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Hair Tonsured at Hindu Temples Turn into Costly Hair Extensions in the West

Did you know that the hair that you offered at a Hindu Temple will be part of an 8.5 billion rupee trade? India is world's biggest exporter of human hair and majority of the exported hair comes from Hindu Temples in India. Head tonsuring in Hinduism is a symbolic gesture – dropping the ego – and is also performed as part of thanksgiving for desires fulfilled by particular deity. It is also performed for speedy recovery and fulfillment of wishes.

A full head of natural India hair can cost more than $3,000 at salon in the West. Indian hair is in great demands because majority of Indians still use traditional methods to protect their hair unlike people from other countries who use various chemicals clean and beautify their hair. So the Indian hair is natural – strong and durable and can be colored, curled, heated and blow-dried.

The money that is raised from selling of hair is mostly used by temples for charitable activities.
The National reports
Tonnes of tresses are cut every day and mostly sold at auction to wholesalers, which then prepare and export them for use across the world. 
The practice has even become a lucrative sideline for temples, who use the money raised for charitable activities. Some suppliers have also gone into business themselves, cutting out the need for wholesalers. 
One kilogram of Indian hair fetches on average $250 (Dh900); 15 years ago the cost was $20 a kilo, Mr Cherian said. 
The most expensive type is "remy" hair, which is shaved directly from the scalp. It makes up 25 per cent of the market; "non-remy" hair, which accounts for the rest, comes from comb waste. 
"Indian hair is the most sought after for the only reason that it belongs to the Caucasian race to start with," said Mr Cherian said. 
"And the natural colour, black, matches the hair colour of the Africans as well as, when bleached, the colour of the Europeans or the Americans."