Ex-SPICE GIRL Victoria Beckham is at the centre of an exploitative trade in human hair that enables her to enjoy wearing hair extensions.

The singer, 29, spends $45,000 (GBP25,000) a year to help achieve her glamorous image - but it has been revealed that the hair comes from Siberian women hacking it off in exchange for food.

The human hair trade is still largely unregulated and in Russia - even hair from corpses is offered for sale. Celebrities such as Beckham and LOVE ACTUALLY star Martine McCutcheon have helped the human hair trade to double in three years.

In Britain, FELENY GEORGHIOU runs a salon called CONNECT and is considered the guru of natural hair extensions. Clients of the North London salon include singer Lulu and TV presenter Carol Vorderman.

It can take up to six hours to lengthen hair with extensions and can cost $1,134.00 (GBP630).

18/02/2004 17:11