Chinese demand for Myanmar hair generates job growth

RESIDENTS of Yindaw Village, located beside the Meiktila Kanna Road in Pyawbwe Township, Mandalay Region, and other villages in the vicinity, have reported that sales of Myanmar hair are up because of Chinese demand.
Wholesalers of human hair opened up in the Mandalay villages, exporting hair to China to be used in the production of historical movies and soap operas.
“We’ve opened a human hair wholesale market on the ground floor of our home, where we pay K30,000 a month in rent. Just as we export the hair to China, some Chinese buyers come in person to purchase from us directly,” said Ko Win Khaing, a human hair wholesaler from Yindaw Village.
Human hair enterprises have provided a form of employment for local women who work to untangle and straighten 160 grams of hair between 7am and 5pm daily, for which they are paid a daily wage.
“A worker has to untangle two bundles of hair per day. In the past, one could receive K500 for the untangling of one bundle of hair, but there’s more competition these days. As more wholesalers have opened up, one can get K1,000 for a bundle. Since this kind of employment can be practiced at home, it allows workers to untangle at their leisure,” said Ma Phyu Pya, a worker in the human hair business.
The wholesalers buy the hair they sell to China from human hair traders around the country.
The business of buying and selling human hair started in Mandalay Region in 2015. There were initially just four hair wholesalers in Yindaw Village, but now there are over 20 wholesalers.—Myitmakha News Agency

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