Hair products such as wigs and false eyelashes have become Ireland’s fastest growing export, according to latest statistics.
The figures from the International Trade Centre show that Ireland is now exporting 330% more hair products than it was at the turn of the decade.
Other items within the hair product industry include flowers, feathers, pig bristles and badger hair!
Badger hair is used to make brushes and Irish companies now make up 8% of the global market for the product.
Foreign sales of badger hair and pig bristles bring in an impressive €3.5m into Ireland’s economy, with nearly three quarters (74%) coming from Spain.
Warren Logan from hair extension firm Hairspray.ie said: “I export hair all around the world, around €2million worth a year of extensions, wigs and eyelashes for the trade. There’s no manufacturing done here, we buy in the product and someone will order it from us.”
Logan went on to explain how competitive the industry had become and the nature of the problems that companies face.
He said: “We buy from Uzbekistan and places like that, the donors are getting fewer and fewer, but the demand has gone up fourfold while the sources have gone down considerably.
“Hair extensions are one of the biggest sellers on eBay, it’s a huge online industry.”
The hair product industry isn’t Ireland’s only sector to have achieved a significant growth in exports.
There has also been a huge increase in foreign sales of knitted or crocheted fabric (291%) and milling products (169%) since 2010.