Aye Aye Thein, a hair trader at Yangon's Insein market.

Untangling Myanmar's trade in human hair

Updated 6:38 PM ET, Wed May 16, 2018

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Story highlights

  • Myanmar is a major source of human hair, feeding the global demand for wigs, weaves and hair extensions
  • But as the nation grows richer, there are fears that fewer women are willing to part with their locks

Yangon, Myanmar (CNN)Aye Aye Thein, 55, cuts hair for a living at Insein market in the north of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city.

But unlike most hairdressers, she doesn't charge her customers. Instead, she pays them.
The country is a major source of human hair, feeding the global demand for wigs, weaves and hair extensions.
"Myanmar hair is the softest, most sought-after hair in Asia," said Aye Aye Thein, whose hair stall is nestled between those of a greengrocer and a betel nut seller.