Friday, April 11, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Well, here is the strangest article I've come across today. It's from December 25, 1910:
Due to the cutting off of their top-knots by the Koreans.

There is a glut in human hair, and its cause is a political one – the annexation of Korea by the Japanese. Since that event, so many Koreans have cut off their “top-knots” that in one small town over ten new barbers’ shops have been opened, and the price of human hair has fallen so much that the best quality is now selling at 20 cents an ounce, the former price of the cheapest, and cheap varieties are now fetching only 12 cents.

“The average amount spent on false hair by a ‘smart’ woman is $100 to $150 a year,” a well-known ladies hairdresser said, “and she usually has $8 of foreign hair on her head at a time. This glut of Korean hair will probably so cheapen curls, switches, &c., as to bring them within the reach of all.”
The rest of the article is here.

You have to wonder how much Korean hair was used by the wig industry prior to this. To be sure, many decades later, in the 1960s and 70s, many Korean companies focused on textiles and wig-making. In fact, a strike by female workers at the YH trading company, which made wigs, set off a chain of events which led to Park Chung-hee's death, and all that followed it.


Anonymous said...

Hey, if you're available tomorrow, SeoulSteves is getting people together to test out Seoul's new UTour system in Myongdong. It should be fun, but we need more people (shooting for 10-20), so we're spreading the word.


matt said...

I'll be in Sokcho then, actually...

Anonymous said...

I was in Sockcho on Sunday, bugger!