Whenever a website on eyelash extensions or false eyelashes describes the materials from which lashes can be made, they always seem to end up by saying ‘and you can even have eyelashes made from human hair’. Human eyelash extensions sound a bit weird – although human hair wigs don’t seem weird, for some reason.
Apparently, human hair eyelash extensions are a lot lighter and more delicate than synthetic lashes. As you would expect, they feel soft when stroked and don’t look shiny the way some synthetic ones can do. The hairs are not so stiff and so they are easier to stick as well.
I am mystified about where they could possibly come from. I can understand some poor person might make a reasonable amount of money by selling a headful of glorious locks. But really, what could you expect to get from pulling out a few eyelashes? – You certainly couldn’t collect ones that were falling naturally.
But it seems that human eyelashes are made from head hair. With a little bit of research online, I discovered that in 2011, the records of Her Majesty’s taxman showed £38 million worth of human hair being imported to the UK to make wigs! Thir-tee-eight-mill … you get the picture. It’s a helluva lot. And it seems the UK is one of the world’s biggest importers of human hair.
There’s a whole chain of wholesalers and agents right down to men on bicycles who go around villages in China and India, and other poor countries, offering cash to women to sell their hair. Sadly, the cash is often offered to the husbands who force the women to have their hair cut off.
I still haven’t been able to find out exactly how human hairs are processed into false eyelash extensions, but I note that most of the adverts on Ali Baba for supplies from China are for ‘human hair eyelashes’ not ‘human eyelashes’, so I guess they must have found a way to treat appropriate hairs to make them appear like whole eyelashes.
Even if it is only hair hair, I still find the idea of human hair eye extensions just a little unnerving.