Natural human hair is also a valued commodity in international trade, processed by businesses into hair extensions and wigs.
Globally, international sales of exported human hair (excluding hair extensions and wigs) totaled US$179.1 million in 2021. That dollar amount reflects a 115.5% increase from $83.1 million in hair exports during 2017.
Year over year, globally exported human hair accelerated by 126.2% from $79.2 million during 2020.
The biggest 3 exporters of human hair are India, Hong Kong and Pakistan were responsible for 95.6% of worldwide exports for the commodity in 2021.
Among continents, Asia sold the highest dollar worth of exported human hair during 2021 with shipments valued at $174.9 million or 97.7% of the worldwide total.
Tinier percentages came from sellers in Latin America (1.2%), North America (0.52%), Europe (0.51%), Australia in Oceania (0.08%), then Africa (0.05%).
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 0501 for human hair. The formal prefix code label for 0501 is unworked human hair whether or not washed or scoured and the waste of human hair.
Top Human Hair Exporters by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of human hair during 2021.
- India: US$165 million (92.1% of total human hair exports)
- Hong Kong: $4.1 million (2.3%)
- Pakistan: $2.2 million (1.2%)
- Brazil: $2.1 million (1.1%)
- United States: $923,000 (0.5%)
- Indonesia: $797,000 (0.4%)
- Vietnam: $658,000 (0.4%)
- China: $527,000 (0.3%)
- Japan: $507,000 (0.3%)
- Netherlands: $410,000 (0.2%)
- Uzbekistan: $281,000 (0.2%)
- Taiwan: $205,000 (0.1%)
- Thailand: $136,000 (0.1%)
- Australia: $136,000 (0.1%)
- Ukraine: $132,000 (0.1%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 99.4% of global human hair exported in 2021.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing human hair exporters from 2020 to 2021 were: Netherlands (up 10,150%), Taiwan (also up 10,150%), Vietnam (up 2,431%) and India (up 1,057%).
Five countries posted declines in their exported human hair sales: Hong Kong (down -90.9%), Thailand (down -64.6%), Australia (down -37.9%), Indonesia (down -27.8%) and Pakistan (down -5.8%).
Biggest Surpluses from International Trade in Human Hair
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for human hair during 2021. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported human hair and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- India: US$165 million (net export surplus up 1,061% since 2020)
- Pakistan: $2.2 million (down -6.7%)
- Brazil: $1.9 million (up 163.9%)
- China: $527,000 (up 91.6%)
- Japan: $459,000 (up 20.8%)
- Uzbekistan: $228,000 (up 2.2%)
- Taiwan: $182,000 (reversing a -$1,000 deficit)
- Thailand: $136,000 (down -64.6%)
- Australia: $134,000 (down -31.3%)
- Ukraine: $132,000 (up 5.6%)
- Qatar: $73,000 (2020 data unavailable)
- South Africa: $62,000 (up 37.8%)
- United Arab Emirates: $58,000 (up 7.4%)
- Belarus: $56,000 (down -3.4%)
- Peru: $54,000 (2020 data unavailable)
India earned the highest surplus in the international trade of human hair. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms India’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
Worst Deficits from International Trade in Human Hair
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for human hair during 2021. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported human hair purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- Myanmar: -US$161.4 million (net export deficit up 2,228% since 2020)
- Indonesia: -$26.5 million (down -53.8%)
- Austria: -$14.3 million (down -1.2%)
- Italy: -$6.4 million (up 68.1%)
- Sweden: -$3.4 million (up 8%)
- France: -$2.2 million (down -6.3%)
- Hong Kong: -$2.1 million (reversing a $9.6 million surplus)
- Bangladesh: -$1.9 million (reversing a $481,000 surplus)
- United Kingdom: -$1.3 million (reversing a $1.4 million surplus)
- Vietnam: -$1.3 million (down -77.3%)
- Laos: -$429,000 (down -22.4%)
- United States: -$253,000 (down -67.1%)
- Russia: -$201,000 (up 1082.4%)
- Israel: -$187,000 (down -76.3%)
- South Korea: -$175,000 (up 37.8%)
Myanmar and Indonesia incurred the highest deficits in the international trade of human hair. In turn, the negative cashflows highlight both countries’ competitive disadvantages for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for human hair-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful consumer demand.
Average Prices Compared for Major Human Hair Exporters
Listed below are the average unit prices per ton for the top 10 leading exporters of human hair in 2021. The list is sorted in descending order starting with the international suppliers shipping the highest total value of exported human hair.
- India: US$56,574 per ton of human hair exports (up 995.1% from 2020)
- Hong Kong: $225,611 per ton (down -31.5%)
- Pakistan: $1,763 per ton (down -2.2%)
- Brazil: $18,645 per ton (down -39.7%)
- United States of America: $17,750 per ton (up 5.8%)
- Indonesia: $46,882 per ton (up 65.6%)
- Vietnam: $4,062 per ton (down -89.7%)
- China: $105,400 per ton (up 15.0%)
- Japan: $42,250 per ton (up 9.1%)
- Netherlands: $5,325 per ton (down 0.0%)
The lowest average prices among the top 10 biggest exporters of human hair originate from Pakistan ($1,763 per ton) and Vietnam ($4,062 per ton).
The highest average prices for exported hair belong to Hong Kong ($225,611 per ton), mainland China ($105,400 per ton) and world leader India ($56,574 per ton).
Human Hair Exporting Companies
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following suppliers are examples of human hair exporters. The home-country location for each business is shown within parentheses.
- B & K Import & Export (United States)
- Business-Salon Group Ltd (Ukraine)
- Evergreen Products Factory Ltd (Hong Kong)
- GRV Exports (India)
- Rawhair Import Export Company (Vietnam)
- UNICS Co, Ltd (Japan)
- Waheed Universal Hair Company (Pakistan)
- Widya International (Indonesia)
See also Top Exporters of Wigs, Beards and Eyelashes, Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Exports by Country and Perfumes Exporters by Country
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Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on June 13, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 13, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 13, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 13, 2022
Wikipedia, Hair theft. Accessed on June 13, 2022