Where does the hair originate?

We source our hair exclusively from India. More specifically, the hair comes from several temples in the southern region of Tamil Nadu, where hair tonsuring is done on a regular basis as religious practice.  

What is Tonsuring?

Tonsuring is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair on the scalp, as a sign of religious devotion or humility.

In the context of Hinduism, the practice can be seen in a number of instances. Examples include the Chudakarana, the tonsuring of the hair performed either in the first or the third year of a child's life.   In the temple town of Tirupathi in Southern India, thousands of men and women tonsure their hair each day in a show of gratitude and respect to Venkateswara for favors received.

What else is the hair used for?

Prior to the rise of hair extensions and wigs, the donated hair was often used in a variety of ways. This included the manufacturing of automobile oil filters and the filling of mattresses. Today, the shorter tonsured hair is often used to aid in oil spill clean ups and is also key additive ingredient in the creation of food condiments.

Historically, the hair that could be used was simply given away and the rest was burned. However, the growing production of wigs and hair extensions has created a market for the donated hair.

Where does the money go?

Given that tonsuring is a devotional practice, those donating their hair do not receive monetary payment. However, the temple does sell the hair in an auction process.

The temple uses a small portion of the auction proceeds to fund regular upkeep of the temple and pays the wages of the many barbers and other employees.

The remaining proceeds are invested into the local community through the funding of various charity programs that provide medical aid, education, food, and critical infrastructure projects that support those in need.

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