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Splitting hairs — An Indian hair in every wig across the globe


If you see a person in a foreign country wearing a wig, hairs used in that wig could be from India. Yes, the export of human hair from India has been gaining momentum in recent years and has quadrupled between 2018-19 and 2022-23. .

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, Anupriya Patel, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, said India is the largest source of human hair (raw material) in the world. She quoted the Human Hair and Hair Products Association and Plexconcil (Plastics Export Promotion Council) as the source of the Government information.

Exports of human hairs increased 391 per cent to $169.23 million (over ₹1,400 crore) between 2018-19 and 2022-23.

The value of human hair (HS Code 05010010) exported from India increased from $34.46 million in 2018-19 to $169.23 million in 2022-23. In between, the export of human hairs declined to $5.70 million in 2019-20. However, there has been a steady increase after that. Value of India’s hair exports stood at $11.65 million in 2020-21.

There has been a significant growth in terms of foreign exchange earning from human hair in the last two financial years. It stood at $149.07 million in 2021-22, and $169.23 million in 2022-23.

Quality of human hair from India could be one of the reasons for this growth in exports, Patel said. “The quality of Indian hair is very popular across all continents,” she said.

On how the Government is capitalising on this dominance in hair exports, Patel said Plexconcil is actively working with the industry to attend various trade shows across the world.

Apart from this, Plexconcil is also working with the Government to provide training to the Indian exporters to start producing high-value goods such as wigs.

The recent participation in one of the largest beauty shows — CosmoProf Worldwide Bologna 2023, which the Plexconcil had organised — had 20 Indian exhibitors from the industry.

She said the response from the buyers, who had visited the Indian Pavilion from different parts of the world, was very positive. Plexconcil will be participating again in 2024 in the same show, she said.

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