5 MIN­UTES WITH AKUNNA NWALA-AKANO

THISDAY Style - - CONTENT -

Akunna Nwala-Akano is a Lawyer turn hair stylist. Fondly known as Kuku to all, she is the founder of La­gos-based wig and ex­ten­sion de­sign sa­lon Kuku’s Hair, where she cre­ates cus­tom styles for celebs and her clients all around the world. She started out her hair busi­ness from her liv­ing room sell­ing to clients from the boot of her car and to­day the busi­ness has grown into a house­hold name in the hair in­dus­try. Why and when did you start Kuku’s hair and what were some of the chal­lenges you faced grow­ing into a house hold name in the hair in­dus­try busi­ness in Nigeria?

Kukushair was borne out of my love for beauty and aes­thet­ics and at the same time my search for that perfection in my looks... (Vain right??)

It started in 2009 right in my liv­ing room and trunk of my ve­hi­cle. The chal­lenges faced ini­tially was find­ing proper hair ven­dors, who weren’t fraud­u­lent, in­sis­tence on qual­ity and def­i­nitely that process led to a lot of losses. How­ever, I had a vi­sion and didn’t let it dis­cour­age me. Con­sis­tency in qual­ity with­out mak­ing a lot of noise and al­low­ing the prod­uct speak for it­self has brought us this far.

What are the dif­fer­ent type of hair ex­ten­sion you sell and which will you say are best sell­ers for the typ­i­cal black woman and why?

We have straight, wavy, curly hair. How­ever we have dif­fer­ent types of hair to match ev­ery woman’s bud­get, who is will­ing to in­vest in long last­ing hair.

Our best seller re­mains our sig­na­ture Kuku hair be­cause of it’s bounce and thick lus­cious look.

What will you say are three ma­jor fac­tors to look out for when buy­ing good hair ex­ten­sion? Dura­bil­ity Easy main­te­nance Lus­tre

What will you say is the ba­sic care re­quired to en­sure your hair ex­ten­sion last for a long time?

Tak­ing care of ex­ten­sions are just as good as tak­ing care of your own nat­u­ral hair. Sham­poo when its dirty, con­di­tion it and give it some good treat­ments ev­ery now and again. These days more peo­ple tend to make wigs out of their hu­man ex­ten­sions in­stead of the weave-on.

What are the wig op­tions avail­able and Kuku’s Hair? They are lim­it­less; just dream it we make it come to life!!

What makes Kuku’s Hair, dif­fer­ent from ev­ery other hair ex­ten­sions on the mar­ket?

The only way I can de­scribe it is in own­ing one. It’s an ex­pe­ri­ence and it gives me a lot of joy when other ven­dors use us as a point of ref­er­ence, our hair is guar­an­teed for five years and even more. 18

Tak­ing care of ex­ten­sions are just as good as tak­ing care of your own nat­u­ral hair. Sham­poo when its dirty, con­di­tion it and give it some good treat­ments ev­ery now and again.

And even hair ven­dors abroad have now re­sulted to telling lies about be­ing my sup­pli­ers.

We have our lit­tle col­lec­tion cen­ters in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in the world. So that gives us an edge over other ven­dors

You also own a hair and beauty sa­lon, how long did it take to open up your own space and why?

We opened two years into sell­ing ex­ten­sions, like I said my quest for perfection made me stum­ble into the best hands in the in­dus­try and with fur­ther train­ing from me per­son­ally I as­sem­bled a fan­tas­tic team that spins out all the beau­ti­ful pieces we adorn our beau­ti­ful clients with.

What ser­vices are avail­able to clients? The ser­vices ren­dered are

• Weave in­stal­la­tion and main­te­nance

• Wig Mak­ing and main­te­nance

• Ready to wear wigs

• Colour ser­vices

• Barb­ing Ser­vices

• Eye Lash ex­ten­sion Ser­vices

• Mini Spa Ser­vices

• Medical spa ser­vices

• Mas­sage Par­lor

• Preg­nancy Mas­sage

• Man­i­cure, Pedi­cure, Nail ex­ten­sions Ser­vices

Lash ex­ten­sion seems to be the new in thing with women but peo­ple have a gen­eral con­cep­tion that it dam­ages nat­u­ral lashes. Do you have treat­ments or main­te­nance pro­ce­dures to help grow or pre­vent the nat­u­ral lashes from fall­ing off while us­ing lash ex­ten­sions? Yes we do, we have pure mink lashes that weigh next to noth­ing to pre­vent that heavy weight that the fiber ones have on your nat­u­ral lashes. We make sure each lash is se­lected in­di­vid­u­ally to pre­vent any dam­age to your nat­u­ral lash.

Is your sa­lon by ap­point­ment only or can walk-ins to be ser­viced? Yes the sa­lon is by ap­point­ment, but walkin clients are also wel­come and they would be ser­viced as soon as an open­ing comes up.

Who will you say is an ideal Kuku’s hair woman and why?

The ideal Kukushair woman is ‘The Nar­cis­sis­tic Woman’. Nar­cis­sism is used in the con­text of the ex­treme self love and adu­la­tion.

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