It seems odd, especially in these days of Brexit and the notion of standing on our own and "taking control," just how much of what we need and use in our day-to-day lives comes from abroad. After all, we make very little these days in the UK and, because we do not have the vast resources and industrial diversity of, say the USA or Russia, we have to rely on importing goods from locations all across the globe.
And if there is one place, more than any other that we rely on, especially at the less expensive end of the spectrum, it is China. From cleaning products to sportswear, home appliances to artificial flowers, furniture to baby strollers, the amount and diversity of imports from this eastern powerhouse is mind-boggling.
But why do they have such a reputation for their products being cheap and less reliable? It's a legacy of the past, one built on plastic toys and low-end clothing but all that has changed.
Once synonymous with low-cost items, which it follows will be of lesser quality, the Chinese manufacturing sector has matured massively in recent decades and now China produces about 80% of the world’s air-conditioners, 70% of its mobile phones and 60% of its shoes as well as doing vast volumes of supply for top brands such as Armani, Coach and Apple. Hardly companies that you would associate with the term “low quality.”
And if Chinese products allow us to dress immaculately, live well and keep us hooked up with the latest technology, they also allow us to look great. The cosmetic and beautification sector has boomed in China in the last two decades, mainly due to Gen Z's (people born after about 1996) being very open about getting such procedures done, a topic of conversation which was seen as taboo in the past.
China, like many South-East Asian countries, has long supplied real hair to western clinics to be used for wig making and as extensions but now a whole new market is attracting people to travel to China itself. That of hair transplant surgery. Hair transplant surgeries here are available at a much more affordable rate than in many of their western counterparts, even places such as Turkey which has been the leading location in this sector for so long.
Usually, the hair transplant process is performed as a daycare procedure, and the patient will be discharged on the same day. Often this can take the form of a longer program, with a day either side in high-quality accommodation allowing for preparation and aftercare, after all, such procedures can be life-changing, especially mentally. The treatment may involve prescription drugs that should be taken after the hair transplant procedure to stimulate the growth of healthy hair follicles.
China might not be the first place that springs to mind when researching such procedures but the cost is generally very competitive, driven by the more modest standard of living that much of the country's economy is based on.
And of course, once you have finished, you then get the chance to explore this vast and most mysterious of country’s, taking in such wonders as The Great Wall and Beijing's Forbidden City - essentially an ancient city within a modern one - The Terracotta Army, Panda Breeding Centres, the beautiful Yangtze River and all manner of beautiful landscapes, vibrant urban locations and ancient marvels. And by the time you head back home, your new head of hair will be another attraction for you to marvel at.
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