YANGON (Reuters) – Beard helps to pay the hire for Za Za Lin, whose eyes abounding with tears as her continued black mane was combed, cut, and untangled by accomplished easily at a roadside bazaar arrest in Myanmar’s bartering hub of Yangon.
The capacity of Thidar Win’s bag afterwards a day of beard accession are apparent in a apple in Yangon, Myanmar August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang
“It abandoned hurts a little,” said the 15-year-old, as beard client Zin Mar handed over the agnate of $13 for the 20 inches (51 cm) of hair she sheared off, almost the minimum account allowance in Myanmar.
“It was time to pay the rent,” she said.
On the added ancillary of the world, the hair, candy and repackaged as “raw Burmese hair”, will advertise for hundreds of dollars to consumers clamoring for wigs and extensions fabricated from the approved material.
Long beard is admired as a mark of adorableness and has abysmal religious acceptation in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, area monks and nuns barber their active as a assurance of humility.
“People from all over the apple want hair from our country, because aback you absterge and condition it, it shines with the blush of pearls,” said Win Ko, a 23-year-old who buys beard from individuals and baby suppliers such as those at the market.
Although the barter in human hair dates aback centuries, abandoned in the aftermost decade or so, as Myanmar has opened up to the alfresco world, accept its bodies amorphous to butt the bread-and-butter opportunity.
The country aforetime accepted as Burma now sits at the affection of a multi-million dollar industry. Since 2010, it has quadrupled the aggregate of beard it ships anniversary year to become the world’s fourth better exporter, the United Nations says.
In 2017 alone, Myanmar becoming $6.2 actor from the consign of beard agnate to the weight of 1,160 average-size cars.
The barter has fatigued in accoutrements who source, process, and consign hair, whether from atrocious bodies like Za Za Lin or bought by the kilo in the anatomy of arenaceous hairballs.
Once gathered, the hair travels from vendors to factories to be untangled, combed, washed, and repackaged afore actuality shipped, mostly to China, to become extensions and wigs.
Firm numbers are adamantine to appear by in the abundantly able industry, but Min Zaw Oo of Tet Nay Lin, a beard trading business started in the mid-2000s, says he sells mostly to atramentous women in Britain, Nigeria, South Africa, and the United States.