Chris found the biggest moneymaker in the hair business to be weaves. Black women can spend six to eight hours getting their hair braided into tiny sections. Stylists then delicately attach tracks of hair—which can be simple extensions or full wigs—to the braids. "If you've got a weave, your scalp's like a beat up highway," Chris jokes.
Women who wear weaves stop by the salon for regular washes, conditioning and tightening, but the real expense lies with the hair itself. Chris says he was shocked to learn that regular women spend thousands of dollars on weaves—and even put them on layaway. "Janet Jackson spends $5,000 to go to the Grammys on her hair. I didn't know Kiki was spending $5,000 to go to AT&T and answer the phone," he says. "That was disturbing."
Chris discovered the hottest hair on the market is found in India, where human hair is the number two export behind software. "This is some of the worst poverty in the world," he says. "I don't think [people] know they're walking around with $1,000 on their head."
While in India, Chris witnessed a tonsuring ceremony at the Venkateswara Temple. Every year, more than 10 million people cut their hair off as an offering to the Hindu gods. "In India, hair is considered a vanity, and removing hair is considered an act of self-sacrifice," he says. "These people have no idea where their hair is going or how much it's worth. The money made at this temple is second only to the Vatican. The hair collected here is auctioned off to exporters who distribute it around the planet."