The alibaba.com website reports a 160 per cent increase in searches for “human hair” in the past year. The USA, China and Britain are the three largest international buyers. Ms Ellery said the rise of social media websites is one reason behind the success of the industry, saying: "It's really driven by things like Facebook and Twitter, tabloids and magazines. Women want to be more and more glamorous, as a result of this big celebrity culture." She added that the cost of human hair is also rising with its demand: "In the last 10 years, it's tripled, doubled and tripled again." Alibaba says blonde is the most popular color because it can be easily dyed to match the customer’s own natural color. It says wavy is the biggest-selling texture, recently overtaking straight hair.