A remarkable tradition continues to thrive, where goods are exchanged for broken Human Hair. This intriguing practice sheds light on the value attributed to hair in certain communities. Recently, the IndiaPost live team encountered a man on a bicycle, offering small items to a young girl in exchange for her hair. Curious about this unique exchange, we approached the man to learn more about this peculiar trade.
Get utensils in exchange of broken Human hairs
The man explained that he traverses the city, going door-to-door on his bicycle, offering various small decorations and household items to people in exchange for their broken hair. Struggling with financial constraints, he relies on this unconventional trade to sustain himself. While not explicitly stated, it becomes evident that these traded hairs hold greater value than money itself. After collecting the hair, the man sells it to shopkeepers and parlors, where it is used to create wigs, commonly known as fake hair. The market price for these hairs ranges from one thousand to one lakh rupees per kilogram.
Broken Human hairs can earn in lakhs
Not only one place is there where Human Hairs are traded. This peculiar practice extends to numerous locations, with prices ranging from thousands to lakhs. Nowadays, individuals roam villages and cities, offering utensils and money in exchange for hair. These traders purchase hair at low prices and sell it at significantly higher rates. The hair industry in India has grown to an estimated worth of 30 thousand crores. Small hawkers typically collect the hair and sell it to larger traders, who, in turn, supply it to traders in Kolkata, Chennai, and Andhra Pradesh. From there, the hair finds its way to foreign countries.
Versatile Uses of Broken Human Hair
The traded broken human hair finds application in various domains, showcasing its versatility:
Wig Making: Where Human Hair growth is the important part of lifestyle. Women’s hair and other cut hairs are used in creating wigs that resemble real hair.
Soy Sauce Production: Surprisingly, a Chinese company utilizes broken human hair, rich in protein content, for making soy sauce, alongside soybeans, wheat, and bran.
Cosmetic Brushes: Broken Human hair is employed in the production of cosmetic brushes, suitable for a wide range of uses.
Fertilizer Production: Broken Human hair contains high levels of nitrogen and other beneficial elements such as sulfur and carbon, making it valuable for fertilizer production. Chinese farmers combine broken human hair with animal dung manure.
Rope Making: Broken Human Hair can be transformed into ropes, used in various applications such as hanging temple bells in Japan and horse riding equipment in America.
Stuffing Household Items: Hair is utilized in toys, mattresses, quilts, jackets, and furniture stuffing. In the United States, hair pins are also made using this material mixed with cotton.
Scientific Instruments: Hair has been historically used in scientific instruments, such as the hair hygrometer developed by Horace-Benedict de Saussure in 1783 for measuring humidity. Despite advancements in modern instruments, the hair hygrometer remains popular due to its affordability.
The practice of exchanging goods for broken hair is a testament to the cultural significance and diverse applications of hair in different industries. It showcases the resourcefulness of communities and highlights the unique traditions that persist in various parts of the world.
As we delve into this captivating world of hair trading, it becomes evident that hair holds a value far beyond its aesthetic appeal. In many regions, the exchange of goods for broken hair forms an integral part of local customs, contributing to the livelihoods of those involved.