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$156.9 million in 2022. That dollar amount reflects a 99.1% acceleration from $78.8 million in hair exports during 2018.
Year over year, globally exported human hair fell in sales by -24.1% compared to $206.7 million during 2021.
The biggest 3 exporters of human hair are India, Pakistan and Singapore were responsible for 93.7% of worldwide exports for the commodity in 2022.
Among continents, exporters in Asia sold the highest dollar worth of exported human hair during 2022 with shipments valued at $152.5 million or 97.2% of the worldwide total.
Tinier percentages came from sellers in Latin America (1.2%), Europe (0.85%), North America (0.34%), Africa (0.33%), then Australia in Oceania (0.02%).
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 2022.
- India: US$138.8 million (88.4% of total human hair exports)
- Pakistan: $4.4 million (2.8%)
- Singapore: $3.8 million (2.4%)
- Indonesia: $1.97 million (1.3%)
- Brazil: $1.96 million (1.2%)
- Japan: $726,000 (0.5%)
- Afghanistan: $640,000 (0.4%)
- Italy: $623,000 (0.4%)
- China: $527,000 (0.3%)
- United States: $519,000 (0.3%)
- United Kingdom: $367,000 (0.2%)
- Vietnam: $360,000 (0.2%)
- Tanzania: $344,000 (0.2%)
- Hong Kong: $264,000 (0.2%)
- Uzbekistan: $244,000 (0.2%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 99.1% of global human hair exported in 2022.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing human hair exporters from 2021 to 2022 were: Singapore (up 5,590%), Italy (up 4,350%), Tanzania (up 2,050%) and United Kingdom (up 416.9%).
Those hair suppliers that posted declines in their export sales were led by: Hong Kong (down -93.5% from 2021), mainland China (down -50%), United States of America (down -43.8%), India (down -15.9%) and Uzbekistan (down -13.2%).
Biggest Surpluses from International Trade in Human Hair
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for human hair during 2022. 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$138.6 million (net export surplus down -16% since 2021)
- Pakistan: $4.4 million (up 99.8%)
- Brazil: $2 million (up 1.4%)
- Indonesia: $1.7 million (reversing a -$26.5 million deficit)
- Japan: $649,000 (up 41.4%)
- Afghanistan: $640,000 (up 61.2%)
- mainland China: $527,000 (down -50%)
- Tanzania: $344,000 (up 2,050%)
- South Africa: $174,000 (up 180.6%)
- Nepal: $165,000 (up 2,257%)
- Uzbekistan: $164,000 (down -28.1%)
- Thailand: $137,000 (up 0.7%)
- Ukraine: $120,000 (down -24.5%)
- Malaysia: $84,000 (up 1,580%)
- Tajikistan: $82,000 (up 95.2%)
World leader 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 2022. 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$17.3 million (reversing a $14.4 million surplus in 2021)
- Austria: -$16.9 million (up 18.1% since 2021)
- Italy: -$5.8 million (down -10%)
- Sweden: -$3.6 million (up 7.2%)
- Israel: -$1.6 million (up 790.3%)
- France: -$653,000 (down -70.1%)
- Bangladesh: -$633,000 (down -66.5%)
- United Kingdom: -$574,000 (down -55%)
- Netherlands: -$516,000 (up 953.1%)
- Singapore: -$387,000 (up 372%)
- Spain: -$315,000 (up 3050%)
- Germany: -$252,000 (up 49.1%)
- Vietnam: -$195,000 (down -97.5%)
- United States: -$164,000 (down -19.6%)
- Laos: -$137,000 (down -69.8%)
Myanmar and Austria recorded 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
The world’s average price for exported hair was $26,870 per ton in 2022, up 99.7% from $13,455 per ton five years earlier in 2018.
Listed below are the average unit prices per ton for the top 15 leading exporters of human hair in 2022. The list is sorted in descending order starting with the international suppliers shipping the highest total value of exported human hair.
- India: US$58,233 per ton of human hair exports (up 2.9% from 2021)
- Pakistan: $1,847 per ton (up 4.8%)
- Singapore: $52,944 per ton (up 374.1%)
- Indonesia: $39,300 per ton (down -16.2%)
- Brazil: $28,809 per ton (up 5.8%)
- Japan: $55,846 per ton (up 32.2%)
- Afghanistan: $3,107 per ton (down -11.6%)
- Italy: $62,300 per ton (2021 data unavailable)
- mainland China: $105,400 per ton (2021 data unavailable)
- United States: $15,727 per ton (down -11.4%)
- Vietnam: $6,429 per ton (2021 data unavailable)
- Tanzania: $3,308 per ton (up 1370.2%)
- Hong Kong: $5,388 per ton (down -97.6%)
- Uzbekistan: $1,363 per ton (up 50.8%)
- South Africa: $2,734 per ton (up 20.1%)
The lowest average prices among the listed biggest exporters of human hair originated from Uzbekistan ($1,363 per ton), Pakistan ($1,847 per ton) and South Africa ($2,734 per ton).
The highest average prices for exported hair were earned by suppliers in mainland China ($105,400 per ton), Italy ($62,300 per ton) and world leader India ($58,233 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
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for human hair. Accessed on July 29, 2023
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on July 29, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 29, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 29, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 29, 2023
Wikipedia, Hair theft. Accessed on July 29, 2023