5 MINUTES WITH AKUNNA NWALA-AKANO
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.