Nigeria’s beauty industry has experienced impressive growth in recent years, and it is largely buoyed by patronage from the emerging young population which places a premium on ‘packaging’ (looking good). Despite the struggling economy, the demand for skin care products, oral care, hair treatments and body enhancement products have been on the rise.
Even in biblical times, hair has been viewed as the “crowning glory” of women and this is more so for the modern woman, who would not mind spending a small fortune to ensure that her hair looks trendy and makes her “slay” at all occasions.
Suzzy is a graduate from a state university in the eastern part of the country and like most young Nigerian graduates, her initial desire was to get a high paying job in Lagos. After her mandatory one-year youth service program, she decided to join her sister in Lagos in search of that job, but after several job interviews without landing one, she decided to embark on a “mini” hustle, to provide her with little income for keeping body and soul together. Her decision to venture into this hustle later paid off, thanks to fact that it required very little capital to start. Welcome to the business of hair attachments.
Setting up a hair attachment business
My visit to Suzzy’s fairly large and well-ventilated shop, located along the streets of the popular Ikeja Under Bridge, provided insights on this lucrative business.
According to her, this is a business one can start with modest capital after paying for space/shop. The volume of capital one invests in buying a variety of stocks would invariably have a positive return on investment. She also noted that it is wiser to invest in a wide range of hair attachments to ensure patronage from customers with different preferences.
“When you start with N500,000 to purchase a wide variety of hair attachments, sales are expected to move faster in the market. As you can see, I have several young girls and boys that help me with the braiding of wigs for sale.”
The increased patronage in the Nigerian market space has caused an increase in the variety of hair attachments available in the market. These include Amigo attachments, Brazilian hair, Expression attachments, human hair, Indian hair, Peruvian hair, just to mention few.
Interestingly, these attachments come in different lengths, and colors, and as such, their prices vary. The prices range from N20,000 for the lesser brands to as high as N200,000, depending on where they are imported from and length. However, the popular Expression attachments are sold for between N800 and N5,000.
Leveraging on Social media for sales
Several other young ladies like Suzzy who are into the business of making wigs and selling hair attachments also leverage on social media platforms to advertise and sell their services to potential customers. Most shop owners now have bike riders that help in making deliveries to the doorsteps of customers.
Another shop owner, Mrs. Sonariwo Emiola who owns an outlet in the upscale Opebi Area, acknowledged the impact of social media platforms (Instagram and Twitter) on the business.
According to her:
“I now get more orders from my online followers, both on Instagram and Twitter and most of them prefer home delivery services which has further helped my business grow.”
Speaking on the age bracket of her customers, she noted that single young ladies form the largest portion of her customers, though married women as well come to buy hair attachments and also for their beauty routine appointments.
Competition among different brands
With an increasing patronage in the country, competition among different attachment brands has become stiffer. The market is dominated by a few well known local brands. However, there is a mixture of local and foreign participation in the hair business.
Pricing is also a major factor for most customers when choosing the brand of choice. While most young ladies prefer to go for expensive human hair, older women prefer to use the less expensive brands. In the hair business, quality goes a long way towards compensating for higher prices in the mind of many Nigerian buyers.
Advertising is a major strategy employed by different attachment brands. The traditional media houses offer platforms for pushing their brands. Recently, web-based advertisement campaigns and brand endorsements by popular celebrities and social media influencers have become very important.
No doubt, the online frontier is now an indispensable platform for most hair sellers looking for more sales and patronage. The business of hair attachments will continue to grow as more Nigerian ladies become more sophisticated and grow into the middle class.