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Despite poverty, fake hair is a $6 Billion industry in Africa


Despite coast to coast poverty, malnutrition, and reliance on foreign aid, sub-Saharan African women still manage to spend billions on fake hair.

In South Africa, Cameroon, and Nigeria, women spend several times more on fake hair, than they spend on hair care products like shampoo.

The demand for weaves, both synthetic and genuine human hair, is exploding in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, according Madam Noire, this amount of money is peanuts compared to what black women in the USA spend on their hair. They say black women in the United States are spending hundreds of billions a year on their hair. This includes salon visits, hair weaves, hair care products, and hair transplant surgery. Some women spend thousands of dollars just for premium grade human hair weaves. Madam Noire suggests that over half of the entire national purchasing power of black women in the USA, is being spent on personal grooming products.

From Madam Noire…

Indian beauty firms, specifically human hair sellers, are racking up the big bucks in Africa.  Because Indian hair is popular for its strength and texture, it’s highly sought-after commodity in Africa, where it is used for wigs or extensions. In fact, demand is so high that there is a push by many Indian companies to not only export hair, but to invest in hair care businesses in the continent itself.

No wonder these companies are expanding. The Indian hair export market is estimated to be worth about $393.5 million annually, with a yearly growth rate between 10 percent and 30 percent.

Africa is a prime market for Indian hair. Its dry hair market (the market for weaves, wigs, and extensions) is currently estimated to be worth $6 billion a year and booming. The market is so big that global giants such as Unilever and L’Oreal are investing heavily in African hair care products.