Where Do Hair Extensions Come From?

You’re shopping for human hair extensions, and you can’t wait to finally get the hair you’ve always dreamed of – you know, that long, lustrous hair with plenty of volume that can be styled into virtually any look. Yet, a thought hits you – “Where did these hair extensions come from?”

Due to the lack of regulations and traceability, “Who knows” is an acceptable answer to the question, “Where do hair extensions come from.” However, although most brands aren’t certain, it can be concluded that most hair comes from China and India.

Hey, there – are you wondering where hair extensions come from? I was curious, too. That’s why I did my fair share of research to find out where these glorious hair strands are coming from. If you want to know the answer, it’s simple – just keep reading!

Let’s learn where hair extensions come from.

Where Do Hair Extensions Come From?

If you ask most hair extension brands where the hair comes from, they’ll likely give you the runaround. Why? Because they don’t even know. That’s because there is a severe lack of regulation when it comes to the hair extension industry, leaving consumers questioning the moral standards of the biz.

However, if the brand can’t tell you where the hair came from, there are likely two options: China or India. Let’s take a closer look.

1. India

Many Remy human hair extensions come from Indian men and women engaging in Tonsuring, which is the religious practice of shaving your head to prove devotion to Vishnu. During this time, over 1,000 barbers shave heads at the Tirupati Balaji Temple in Tirumala.

Because the hair is virtually untouched (i.e., virgin hair), it’s some of the most expensive hair on the market. Not only does it feel soft and sleek, but it has an undeniable shine and glisten that even celebs can’t deny.

2. China

China is another mass producer of hair extensions. However, hair derived from Asia is less ethical than that of Indian individuals seeking to prove themselves to Vishnu.

While some areas may source Asian hair ethically, the bulk of hair from Asia comes from desperate individuals seeking to make money. That, or it’s found in hair brushes or drains, eventually turned into what we know as “human hair extensions.”

3. Other Options

Not all hair comes from these two sources, though. Many other countries collect hair (in ethical and unethical ways), including the United States, Russia, and Brazil. 

If you’re concerned about where your hair is coming from, it’s best to take the proper steps to find out where the hair is sourced before purchasing the hair extensions.

How to Know Where Human Hair Comes From

Knowing that your hair extensions may have come from a desperate individual who needed money – and didn’t really want to chop their hair off – can send shivers down your spine. They gave up their beautiful hair for your wants and desires. That can leave a pit in your stomach!

To avoid this from happening, you have two main options:

1. Ask Where the Company Gets Their Hair

A lot of companies are “shady” in the fact that they can’t give a straight answer about where their hair has been sourced. But that’s not true for all companies, such as Great Lengths and Remy New York.

All you have to do is ask. If the company can tell you exactly where the hair is sourced from (it’s 100% traceable), you can feel confident in your purchase.

2. Opt for Synthetic Hair Extensions

When some people hear the term “synthetic hair extensions,” they cringe. Synthetic hair has long been known for its obvious shininess and predisposition for tangles and mats.

But let me tell you this – synthetic hair has come a long way, baby! Now, it looks, acts, and feels like natural hair. Sure, it tangles a little easier, and it can’t be dyed (and certain ones can’t be styled with hot tools), but it looks fabulous – trust me, I just bought a pair the other day!

The benefit of going the synthetic route is that there are no ifs, ands, or buts about where it came from. This leaves you with a purchase you can wear with confidence.


I’ll bet you didn’t think that was where your hair extensions came from! But before you run off, I encourage you to check out these frequently asked questions. You might learn some more important information!

Do hair extensions come from real hair?

If you purchase natural human hair extensions, then yes, they came from someone’s head – in other words, they’re entirely real. As mentioned above, they may have come from Indians performing a religious ceremony or from desperate Asian women. Or, they may have been ethically sourced from a willing donor. Ask the company before purchasing.

Do hair extensions come from animals?

It is possible to find hair extensions that have been derived from animal hair, such as that of horses, yaks, etc. Yet, these are few and far between. Also, most of the time, animal hair is mixed with human hair to create the hair extensions. This creates a more “natural” appearance.

Are hair extensions ethically sourced?

Sometimes, but not always. Some human hair extensions are made from exploited women. Others are ethically sourced from willing participants. The best way to find out is to ask the company you’re purchasing from to prove where the hair came from.

Hair Extensions Can Come From All Different Sources!

Hair extensions are notoriously unethically sourced, but not always. Many companies are taking leaps and strides to ensure their hair comes from willing participants who are paid a hefty amount for their hair. The best thing to do is double-check with the company about where their human hair is sourced!

Did you know where hair extensions came from? Do you ask companies where they source their hair before purchasing? Do you have anything else to add to this conversation? Share below!

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