- Title: NIGERIA: Wigs and weaves - A multi-million dollar business in Nigeria
- Date: 12th December 2011
- Summary: MODELS ON THE CATWALK
- Embargoed: 27th December 2011 12:00
- Location: Nigeria, Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Business,Fashion,Industry
- Reuters ID: LVADXR31PZOGBC1AC220ST6HM6RD
- Story Text: Wigs and weaves have become the biggest money makers in Nigeria, in an industry dominated mostly by Asian-based companies.
As the countdown for the end of the year season begins and the Christmas mood sets in, most hair salons and beauty parlours in cities like Lagos are a flurry of activity as customers seek to modify their looks with new hairstyles and wigs.
Flora Edward, a resident of Lagos and a fan of artificial hair extensions said a woman's hair speaks volumes about her personality and style.
"The hair on a woman is the beauty, without the hair I am not sure one can be beautiful, so our hair is out pride, a woman has to make her hair," said Edward.
The scramble for quick cash from artificial or synthetic hair has seen several Asian-based companies from as far as China and Japan set up shop in places like Lagos where they make a roaring trade selling their products.
Companies such as Amigo, which invested tens of millions of dollars in machinery and structures in Lagos, produce everything from wigs and weaves to human hair extensions which are on high demand in the local market as well as in other African countries.
Some imported hair extensions have easily sold for as much as 1000 - 2500 US dollars and buyers are plenty. While others sell for more like 50 to 100 US dollars at a go.
Donna Oduro, brand manager at Amigo Hair, said the company had been in the country since 1998 and has witnessed unprecedented growth and today is market leader employing thousands of young Nigerians.
"Competition is fierce there is a lot of hair out there, different hair manufacturers out there, not just in Nigeria but also coming from abroad especially form China and now Korea, but we are the name that has been in the country for a while and our quality has been known so, the competition is good and we are well known in the Nigerian market," said Duro.
In order to retain their clientele and also attract new ones, hair companies such as Japanese run Kenekalon Hair division, have devised elaborate hairstyle exhibitions to showcase their products to the public.
Although many of the hairstyles showcased at such exhibition can not be worn every day, the organisers said, the aim was to show the audience how much could be done with braids, extensions or wigs.
Stephanie Okereke, Nollywwod actress and brand ambassador Kenekalon Hair said she believed wigs and weaves were here to stay.
"Yeah, the future is bright, I mean it is hair, women will continue to look glamourous, trends are going to change, fashion is going to change, people keep changing with time, so its going to look really nice," said Okoreke.
Hedesuki Amachi, general a manager Kenekalon Hair said his company intends to expand production in various parts of Nigeria. At present the company is producing only in Lagos.
"Nigerian market is the biggest market in Africa, and we introduced first braids, weaves and now Pro10 (synthetic hair)," said Amachi.
Other exotic and expensive hair extensions and wigs include those made from Brazilian hair and Indian hair.
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