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


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  • Kels99

    Black women better hope this doesn’t become common knowledge. This is embarrassing. Yes, all races of women wear fake hair, but we know we are the ones are tagged as the wig and weave wearers.

    • Ms. A

      We are negatively portrayed whether we wore weaves or not – I won’t allow stereotypes define me. Braids, Afro or Weaves are deemed “ghetto” on a Black woman’s head. Ever heard of Luxy Hair – Sarah, Maggy and Rachel love weaves too. If only there were people of color who produced weaves stateside where we at least have quality control. I only know of a few Black owned businesses that produce Kanekelon – RastAFri is one.

    • RaiseTheBar

      “…people of color who produced weaves stateside where we at least have quality control.”

      Call to ENTREPRENEURS!

  • Zorino

    Smh @ ppl still wearing weaves, hair extensions, wigs whatever you wanna call it.

  • D1Mind

    When the dominant society who have plenty of people who have millions of dollars and control of the economics, wealth and infrastructure of the nation wears weaves that is one thing. When black folks who are on the very bottom of the ladder do it to look like a million bucks it is something different. Black people or ‘people of color’ from 3rd world countries cutting off their hair so other folks (black folks) can wear hair that is not naturally straight to look ‘good’. Welcome to global plantation 4.0.

  • Peaches

    I’m all for educating yourselves about where you spend your money and practices that produce your goods- however, for people calling on Black women to “stop wearing weaves” so that “they’ll respect us” need to have several seats.

    Whether our hair has been straight, braided, natural, weaves, etc. we have still faced the same issues.
    Civil rights leaders of the 60s were the model “respectable” Black men and we still see how that ended.

    Let’s stop letting other people police us. No matter how many suits we wear, straighten (or not straighten) or hair, talk “proper English”, and all that other stuff some people will still take issue with us.

    Black women, Wwhatever you want, heII its your head! If a wig was good enough for the queens of Egypt, it’s good enough for me too. Nothing new under the sun.