New Zealand Herald reporter Olivia Carville shares her thoughts on her Black Gold investigation into the secret behind hair extensions sold in Kiwi salons.

Carville and photographer Mike Scott spent two weeks travelling thousands of kilometres across rural China to investigate the billion dollar global hair industry.

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Exposed: The truth behind hair extensions

Their journey took them to Taihe County - China's capital of hair - and into the factories which produce 5km of hair extensions a day, the markets where thousands of ponytails are peddled every week and out into the countryside where young girls are cutting their hair off for money. This is the story behind the story.