Temple Hair. Hindu pilgrims have donated there hair at Holy Temples throughout southern India for centuries in an attempt to purify themselves and repay debt to there Gods.
Legend has it that Vishnu ” avatar of God preserver of the world” took a loan for his wedding so large it would take thousands of years to repay, thus devout Hindus help pay this outstanding debt with hair. Tens of thousands of pilgrims will wait up to five hours in line to get their head shaved with a strait edge razor by one of the 650 barbers sitting in lines on the concrete floor attending to the religious devotees.
Some say this is exploitation on poor women’s religious sacrifice. These women disagree and consider it there spiritual honor.It is safe to say these temples make around $70 million from over 2000 tons of these thick dark locks a year. The temples defend the decision to sell the hair as it would otherwise be thrown away.
The money made goes to good causes such as orphanages, hospitals and feeding the poor. These huge piles of hair are sold and shipped around the world to hair extensions and wig companies.
One of the better known hi-end quality hair extension companies, Great Lengths, is known to use Temple hair as “ethical” knowing its origin.
These massive amounts of hair get washed by hand in giant baths then pulled through long beds of spikes to smooth it before being tied in to bundles of about 200 strands. Once smooths pigment is removed by soaking the hair in a solution for 20 days. These bundles are then dried and packaged for its purchasing clients.