In the essay 100% Indian Hair, Tanzila Ahmed wonders why Indian women sell their hair. In response, an Indian retailer told her that the “Indian women donate their hair for 15 rupees as an offering to their god as a sign of modesty” besides believing that “the monks are going to finance public facilities with this money” (Ahmed 173). However, Ahmed is skeptical about this as she has never seen wealthy women cut their hair. In fact, she knows that Indian women take great care of their hair because their pride is in the hair. To Ahmed, for women to sell their hair for 15 rupees (25 cents) is a sign of desperation. She believes that we should consider how our products are produced before we buy them. After reading 100% Indian Hair it is my belief that knowing where our products come from and the conditions under which they are produced is imperative.
In contemporary societies, individuals are interested more in the beauty of the commodities they purchase rather than worrying about the source of these products. Nowadays, a majority of our products are imported from foreign countries imbued with excellent marketing gimmicks that they use to profiteer from such commodities. A case in point is the iPhone which is manufactured in China. Since China offers cheap labor, most industries have shifted base to China in order to cut labor costs. Therefore, the United States industrialists do their manufacturing with the aid of Chinese labor but export these products under the United States brand. The consumers think that such commodities like the iPhone originate from the United States, whereas they were engineered in China.
In the same breadth, the demand for Indian hair has escalated particularly among the United States womenfolk. Perhaps, women who use Indian hair are motivated by research which has credited Indian hair to be thicker than hair of Europeans but thinner than hair of the Chinese thus making it less predisposed to breaking. However, most women who wish to enhance their beauty are not cognizant of the danger that such hair presents transmission of infectious diseases. Besides, hair extensions like Indian hair may not be 100% Indian as the norm has it. In some instances, it is manufactured in a sweatshop by workers with poor remuneration and working conditions only to be branded as 100% Indian Hair as Ahmed (2012) calls it.
Moreover, some consumers buy these products because of their very low costs at the markets. The sellers of the so called 100% Indian hair mislead the buyers with the claim that they offer a lower cost for the commodities since profits from the sales of the said products are going to be donated to the military or for the homeless. Contrary to this claim, the manufacturers of such products are just profiteers from cheap labor. Such products are the efforts of poorly paid workers under ruthless conditions. As Ahmed (2012) writes, “It’s the same way people of color will go to Wal-Mart to buy their clothes without consciously thinking of the people of color who created the clothes in the sweatshop.”
In conclusion, it is appropriate for consumers to give a careful thought to the source of products before making a purchase since this will awaken their consciousness to the plight of those poorly treated laborers. In addition, being privy to information about the origin of products is a preventative measure against infectious diseases. Last but not least, this article by Ahmed (2012) elicits significant facts about the Indian hair that could alarm us to be active before we purchase anything.