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Update on Kolinsky Hair Brushes

Alpha Brush

Posted on April 22 2021

Kolinsky hair prices have been dramatically increasing over the years. Unfortunately, there has been yet another enormous hike - 50% - and like many of you we have been asking, “Why?!”.

Kolinsky sable comes from the tail of the Siberian weasel and is said to cost three times as much as gold (by weight)!

Siberian weasels do not do well raised in captivity, so one of the primary reasons that Kolinsky hair is so expensive is that the animals have to be trapped - legally, of course - in order to obtain their hair.

These weasels are hunted sustainably under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) guidelines across Siberia and Manchuria. The harsh winters in Russia and Northern China cause the animal’s fur - especially the guard hairs from the tail, which is what is used to make brushes -  to be full, thick and incredibly strong.

Prices first began to increase in 2014 due to a controversial import ban of Kolinsky hair brushes in the United States and Canada. It was initially said that the Siberian weasels were endangered. However, the Siberian weasel population is actually known to be quite stable. The ban was lifted later that year, but importing now requires a rigorous permit process - from the trappers in Russia and China to the brush manufacturers in Europe to supply companies (like us!) in the United States and Canada. Therefore, prices never went back down.

The latest increase is all thanks to the pandemic and the state of the global economy. In fact, we have noticed price increases on all of our raw materials. According to The Institute for Supply Management manufacturers are dealing with substantial price increases and are even facing shortages in some areas. This is not only affecting the supply chain, but it is also affecting you, the consumer!

Of course, we aim for affordability and do not want you to be a starving nail artist. We know that there are less expensive brushes on the market - many of which claim to be 100% Kolinsky hair. We are not sure about their quality and sourcing, but we are CERTAIN about ours! Alpha Brush Kolinsky Hair Brushes are made of the finest quality hairs. Our Kolinsky hairs are re-dressed - meaning that they are thoroughly cleaned and baked to remove any impurity - so that our brushes perform exceptionally.

We hope that you will stick with us through this tumultuous time, because you deserve the best!

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