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Hair extensions are a big business in China, but a recent investigation by BBC News has revealed that what women think is pure human hair may be a laced with goat. Starting out in small villages in the Hunan province, human hair is collected and meshed with animal hair, then sent to larger cities where it is all treated with chemicals to fuse it together. The supply chain ends in the wig and extension shops, where shop owners continue the dilution of human hair by adding in goat hair in order to ensure the highest profit, leaving women wondering what they actually have on their heads.

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As living and production costs rise in China, so has the cost of hair. With markups all around, members of the hair industry have turned to goat hair as a way to keep profits, while unfortunately compromising quality. As BBC uncovered, many shops are claiming their wigs, weaves and extensions are made from 100% exotic hair, labeled as originating in Brazil or India. But investigators have revealed these products may actually be derived from Chinese hair, or even more surprisingly- goat.

Surprisingly, the main customers of these big hair shops in China are not the Chinese, but largely come from Africa. Coming in from Nigeria, Ghana, The Congol, Uganda and South Africa, customers and importers from Africa flock to these Chinese shops, buying up hair and reselling them for an even bigger profit at home.

Another example of the need for transparency in supply chain, unknowing women in Africa are now toting the latest in goat hair fashion, paying a price deemed for virgin Brazilian hair and instead receiving a wig fit for a barnyard.

+ BBC News