Hair comes into Fu Qianwei’s factory by the bag full. The hair is then disinfected in large vats and is died different colors, and dried in ovens. After that is complete, women workers braid the hair into wigs and hair extensions, so that they are more fitting to sell.The hair market in China peaked at $90 million dollars last year, making it a trade that is quite lucrative worldwide.
Taihe, in the eastern province of Anhui, is home to over 400 companies processing human hair. That’s where Fu Qianwei’s factory is, where he buys hair from a number of open markets around town. Prices for human hair, which usually comes from Chinese locals themselves, can fetch as much $880 per kilogram. The biggest export markets for the finished wigs are in Europe, Africa, and the Unites States.