Not since Good Hair has a documentary on extensions drummed up as much attention as Just Extensions, a new film that follows chain salon owner Riqua Hailes journey to get to the truth about weaves.
There’s little a die-hard weave wearer won’t do or pay for a virgin hair selection of their choice which is expected to last weeks at a time and be reused several times over, but when one of Hailes’ clients returned to her LA shop a month after her install with a matted, tangled mess, the beautician decided she needed to get to the bottom of the products she was buying and using in her shop.
“I’m not going to pay $10,000 for $200 hair extensions,” Hailes told Refinery 29 in an interview. “I picked up the phone, I told China I was getting on the plane, and then I went, and I brought the girl.”
According to the site, that was the move that birthed Just Extensions, chronicling Hailes’ journey throughout India, Peru, Brazil, Cambodia, and China to see just who was making these expensive weaves and how. The documentary brings out a myriad of emotions as you watch “workers dump ‘fallen hair’ — the strands and split ends that flutter off women’s heads every day — into buckets where they’re soaked in germ-killing acid. Later, they’re mixed with synthetic fibers to create extensions marketed as Brazilian or Indian hair.” In contrast, you see men, women, and children come to temple to have their heads shaved and the hair auctioned off just so they can eat.
“To have so much faith that I’m going to cut my hair, cut my children’s hair, because I believe they’re going to be blessed by God — they have no idea where their hair is going,” Hailes said.
Check out the trailer for Just Extensions below and tell us what you think. The full documentary will be available on iTunes October 21.
Images: Just Extensions