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Why The Sustainability Conversation Needs To Include Our Hair Extensions

The ‘climate emergency’ is a paramount issue, so much so that the phrase was named the Oxford Word of the Year in 2019. Discussions about sustainability in terms of household waste and fast fashion have often been broached. But what about our hair? From knotless braids down to our bums to an ever-growing collection of wigs in every crop and colour, where is all this hair coming from, and what happens to it once we’re done with it?

The UK Black hair care industry has an estimated worth of £88 million. Black women are spending up to six times more on hair care than our white counterparts, with the yearly cost climbing into the thousands, factoring in the purchase and installation of the hair. For something we spend so much on, there is often little to no thought about how we can make it stretch just that bit longer, or the next step in its life cycle once thrown into our household waste bins and taken away.