By Maureen Ojinaka, Enugu
Some hairstylists in Enugu metropolis have expressed worry over low patronage being expressed in their business a few days to the Christmas celebration.
A cross-section of the stylists said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Thursday that many prospective clients had shifted from braiding their hair to wearing artificial braided hair, wigs and weave-on.
They blamed the “unpleasant” development on the harsh economic realities in the country.
Mrs Chidimma Osondu, a hair salon operator at Mayor Market, said that the long duration of wigs and weave-on made them more preferable to weaving and braiding of hair.
“This development of preferring wigs to ordinary braiding and fixing of weave-on by most of our customers is worrisome to many hairstylists. The long duration of the wigs, artificial braided hair and increase in the price of hair-do have made our customers to look for alternatives.
“The situation is unpleasant and negatively affects our means of livelihood. It is becoming increasingly difficult for us to pay our bills, including the shop rent,” Osondu said.
Miss Blessing Umeh, another hairstylist, blamed the low patronage on erratic power supply in the area.
Umeh said that clients usually complained about the marginal increase in the cost of doing their hair, when we use generator during power outage.
She said that re-touching with public power was N200 but N300 with generating set. “This often scares customers away to cheaper alternatives, which are ready-made wigs and braided hair,” she said.
Mr Paul Ebuka, a male hairstylist at Agbani, said fixing of weave-on, which cost between N600 and N800 some weeks ago, now goes for between N1,500 and N2000.
He said that washing of hair that used to cost between N100 and N150 was now N200.
Ebuka further said that the price of weave-on and other materials for braiding had also gone up.
Miss Amaka Ikechi said that it was better to have skills in hairstyling and making of ready-made wigs.
“This is the only way for one to remain relevant in the hairstyle business,” she said.
Ikechi said that a wig goes for between N6000 and N8000, while ready-made artificial braiding goes for between N10,000 and N15,000, adding that it had the capacity to last longer.
A customer, Miss Ozioma Nwankwo, said that many ladies now preferred ready-made wigs than to go to sit in a salon “because it saves them time.”