By Ntozanele Libimbi
Purchasing wigs has become a societal norm in some part of the world. However, buying quality hairpieces is expensive.
The cost is one of the factors that has birthed a new and innovative business idea for Zandile Baloyi and Delicia Kasenge, the founders of Hair Me OutZA (HMO) – a company that not only sells wigs but rents it too.
A thread, which was started under the hashtag #GirlsTalk by @Thandwie_11, went viral when she advertised that she was renting out her wig.
The post received mixed emotions from South Africans. A number of them offered strategies for her to maintain the business while concerns regarding hygiene were raised.
The Open Journal had a talk with the founders of HMO, Zandile and Delicia, to clear out questions with regards to how they operate and the challenges they are facing with wig rentals.
What inspired Hair Me Out?
We found that for magazine shoots and trendy events/shows, people would request to lend our wigs for a night or two because it worked with a certain look they were going for.
Upon further research, we discovered that it could be used as a mechanism for those who like wigs for a short-term period of time.
We then started buying different kinds of wigs that we thought consumers would take a liking to and from this, birthed the idea and (we) decided to formalise it 🙂
Is it hygienic to rent a wig and how often do you clean them?
Hygiene is our number one priority and key performance indicator. Therefore, when we deliver any HMO piece to a client, a full inspection is done by both ourselves and the client to ensure that the hair is in good condition.
We also provide each client with a wig sock and insist they put it on prior to wearing the wig. This is included in the rental fee.
Upon return, we encourage clients not to wash or treat the hair as we have hair gurus within the industry who wash and treat the pieces accordingly and to perfection. We treat and wash our wigs after every rental.
What happens when a client loses their wig? How do y’all deal with that?
We have security measures put in place; along with that, the client would need to place a deposit fee.
So, when the client is in possession of the hair, they are fully aware that it is their responsibility and that if they lose/misplace it, they will be held liable for the costs to replace it.
Are there any penalties if a returned wig is not in good condition as it was when rented?
Yes, we calculate the cost of the damage and deduct it from the deposit fee. There is also a wig agreement that is signed by both parties upon delivery of the HMO piece where penalty costs are stipulated.
How does renting out wigs to people, rather than selling them, generate enough income to cover the expenses?
Well, when you think about it, renting out wigs gives people an opportunity to try out different lengths, textures and styles of wigs without the commitment of owning the hair.
So, renting out wigs becomes a sustainable business strategy for us because it gives us two opportunities to generate income through selling and on hair rental. This strategy offers us a chance to monitor trends and customer needs accurately.
Also, selling can be more costly as it requires one to constantly buy stock worth 30K or more and this stock possibly collects dust over time because customers are always changing their minds and following trends, which in turn may have you sitting with a bulk amount of hair that is not selling.
What challenges do you come across with regards to renting out wigs?
So far, it’s mainly not having wigs for every client that approaches us. We’re working on duplicating styles and building our rental wig collection to represent a more diverse and dynamic range.
The hair industry is constantly reinventing itself and innovating. Ten years ago, who would have thought that you could wear wigs? And now they’re considered a worthwhile investment that is actually great for maintaining your natural hair.
A person can rent a wig for as long as a week, with a daily rate of R120, 00. If you interested go to Hair Me OutZA, website fill in the form and have your inches delivered.
This phenomenon is proof that we should expect anything in the hair industry, hair insurance might end up being an in-thing in the future.
Reporting by Ntozanele Libimbi. Edited by Magnificent Mndebele and Gaby Ndongo.
Feature Image: Hair Me OutZA official image used in their website.
Image courtesy by Hair Me OutZA.