Hair trade brings solvency to hundreds of Magura

A worker transforms human hair for use as wigs and hair extensions, among others, in the village of Boikhola of Shalikha upazila in Magura, and is paid 500 Tk on average to deliver every two kilograms per day. The photo was taken recently. Photo: Star

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A worker transforms human hair for use as wigs and hair extensions, among others, in the village of Boikhola of Shalikha upazila in Magura, and is paid 500 Tk on average to deliver every two kilograms per day. The photo was taken recently. Photo: Star

Hundreds of traders in Magura and its neighboring districts earn a good income from human and animal hair.

This hair is collected from barber shops, farms and individuals to make wigs, hair extensions, crafts and the like.

Many local traders have become financially solvent by supplying this raw material to consumers in Dhaka while others export hair to China, earning the country large sums of foreign currency.

During a visit to the village of Boikhola of Shalikha upazila in Magura, this correspondent discovered that a dozen local hair traders are doing good business by selling their products at high prices.

About 500 collectors of Magura and its adjacent neighborhoods roam from village to village in the region to buy human hair from hairdressers and go door-to-door.

Many women in the region retain the hair that falls out of the scalp when combed, as each kilogram (kg) can be sold between 1,500 and 2,000 Tk to hawkers.

After collecting this hair, traders process it for sale to clothing or wig manufacturers. Each worker employed at this stage earns 500 Tk for the treatment of two kg of hair per day.

Alauddin Mondol, a collector based in the village of Boikhali who sells peanuts, chanachur and hair, said he earns around Tk 20,000 per month by selling around seven to eight kg of the material at Tk 5,000 on kg.

Another trader, Amirul Islam, said he sells five to six kg per month for around Tk 15,000.

“Although this job is difficult, it is very profitable,” he said.

Trader Jashim Uddin from the same village said he had been in the business for 12 years now.

Soon after being drawn to this very profitable business, he was able to move from a tin house to a brick house. He has since also bought a motorbike and around six bighas of land for around 4 lakh Tk per bigha.

Currently, he also breeds sheep for their fleece.

“If the hair is longer, so is the price,” Jashim said.

It can sell 10 inch locks of hair at 8,000 Tk per kg, 20 inch locks at 19,500 Tk per kg, 22 inch locks at 33,500 Tk per kg, 24 inches at 36,000 Tk per kg and 26 inches at 49,000 Tk per kg. kg.

Another trader, Insan Ali, said that 10 years after entering the business, he was leading a happy and prosperous life with his two sons, his daughter and his wife.

Previously he only had 20 decimal places of land for his living space, but success in the hair business helped him build a brick house and buy an acre of arable land for Tk 15 lakh.

Ikram Ali, another village trader, echoed the same, adding that the industry offers a good number of homemakers, students and unemployed youth the opportunity to earn up to Tk 500 per day by transforming hair.

Amanur Rahman and Shawkot Mollah, two hair traders based in Dhaka’s Uttara, said they buy hair from Magura and export it to China.

Shatakhali upazila chairman Anwar Hossain Jhantu said some hair traders in Boikhali village are now solvent.

“It’s a good initiative for them,” he added.


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