This Hairstylist is Collecting Hair From the Dump for Extensions

And yes, her customers know!

People are getting pretty desperate in this economy. To the point where people are even dumpster diving for hair extensions in Nairobi. Yes, scavenging for used hair extensions.

A hairstylist in Nairobi, Kenya Julia Wanja revealed that she’s been dumpster diving for used hair extensions. So what happens to these used hair extensions picked up from Nairobi’s Dandora dumpsite? They get washed and resold to customers.


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Why would anyone resort to using used hair extensions salvaged from the dumpster? With the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic situation isn’t looking too good in most places. With fewer clients with less money, this stylist is cutting down costs like any business.

“I have fewer customers, … If you are not going to work, there is no need to style your hair.”

But is it safe to used extensions from the trash even if you do sanitize them? Julia Wanja told Reuters that domestic and commercial waste – which includes bags of hair extensions are disposed of in different sections. While medical waste is usually incinerated.

Does that really help ease concerns about contamination? To allay these fears, Julia says she cleans the extensions using detergent, Dettol, and hot water. Apparently, her customers trust she’s cleaned the used hair well enough.

It also turns out that Julia Wanja hasn’t started thrifting recently. She’s been doing this as far back as 2008.

“New hair is more expensive than second-hand hair, … People don’t have money.”

So as long as it looks clean and new, customers roll with it. Although a few like to clean it themselves as well. This took the term ‘beauty is pain’ to beauty is just scary and irrational.