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Pakistan exported human hair worth $1.6m in five years


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan exported human hair worth $1.6 million in past five years, the National Assembly was informed on Friday.

According to a statement of the Ministry of Commerce in the lower house, 1,05,461 kilograms of human hair worth US $1,32,000 were exported to China during the past five years.

The parliamentary secretary for commerce relayed that Pakistan exports human hair to China, United States, United Arab Emirates and other countries.

Human hair is used for making wigs but its demand went down during the 2016-17 due to decreasing number of cancer patients.

According to sources, this was the first time that the lower house of the parliament was informed about the country’s human hair trade which is considered a lucrative business.

The trade in human hair dates back centuries but Pakistan is relatively new in this field.

Myanmar formerly known as Burma sits at the heart of a multi-million dollar industry of human hair trade. Since 2010, it has quadrupled the volume of hair it ships each year to become the world’s fourth largest exporter, the United Nations says.

In 2017, Myanmar earned $6.2 million from the export of hair equivalent to the weight of 1,160 average-size cars.

The trade has drawn in thousands in the country who source, process, and export hair.

Once gathered, the hair travels from vendors to factories to be untangled, combed, washed, and repackaged before being shipped, mostly to China, to become extensions and wigs.