BY CHIOMA IWUNZE-IBIAM
There are business opportunities all over and I’m always looking to spot them. I was shopping in a big department store when a young lady said hello and handed me a flyer. Replying her hello, I collected the flyer and frowned at its content. Who wanted to buy a hair relaxer when I hadn’t yet recovered from the years of scalp burns and follicle damage these chemicals had caused me? Politely, I declined. I knew I would have welcomed a natural hair product more.
The natural hair revival is at its peak and this fashion trend isn’t going anywhere. Studies have shown that big beauty companies have experienced huge nosedives in profit due to poor hair relaxer sales. This means that more people are making healthier choices and choosing to spend their money on healthier beauty products. Business-minded people have begun cashing in on this trend. So, if you are a hair enthusiast and are interested in making some money, here are six business opportunities you can invest in.
MAKE OTHER PEOPLE’S HAIR (Or Even Your Own)
The hairstyling business is more profitable than it has ever been. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the USA, some salons and spas make as much as $46 billion annually. It’s the same for beauticians everywhere in the world. The beauty business is certainly one worth getting into.
Before you get discouraged by the statistics of opening a big salon, start at home. Yes. You can style your own hair and showcase it on Instagram and Facebook. If your friends and relatives are always asking you to make their hair, it’s because there is a lack of knowledgeable stylists out there. My friends are often asking me to help them wash and deep-condition their hair, and that’s because many of the stylists around our area are rough and generally ignorant about handling unprocessed hair. If you’re like me, you can buy the right natural hair products and charge your home clients for your hair care services. It’s that easy. You can research more on the benefits of running a home-based business. We’re in a digital age, and most people now patronize businesses they find on the internet. This brings me to my next point.
VLOG AND BLOG ABOUT NATURAL HAIR
When I decided to transition to natural hair, I spent hours scouring YouTube channels and Google-searching natural hair blogs. I did this everything I felt discouraged, confused and needed relatable anecdotes to lift my spirits. And daily, many people are searching for information and solutions. Some white women with half-black kids often don’t know how to handle kinky hair or what products to buy.
One of the great aspects of vlogging or blogging is the immense potential to rake in huge profits from adverts. Beauty companies can advertise their products on your blog or pay for sponsored posts and/or sessions. And the only place you can go is up.
It’s as simple as setting up an account and putting up your thoughts. As your followership grows, you can consider exploring bigger partnerships as well as re-strategizing and expanding your current business model. In no time, you’ll be making a lot of money.
CONSTRUCT AND SELL NATURAL HAIR ACCESSORIES AND EQUIPMENT
Many creative accessories, tools and equipment have been invented since the advent of the natural hair movement. From heat-free straightening devices to turbans/satin head covers, naturals are often seeking hair equipment that protect their strands and follicles from the elements. Hair accessories as we know them are changing. Who knew fascinators would ever come back in style? But they’re trending.
If you’d always liked experimenting with technological inventions, perhaps you should pay attention to the natural hair market. What styling tools do they need to style their curly hair? There is a large market out there and very few accessories and tools to go round.
Buying and selling available natural hair styling tools is another option. With the myriads of natural hair salons springing up, you’ll always find buyers. It’s easier to start with hair sponges for twisting and curling natural hair. Both DIY stylists, barber shops and hair salons need this equipment for creating curls throughout short and medium length hair. Crochet hooks, natural hair steamers and satin pillowcases are simple tools you can investing in.
Get some bloggers and celebrities to talk about your inventions and products and you’ll be rolling in good money.
SELL NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS
It’s easier to sell natural hair products when you belong to a vibrant natural hair community or when you have a huge following on social media. But if you don’t have any of these, you can always start.
Don’t be afraid to start small. I know a banker who was selling natural hair shampoos, conditioners, hair butters, oils leave-in conditioners and so on from the trunk of her car. She would often send pictures of her latest products to her Whatsapp followers, and people kept buying for themselves and people they knew.
Alternatively, you can contribute guest posts on popular blogs discussing the benefits of each natural hair product. If you can’t write, hire someone to ghost write for you. Make sure your name and contact details appear at the bottom of the post. People who need advice will gladly call you to ship products to them.
ORGANISE AND/OR PARTICIPATE IN NATURAL HAIR FAIRS AND MEET-UPS
If you’re often planning church events, baby showers and other events, you might want to channel your creativity into the natural hair industry. Plan a party.
Brides-to-be, mothers, fashion fads, working class women and beauticians often troop to hair fairs for different reasons. Some want to learn, while others what to buy, sell and socialize. Grab every opportunity to create this space. One of my friends found her preferred wedding hairstyle at one of these popular natural hair events in Lagos. Many more people travel long distances to attend them.
If there isn’t any meet up where you live, you can form one, and you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of people who will turn up. If you have to pay for a venue and other logistics, try getting sponsors or charge entry fees. It’s that simple.
It is important to consider that event planning requires a lot of experience and collaboration especially if you intend to rake in some sort of profit. It can be tricky too, especially since you’ll have to pay for the venue and entertainment well ahead of time. Be careful not to overprice the tickets too so that you don’t scare people away.
With proper planning, you could succeed. Partner with other naturals in your neighborhood and who knows? You could have the most successful fashion show, expo or meet-up ever!
SELL NATURAL HAIR EXTENSIONS
One thing every natural wants is to wear a protective style that gives them the trendy natural look. This need led to the debut of unique hair extensions as crochet braids, Havana twists and kinky afros. These extensions come in different lengths, textures and colors and are constantly in high demand.
The best part is that they are light and you can sell them from the comfort of your home. Use social media to advertise them. You can rake in hundreds of thousands of bucks each month.
Why not give it a shot?
Don’t be afraid to join the money-makers of the natural hair movement. You could be the next millionaire.