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Beauty Blog

Aly Phant's Black Elephants Blog

Why are there so many different types of hair quality?

Black Elephants

If you've never purchased hair before, you can become overwhelmed with the many different types of hair. There is hair for braiding and weaving. There is hair already made into wigs, ponytails, and buns. Within each of these categories are sub-categories and sub-sub-categories (you can probably keep subbing a few more times). But the most common type of hair with the most sub-categories is the hair for weaving.

Weaving hair can be divided into three categories: 100% human hair, 100% synthetic hair, and human-synthetic blended hair. Many customers who come into a beauty supply store to purchase hair usually are looking to buy 100% human hair. They could never see themselves wearing fake hair. That is until they see the price tag. So why is human hair so expensive?

A few years ago, the cost of human hair went up considerably. There were many factors involved but it basically boils down to supply and demand

  • Demand goes up, supply stays the same, price goes up.
  • Demand goes down, supply stays the same, price goes down.
  • Demand stays the same, supply goes up, price goes down.
  • Demands stays the same, supply goes down, price goes up.
Supply_and_demand_curves copy.png

The demand for human hair increases as people enter the market. Who are some of these people? People who have never worn weave, but want to. Young people who want to start wearing weave. Older people who want to add tracks because their hair is thinning. 

The supply for human hair decreases as hair donors drop off the market. What does that mean? It means the people who used to cut their hair, whether for money or religious reasons, stopped. Many of these people have increased their personal wealth and either see no need to grow their hair long for money, or want to imitate the hairstyles of people seen as wealthy. This means shorter hairstyles.

  • Demand goes up, supply goes down, price skyrockets.

Human hair weaves usually start at 8 to 10 inches.. One person can grow about 6 inches of hair in one year. That means the hair donor must not cut their hair for almost two years! How much do you think that is worth?

As the overall wealth of the world continues to increase, the supply of 3rd world nations will steadily decrease. The supply of cheap human hair will also decrease. But demand will continue to increase...

Click here for part 2

Have a blessed day!

Profile: Christina M. Jenkins

Black Elephants

Who is Christina M. Jenkins?

Christina M. Jenkins is our headliner for 2014's Black History Month Profiles. Born in Louisiana, she graduated with a B. S. from Leland College. In 1949, while working for a Chicago-based wig manufacturer, she started to tackle the problem of wigs not staying securely on the customer's head. Her thought process eventually led her to a new method for permanently attaching commercial hair to live hair dubbed Hairweev.


She received U.S. Patent 2,621,633 for Hair-weev on December 16, 1952. She moved to Ohio and began teaching Hair-weev to licensed cosmetologists at Christina's Hair-weev Academy. The process involves 3 cords and a weaving device called a weeving frame. This results in a natural weft for attaching the commercial hair.

Her invention of the hair weave resulted in a billion dollar industry, but she struggled with financial hardship trying to maintain her growing business. While she never became a Madame C. J. Walker or a Annie Malone, let's remember her as one of the greatest contributors to the cosmetology industry.

Have a blessed weekend!

Profile: Jessie T. Pope

Black Elephants

Who is Jessie T. Pope?

Like Lyda D. Newman, she is another black woman who invented something used on a daily basis all over the world. While living in Detroit, her invention impressed Eleanor Roosevelt so much that they worked together to receive US Patent 2,409,791 on October 22, 1946 for the croquignole iron.

While working as a beautician, she saw a need for an electric curling iron that was thermostatically controlled. This thermostat allowed the iron to maintain a steady, even temperature.

Have a blessed week!