ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was told on Friday that over 100,000kg of human hair was exported to China over the last five years.
In a written reply, the Ministry of Commerce and Textile told that house that 105,461kg of human hair, valued at $132,000 was exported to China.
The break up shows that in 2013-14 83,901kg of hair was exported, 13,150kg was exported in 2014-15, 1,410kg in 2015-16 and 7,000kg in 2017-18.
The ministry said in the international harmonised system of custom tariffs (HS System), the item cropped human hair does not have a distinct HS Code. It is rather included in HS Code (0501.0000) for human hair and waste of human hair.
Demand for human hair has increased in China due to growth in the makeup industry. The other reason for the increase in the export of human hair is that there is little trend for wearing wigs for fashion, according to A.M. Chauhan, a prominent beautician.
He said another reason was that the local production of hair accessories has declined recently.
He said in the past, locals would make hair extensions, moustaches, beards and wigs by hand and that the local artisans have lost the market to the Chinese makeup industry.
Exporters have placed bins in hair salons and buy hair at an average rate of Rs5,000 or Rs6,000 per kg, Mr Chauhan added.
High quality hair is also exported to the US and Japan as they have high demand for hair from their entertainment industries. At the same time, hair extensions and wigs are imported into Pakistan as well.
Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2019