Have you ever wondered how certain celebrities appear on the red carpet with drastically longer “natural locks” overnight? It is of course thanks to the multi-million pound human hair extension industry.
Where this human hair actually comes from is the bigger question – and one that mostly results in blank stares, until I was introduced to a company that is leading the way with ethical sourcing and transparency. Great Lengths obtain and process human hair in a way that ensures the extensions are “100% Ethical & Traceable”. Their recently launched Setting Fair Standards Stamp provides a mark of ethicality for both stylists and consumers.
The product is sourced in India from temples where people have volunteered their hair as part of a Hindu ritual. A fair price is agreed and revenue from the purchase of the hair is channelled back into the community to be spent on medical services, schools and other charitable causes.
Inanch Emir, an award-winning hair extensions expert whose London salon is on the speed dial list of a number of famous names, says that a guarantee of quality, ethicality and traceability helps to reassure clients. “Both ethicality and quality are important factors for our discerning clientele.”
Great Lengths are seeking to introduce a certification system which will be enforced to raise standards and transparency throughout the industry. UK managing director Philip Sharp says: “We would like to see a UK standard created and upheld which could be likened to the Soil Association’s nationally recognised organic standard…. By creating a clear definition of what ‘ethical’ means and calling for companies to meet those criteria, consumers could then make an informed, educated choice.”
Hair, hair! Let’s hope the rest of the industry follows suit.