Let's talk!

This Nigerian Hair Trend Is Making Indian Wigs Trendy Again

  • click to rate

    This Nigerian Hair Trend Is Making Indian Wigs Trendy Again

    A few years ago, I was getting ready to go get a haircut when my father, who was visiting from Nigeria where he worked, asked me to keep the hair I’d chop off and bring it back to him. “He’s got to be kidding,” I thought. Turns out, he wasn’t.To get more news about human hair wigs, you can visit monavirginhair.com official website.

    My dad actually wanted to gift my chopped-off hair to a friend who could then wear it. Now, if someone gifted me human hair, we probably wouldn’t be friends anymore. But in Nigeria, where women spend hundreds of dollars on wigs, weaves and hair extensions to get their hair to look the way they want, it makes for a gift few other things can match. The demand in Nigeria, and other African countries, is such that some estimates place the value of Africa’s dry hair market at over $6 billion a year, and growing quite rapidly.
    With its annual exports of human hair weighing in at about 4,000 tonnes, earning $800 million annually, India has always been one of the biggest players in the dry hair industry worldwide. Now, a new trend has made “bone straight” hair the hottest hairstyle among Nigerian women, in turn causing the demand for Indian hair to shoot up.

    A friend running a hair transformation business in the city of Lagos in Nigeria tells me, “Right now there is a lot of hype around it, especially with what I like to call the ‘bone straight syndrome’. If you don’t have hair in that style, you’re not really on trend.”

    Bone straight hair is hair that is dead straight, appears flat from the top to the bottom, and cannot be curled using any tools.

    “The bone straight hair trend started after a show called Big Brother Naija [the Nigerian version of the Big Brother franchise] took place last year. A lot of the housemates had bone straight hair and people loved the way they looked with it,” Anne Ogechi, the 23-year-old founder of Marvic Empire, a human hair business that deals in the import and sales of authentic human hair in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, tells VICE. “When hair vendors noticed this trend, they started promoting this hair a lot and people just caught on to it. There is also the impression that a lady with bone straight hair is classier than one without it as the bone straight hair gives a certain look.”

    The overwhelming demand has made bone straight wigs the most expensive in the market, costing anywhere between 50,000-300,000 naira per wig (approximately $157-787). The women who can afford to shell out these big bucks also demand equally high quality products, which is what Indian hair is known for.

    “In general, there is a demand for hair of Asian origin because it is naturally straight hair that hasn't been processed to stay straight,” says 34-year-old wigs and hair colour expert Fatimah Akinsanya, who’s also the founder of Hairapy Wigs and Hair Extensions in Lagos.

    Indian hair especially is known to be lush and bouncy, making it possible for those in the business to manipulate it in any way they want. Apart from straight, five other types of Indian hair are sold—curly, natural wave, bulk hair, deep wave and wavy. The variety and versatility have also caused people to accord a certain level of trust in hair sourced from India, since they know what they’re getting is unique and worth the high price they’re paying. However, the secret to why hair from India is more popular than that from its many emerging competitors also lies in where it originates.

    Most of the hair that is exported from India comes from temples and salons. At the Venkateswara Temple, in the hill town of Tirumala in Tirupati, a city in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, 1,320 barbers shave an average of 40 heads per day. It is common for Hindu believers to tonsure their hair at a temple as a young child, and also to celebrate a wish coming true, such as the birth of a baby or the curing of an illness. The hair so collected is preserved, segregated based on size and density, and auctioned off by the temple trust. In February 2019, one such auction brought in $1.6m from 157 tons of hair.

Recent Blog Entries

View All