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Hair extension business keeps on growing

HairExtension 600Whether the preference is weave or extensions, the process of lengthening or thickening hair crosses all color and ethnic lines. According to Clutch Magazine, the hair extension business is a $9 billion industry that has shown no signs of slowing.

Just as the hairstyles are creative, so are the many ways of entering the market. For example, entry can made via a brick-and-mortar store as a distributor or hair stylist or through an online presence or even through franchising and multilevel marketing.

Hair supplier

Selling the product can be a profitable endeavor. Knowing the difference between the types of hair is a requirement as a supplier. The first step is identifying the business model that will be used for the business.

Will the business be an ecommerce online store or a brick-and-mortar retail store? How much inventory will the store maintain on hand? Will the product be imported or obtained domestically? How and where will the product be stored? These are a few of the questions that have to be identified prior to starting the business.

To get the lowest prices, wholesale accounts should be established directly with international manufacturers. Ancillary products, which include thread, glue and needles, should be among the carried items and should add to the bottom line. Try to offer cosmetology clients a discount, if possible, since they represent consistent repeat business.


There are some creative franchising models that offer a $50 weave. The Weave Shop based in Atlanta is one example presenting franchising opportunities. According to Madame Noire, Latonya Saunderson has built a mini empire, with 18 locations spanning 8 states.

The Weave Shop website pitches franchising as providing corporate training programs, national accounts (which include strategic partnerships), mentorship with highly trained professionals, field training regarding operating the location, hiring initial staff, and marketing programs. Armed with a celebrity clientele, The Weave Shop is working its program and experiencing steady growth.

Multi-level marketing

Other business opportunities present themselves in the form of multi-level marketing. Videos are online that offer a percentage of the hair sales as well as a percentage of those that sign up to purchase underneath your original customers. Beware of the pyramid scams that can pop up in similar models. Do the research to make sure the company making the offer is reputable and trustworthy.

Hair stylist distributor

On a smaller scale, hair stylists are natural distributors of the weave or extensions for their regular customers.

With the appropriate distribution contacts, hair stylists can add to their revenue by supplying their clients products with a slight markup. This level of distribution is not as lucrative because the volume is not there. But overall, a little money is better than no money.

Hair to please

In the world of hair extensions, the types of hair include straight, curly, human, synthetic, long, short, black, brunette, blond, and/or red. Used for making extensions, braids, wigs, and hairpieces, the vast majority of the hair is imported from places such as Korea, China, Indonesian, India, Brazil, Europe and Malaysia.

Weave v. extensions

Hair weaves and extensions can add length and texture to a client's hair. Generally, a weave refers to human or synthetic hair added to natural hair. The additional hair may cover the entire head or part of the head. Weaves are usually either sewn or glued to cornrows or a cap over the cornrows. Extensions are attached to strands of hair either with a clamp or adhesive.

Human v. synthetic

Human hair tends to provide clients with the most natural look and feel. The hair is soft and moves naturally. It can be cut, styled and usually dyed to the client's preference.

Usually more expensive, human hair is more durable and if properly maintained can last at least one year. The drawback is that it requires daily maintenance just as natural hair would.

Many find it hard to tell the difference between human and synthetic hair. The higher quality synthetic hair makes it difficult to differentiate. The advantages to wearing synthetic hair include that it is usually styled already, requires less maintenance, and is typically less costly.

The disadvantages include that it is less versatile, usually cannot take much applied heat, and does not last as long as human hair. If the synthetic hair is maintained, it can last approximately six months.

(Contact Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 5308 Cottonwood Road, Suite 1A, Memphis, TN 38118, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)


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