It usually occurs where work is either poorly paid or not paid at all. People speculate it could be from dead people. (Which is gross anyway..) But how could it all be? The nutrients from their bodies would be gone and the hair would be of poor quality. Its true, they do sometimes sell it. But live human hair is far better and sells for a lot more money.
In a number of Countries such as India, China and Eastern European countries; Which is where the best quality hair comes from. Women grow, shave and sell their hair, or even offer it to satisfy a god.
The places that harvest the hair, known as 'hair factories', sign women up to grow their hair to a specific length and quality. They are very serious and strict with the conditions under which the girls must grow it. The women - and sometimes their whole families - must keep their hair away from any contact with pollutants and make sure it is kept in top condition while to grows. Sometimes the factories even provide food for it's workers to ensure that the hair grows to a good enough standard.
When the time comes for the hair to be harvested the women line up at the factory before their heads are shaved completely bald and they are sent out to start the whole process again.
This may seem like a girl's worst nightmare to you and for many girls it is, but for other women it is the easiest and most effective way of providing for their family and the alternatives could be much much worse.
However not all hair 'donors' benefit financially from such a huge sacrifice. In some parts of India women are conned out of their precious locks without even knowing they are then being sold to other, more financially well off, beauty conscious women around the world. And it can be a horribly traumatising experience for them.
In 2006 it was reported how in the hills of Tirupati, in India, a Hindu temple has become the second richest religious site in the world; due mostly to it's sale of human hair.
It was reported that every day in India, up to 4,000 women visit the temple to take part in a "religious ceremony", called 'Tonsuring', where the girls must shave off their hair as a sacrifice to the god Vishnu. These women believe that taking part in the ceremony is a sign that they are willing to give up their pride and vanity, and to thank the gods or ask them for health and happiness in the future - little do they know is that they're also making a lot of money for those who run the temple.
After the 'ceremony' all the hair that is collected is combed, sorted into lengths and dyed before being shipped to Western countries to sell as wigs and hair extensions.
So while you could see extensions as a great way to give us a beauty boost and make us feel great with our new luscious locks - there is in fact a much bigger human story behind every lock of hair.
So next time you feel like you need some extra volume for your hair, buy synthetic or just pick up a teasing comb and learn how to make your own hair sexy and voluptuous all on its own.