More and more people are experiencing hair thinning because of stressful life, unhealthy diet, and irregular sleep schedule. In the past, wigs are mainly used for cosplay and women wear it for beauty, but now wigs have more applications, one of which is for hair loss (cancer, alopecia). There are so many women who are suffering from hair loss choosing to wear wigs.
As an everyday wig wearer, you may know that most wigs sold on the global market are made in China, but you would have no idea about the prosperity of Chinese wigs business, wigs’ origin city, and to what extent the wigs industry is influencing a small city's development!
Xuchang - The Origin City of Your Wigs
Xuchang is a prefecture-level city in central Henan province in Central China. Xuchang is also called “Wig Capital” for its dominance in the global industry of hair extensions, wigs, weaves and all manners of headpieces (such as lace closure, lace frontal). One-third people in Xuchang city are working in wigs industry. Hair industry has developed more than 100 years, from initial human hair gathering to remy hair extensions & wigs manufacturing and exporting business.
Human hair gathering business
History: The century-old human hair trade business had started from Qing Dynasty in Xuchang. It’s said that, there was a businessman called Xihe Bai living in Quan Dian, Xuchang. He got to know Hunter (a German, doing hair collecting business at that time) by chance. Xihe Bai cooperated with Hunter - he exchanged quality real hair with farmers in the village.
From then on, the hair trade business began in Xuchang.
During the 1980s and 1990s: the scale of hair collecting was considerable in this period. The local population cannot satisfied the increasing quantity demand on hair supplies, so hair collectors turned to mountain area in Si Chuan and Yun Nan province for hair supply because hair growers in mountainous areas took delight in non-bleached black hair. Later, with the fast development of human hair market, the hair trade pushed its way into South-east Asia.
Today, hair collectors are active in Malaysian, Indian, and Peruvian. Globalization hit the hair trade business, but it is still thriving in Xuchang. It is estimated that the global hair trade was worth more than US$81 million in 2017.
Hair extensions and wigs manufacturing business
Human hair used in wigs and extensions: once cut, hair is used as material for the making of hair extensions, weave, wigs and eye lashes. Human hair is gathered and sold to one of the thousands of hair factories in Xuchang for further processing. The hair is classified into different groups according to their length (4", 8", 36" etc.). and then they are bleached, straightened/curled, colored into different grades of hair extensions and wigs.
Hair factories in Xuchang: Almost every family earn a living by processing human hair. There are more than 5,000 hair factories responsible fore deep processing human hair into an array of extensions, wigs and other products in Xuchang. Rebecca, one of the most well-known wig brand, locates in Xu Chang. Other famous hair extensions brands, like UNice, Beautyforever, Alipearl Hair, LsyBeauty Hair, Nadula, WestKiss, are also in Xuchang. It seems like every household is into the wigs business, with most mom-and-pop operations. After the hair is processed and graded, it is packaged and branded for export. Human hair products end up on heads in the U.S., Europe and Africa. All those big and small hair factories control some 60% of global hair extensions and wigs production. Revenue from Xuchang's wig sales reached $223 million in 2018.
Export volumes of hair products in Xuchang: Hair product manufacturing is "by far the biggest industry" in Xuchang. The total export value of hair extensions and wigs had been more than 1 billion dollars in Xuchang in 2016, accounting for more than half of national hair product exports. The hair business is feeding about 200,000 people there. Celebrities, including former US First Lady Michelle Obama, celebrities Beyonce and Rihanna have reportedly bought wigs made in Xuchang.
With hair extensions and wigs, Rihanna has changed her hair more times than we can count
The Prosperity of Chinese-made Wigs Business? How Popular is Chinese-made Wigs?
China is the biggest wigs manufacturing and exporting country in the world. According to the statistics, one wig is sold every two seconds at AliExpress.
Human hair: a growing business in China
Human hair wig is too familiar to us. Consumers buy wigs, weaves, and hair extensions in the world by the millions and the demand continues to grow. Most of the wigs on the market are made in China. China's wigs are selling like hot cakes around the world.
The sales of wigs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria in 2018, was 300 percent higher than in 2017. In Europe, the sales of Chinese-made wigs was with a 50-percent increase in 2018 from previous year. From the data, Chinese-made wigs are earning its popularity in the world market, and the sales of wigs made in China are complete ahead of the other countries and areas.
Top the list of countries contributing the most to Chinese-made wig sales
The largest importer of Chinese-made hair extensions and wigs is United States, followed by UK, France, and South Africa.
US market: The top-selling hair products in United States are real human hair wigs and hair weaves. Authentic human hair is the favorite of customers from the European countries and U.S. Hair extensions and wigs are a $5 billion market in the U.S. In 2016, U.S. imported $6.85 million worth of Chinese-made wigs, other products, from human hair. Most hair care products purchased by African-Americans are imported from China. And outside of the African-American community, more American young people are wearing them as a fashion accessory.
Africa market: Africa is a huge market, as it's second nature for Africans to wear wigs. In Africa,the most popular hair products are synthetic hair products and cheap human hair extensions, weaves & wigs. In 2017, African counties imports of Chinese human hair products arrived 1.0 billion dollars. The consumption of hair products in countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, had great improvement in recent years.
Europe market: In 2018, the sales of wigs to European countries were more than 50 percent than in 2017.
Human hair wigs being viewed as a luxury purchase
In the past, the wearing of wigs was regarded as a symbol of social status. Though the idea has been largely abandoned nowadays, not everyone can affordable the expensive price of the wig made of 100% real human hair, and it is especially common in African countries. In Africa, because of low economic level, only wealthy person can afford the real hair wigs. Chinese wigs balance global wigs’ prices, it makes wigs no more a luxury for common people. US retailers have been slashing wig prices since 2014, when competition with e-commerce sites spiked.
The most popular wigs
Hair manufacturers have to develop new hairstyles to keep up with fast-changing global fashion trends and customers’ tastes. From small curls to big wavy hair, from short bobs to long, the variations can almost be unlimited. LsyBeauty Hair lists 4 kinds of the most-favorite wigs of 2019:
◆ Straight 1B/613 Ombre Color Lace Frontal Wig
◆ Straight Color #613 10-14inch BoB Wig
◆ 150% Density Body Wave Lace Front Wig
◆ 130% Density Straight Remy Hair Wig
Why Chinese-made Human Hair Wigs so Popular in the World?
China has become a dominant player in the world’s hair market. There are 3 reasons Chinese wig business thrive abroad?
The growing high demand for synthetic wig and human hair wigs from end-use customers
Wearing a wig is a common thing in Western countries. And it is highly considered a simple life-changing product across the globe. American will most likely buy a wig to enhance their look and highlight their fashion when attending a holiday celebration, a historical reenactment, a theatrical performance, certain conferences or a party (dinner party, halloween party, costume party etc.) no matter what the occasion. Wigs have become a must-have ornament in their daily life. The wig demand in United States and Europe is gradually expanding.
Social media influencers and beauty bloggers have been inspiring more black young women to join the fashion of wearing wigs. Hair extensions and wigs are easy for African women to maintain and clean. Nowadays, hair wig has been a must-have fashion accessory for both young and old black women.
Personal design to meet different demands
Chinese-made wigs have different thickness, different grade, different texture, different color to meet the individual needs. No matter what gender, what age or what ethnic group customers are, you can find whatever you like in the huge selection of Chinese wigs.
Cheap but quality
Chinese-made wigs are with cheap price and high quality. It makes all the customers choose and buy more easily. The wholesale and distribution of cross-border e-commerce develops super fast in China’s wigs business. Chinese wigs market has strong ability of resource integration. All those advantages make Chinese-made wigs a preferable choice for the worldwide consumers.