Internacional Human Hair Trade

Every day thousands of types of products cross borders as part of the massive commercial network that represents the international market. Things like fruits, wood, cell phones, automobiles and human hair come from all over the world to satisfy our needs and desires.

Human Hair

Human hair? Yes, in 2015, 153 million dollars of unworked human hair (meaning it hasn’t passed through any transformation process) were exported. No wigs or any product that makes use of human hair. Simple pieces of hair. What countries are selling this hair? Who is buying it?

The largest exporter of human hair in the world is India, which accounts for 57% of exports worldwide, followed far by Hong Kong with 21% and then China with 12%. If you include Hong Kong as part of China, this would account for 33% of world exports and third place would belong to Burma with 1.8%, followed closely by the United States with 1.3%.

And who buys it? The primary buyer of unworked human hair in the world is China, which acquires 33% of imports globally, followed closely by Indonesia that takes 18% of the purchases, and then Italy with 14%. Austria and India compete for the fourth place with a 7.5%.

Italy is the largest exporter of wigs in Europe, which explains its imports of unworked human hair. However, its share in the international wig market is 1.1%, while China ranks first with 89% of the exports.

These Chinese wigs, produced largely with Indian hair, end up being bought by the United States, which accounts for 39% of wig imports worldwide, with 92% of those imports coming from China. Interestingly, the second largest importer of human hair wigs is Nigeria, with 11%.

What other types of products would you like to see? Leave a comment below letting me know.

Sources: Comtrade, Observatory of Economic Complexity

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