Image | Instagram User _terimarie Wearing Hair by AliPearl
If you’re into wigs, you’ve most likely heard of AliExpress and its infamous wig shops and sellers. The online shopping site is well known for offering a spectrum of products at a lower price than most other online retailers with full wig units on offer for less than £100. Prices like those on AliExpress can seem too good to be true and sometimes, they are. Read on for the truth about AliExpress and wigs.
What Is Aliexpress?
Created by Chinese multinational tech giant Alibaba in 2010, AliExpress prides itself on offering a variety of items at much cheaper prices than sites like Amazon. Something that might cost £10 on Amazon might only be £2 on AliExpress. And yes, that includes shipping. If you can think of it, AliExpress probably sells it; from clothing and beauty products to electronics, furniture and even cars, AliExpress has a lot to offer.
The catch? AliExpress is notorious for its long shipping timeframes. Even before Covid-19, waiting for a minimum of two weeks for AliExpress items was common and now with the added pressure of Coronavirus around the world, these timeframes are even longer.
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Instagram Post | Hair by AliExpress wig brand Julia Hair styled by Beautiful Hustler
Why Are AliExpress Wigs So Popular?
With one wig bought every two seconds, it’s clear AliExpress wigs are popular and you might be wondering why. The answer is simple: they’re cheap. With synthetic and human hair wigs available for less than £9 and £100 respectively, the wigs on the platform make for great affordable options. Add to that the fact that as interest in wigs around the world grows (read more about this in our blog) more people are using wigs as fashion accessories and a way to express themselves.
Much like you would match your shoes to your outfit, more people are matching their wigs to their fashions and moods which means the desire to own a variety of wigs is on the rise but with custom made wigs costing hundreds of pounds, building a wig wardrobe can get very pricey, very fast. Cue AliExpress and their affordably priced wigs.
According to a 2014 article by The Guardian, searching YouTube for the terms ‘AliExpress’ and ‘hair’ returned 77,200 video hits. Now in 2020, those same terms returned over 3million hits.
This increase in hits speaks volumes for how much the site’s popularity for wigs and hair has increased. Most of the increase in popularity can be credited to AliExpress wig sellers seeking out popular influencers and gifting them products in exchange for reviews leading to more exposure for said brands.
Video | Lisa Jemide's Video For AliExpress Wig Brand Nadula Hair
Why Are AliExpress Wigs So Affordable?
AliExpress cuts out this middleman by connecting buyers directly with the factories supplying, processing and making the wigs. By doing this, it means fewer costs are involved in the overall manufacturing process and the suppliers can sell their wigs to consumers at a lower price without losing out on profitability. It’s a win-win situation for both suppliers and consumers (but not so much the middleman).
Where Does The Hair Come From?
According to Global Times, most of the wigs sold on AliExpress in 2018 were made in Xuchang–a city in Central China. Despite the finished wigs coming from China, most of the hair used by the wig companies based in Xuchang came from India, Pakistan and Vietnam. However, hair can also be sourced from other locations including Peru.
Hair sourced in India, in particular, is known for coming from Hindu temples. In the hills of Andhra Pradesh, the Venkateswara Temple is known for welcoming up to 75,000 people each day who offer up their hair in exchange for blessings. Much of this hair is then auctioned off to be turned into wigs and other hairpieces. According to Ozy, the temple made over $1.6 million in February 2019.
Image | India Times
What Are The Best Tips For Shopping For A Wig On Aliexpress?
Be specific in your search. When shopping for a wig on the site, try to narrow your search down to exactly what you want. If you’re just after bundles, make sure you include things like the length and origin in your search. If you’re looking for a full unit, try including the style and colour. You’ll still get a lot of results back but it’s a good step in narrowing your search.
AliExpress also offers the option to show only sellers with an overall rating of four stars and up which can help you ensure you’re only buying from sellers who have a good reputation. No one wants to be scammed.
Ultimately, as you would with any website, it’s important to stay vigilant when ordering from AliExpress. Take the extra time to do your research on different sellers to find one which suits what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for more tips on how to avoid getting scammed online, read our previous blog on the subject.