaves. Is it against the law to want to look a certain way or to give our natural hair a break? Get over it though. A majority of the female population has extra hair added onto theirs. Especially movie stars who everyone cherishes.

-honestly?? ✋💁