When it comes to beauty and “packaging”, human hair wigs and weaves have been a huge part of the conversation. It is a known fact that Nigerian women love their quality wigs whether it be body wave, bone straight, blunt cut bob, you name it. I’m sure every woman can remember the time they got their first ‘big girl’ wig and how symbolic that moment felt. This goes to show that in our community it is more than just hair, it’s a lifestyle. However, with beauty and fashion getting more experimental and hair technology simultaneously getting more advanced, synthetic hair that was once frowned upon for being too rubbery or low in quality, is now quickly becoming the go to for many women looking to slay on a budget.
We spoke with Adaobi Aida Agwuna, founder of luxury synthetic hair brand Queen Of Heads. She spilled all the tea on how to navigate the hair industry here in Nigeria, the integral part of haircare when it comes to self-care for us as women of colour and her best tips for looking after synthetic hair. Enjoy!
Hi Adaobi! Tell Me About Yourself?
My name is Adaobi Agwuna. I am a digital artist, linguist and the proud owner of a luxury synthetic hair brand that specializes in wigs called, ‘Queen of heads’.
What Made You Want To Start Your Luxury Synthetic Hair Brand, ‘Queen Of Heads’?
I have an obsession with looking good at all times which is something my glamorous mother instilled in me from a very young age and a huge part of it for me has always been my hair.
I moved to Beijing, China at the age of sixteen and instantly got immersed in the diverse expatriate community there, more so the black community. We loved dressing up and looking our best and our hair was a huge part of that. This meant we were always budgeting and on the lookout for realistic looking wigs. I discovered synthetic wigs during my time in China and since then have experimented with hundreds of textures to find what looks most like human hair.
My synthetic hair brand, ‘Queen of Heads’ launched in 2020 and it is simply my way of answering the question I have been asked the most in my entire existence, “where did you get your wig from?”.
What An Amazing Journey You’ve Had So Far! Why Did You Decide To Name Your Brand, ‘Queen Of Heads’ ?
The whole essence behind my brand name is simply me putting women on to high quality and affordable wigs through the products we sell. I am the Queen of Heads, let me fix your crown.
As An Artist And Entrepreneur, I Am Sure Your Schedule Must Be Crazy. What Does A Typical Day In The Life Of Aida Look Like?
My schedule has gotten a lot more hectic now that I am more focused on growing my business and my own personal development journey! Fun fact, during the day I work at an oil and gas company. When the day winds down I typically head home to pack orders and create content for Queen Of Heads. I spend most evenings working out and weekends visiting art galleries with friends or finishing up commissioned paintings.
What Is Something People Will Be Surprised To Know About You?
I speak five languages; Igbo, French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish, but the real tea is I am allergic to alcohol, so I get hives when I drink.
What Would You Say Is The Best And Most Challenging Thing About Running Your Own Hair Business?
The most challenging part about running a hair business for me has been figuring out logistics. The hair we sell is sourced from Japan and China, so it can be challenging to get orders delivered in a timely manner.
The best part about running my own hair business is definitely my clients’ reactions when they receive their hair orders. They sometimes cannot believe it is not human hair and it is the most satisfying feeling ever!
Why Do You Think Hair Care Is An Important Part Of The Conversation When It Comes To Self-Care?
As a black woman, I think hair care is a huge part of loving and caring for myself. Taking care of our natural hair as well as buying wigs and weaves are things we should see as a way of doing nice things for ourselves.
If You’re Stuck On A Deserted Island And Can Only Bring One Beauty Product With You, What Will It Be?
Smart Choice! If You Could Be Any Wig From Your Collection, What Type Of Wig Would It Be and Why?
If I were a wig, I would be a blonde body wave wig, preferably a frontal and definitely thirty inches. Any blonde wig is simply iconic and exudes confidence. If I were a wig from my brand, I would be our bestselling blonde unit called ‘Skyler’, it’s my favourite wig!
What Is The Creation Process Of A ‘Queen of Heads’ Wig Once An Order Is Placed?
Once an order is placed, the wig is plucked to perfection and lace is tinted by request. We offer three different curl patterns for most of our wigs, so the wig is also styled based on the request of our customer and then it’s shipped out.
I am working on some new products asides wigs and we are currently in the quality testing phase. I am taking my time with it until I can guarantee top notch quality. My desire is to provide nothing but the absolute best for our customers.
I Love This Energy! What Is Something You Wish You Knew Before Starting Your Luxury Synthetic Hair Brand?
While the journey of running my own luxury synthetic hair brand has been amazing so far, I wish I knew more about the accounting aspect of running a business. I have improved tremendously in recent times, but when I first started out I did not have a good grasp on money management and tracking expenses.
Human hair Is A Big Part Of The Beauty Culture Here In Nigeria, Why Do You Think Every Woman Needs To Give Synthetic Hair A Try?
Synthetic hair gives women a budget-friendly way to experiment and be versatile with their style. Also, it allows women switch up their appearance at any time which is what we stand for. Hair is an important component when pulling any look together and synthetic hair gives us a fun, pocket friendly way to do just that.
What Is Your Best Tip For Looking After Synthetic Hair?
The importance of keeping your hair stored properly after use cannot be overemphasized as it prevents frizz. Although my line of luxury synthetic wigs do not tangle like regular synthetic hair does, friction is fibres greatest enemy.
“Synthetic Hair Doesn’t Last And Isn’t Comparable To Human Hair” Would You Say This Is A Myth Or Fact?
This was a fact for a very long time, but hair technology has become more advanced and the quality of synthetic hair has significantly improved as a result of that. Brands like mine are here to change the narrative.
If Not For ‘Queen Of Heads’ And Your Passion For Art, What Will You Be Doing Right Now?
I would most likely be working for a non-governmental organization somewhere in the world putting my linguistic skills to use.
You’re Serving Face And Body On Your Instagram! What Tips And Advice Can You Give To Anyone Looking To Build Up Their Self-Confidence?
Honestly, live for you and live in the present. I have always been plus size and have always been confident, but in my weakest moments I always come back to this statement, “your confidence can’t be broken when you live on your own terms”.
What Advice Can You Give To Anyone Looking To Break Into The Hair Industry?
Treat your clients like royalty! Providing quality customer service is very important. A lot of our new customers are through referrals and it speaks volumes. The hair industry is oversaturated and the one sure way to stand out is through your service whether good or bad.
The ladies that shop from ‘Queen Of Heads’ leave feeling hotter because the brand is centered around just that, a community of women that look and feel hot when they wear new hair.
What Can We Expect To See From ‘Queen Of Heads’ In 2022?
In the coming year, we are working towards growing our reach and catering to a bigger audience as well as releasing new products. I am also working on a partnership with an Alopecia foundation but it’s hush hush at the moment.
I have dealt with hair loss in the past and would like to give back to a cause very dear to my heart.