Bengaluru: Hair extensions have been around for what feels like forever, but in the 1980s, when people started to really embrace the idea of self-expression through fashion, hair, and makeup, they became more and more popular. They also haven’t actually disappeared. From 2023 to 2028, the market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 8.90%. Over the past few years, globally, a rising number of clients have demanded hair extensions or wigs for aesthetic or practical reasons. The majority of users of hair wigs and extensions are native Africans and persons of African origin.
Recent admissions of using hair wigs by numerous actresses, models, and celebrities. In business, this is a significant trend since celebrities’ open usage of wigs has led to a rise in the number of people donning them for aesthetic rather than functional purposes. The stigma surrounding the use of wigs is being broken down by the growing interest in hair wigs and their normalisation. By dispelling the traditional stigmas connected with wearing wigs in the beauty and fashion industries, social media platforms like Instagram are also encouraging the acceptance of hair wigs. The industry for hair wigs and extensions has never had a chance to grow so rapidly due to such causes.
In India, hair loss is a serious medical problem. The human body is negatively impacted by frantic lifestyles and incorrect nutrient consumption. Alopecia, a receding hairline, and pattern baldness are more prevalent in men than in women, who also have more hair thinning. Hair loss caused by androgens is a common occurrence in both men and women. The wealthier male population and officers of grades, such as lawyers and judges, frequently wore wigs during the Industrial Revolution. Currently, the major uses of hair extensions and wigs are cosmetic and practical.
The market for hair wigs and extensions in India is impacted by such variables. Many new hair extension brands have popped up. One such brand is 1 Hair Stop. 1 Hair Stop is said to be the mecca for hair extensions in India, specializing in creating high-quality, long-lasting virgin hair extensions in different textures, lengths, and types. Striving to impact the lives of women, the brand offers modern women’s hair extensions that women can rely on for their multiple important moments and most delicate insecurities.
The Hyderabad-based startup, founded by two ladies Richa Badruka and Raina Grover with the passion to solve an issue that women could not previously seek help for, has evolved into a go-to destination for females looking for hair extensions, toppers, seamless clip-ins, wigs, and messy hair extensions, toppers, seamless clip-ins, buns, cover-up patches, and push-up patches, amongst other things. Despite being the world’s largest supplier, the dynamic duo recognized that there was little demand for hair extensions in India. As a result, they developed their own line of hair products to meet women’s needs beyond those of simple beauty and provide them with a renewed sense of confidence.
I got an opportunity to interview one of the founders Raina Grover for The Balcony Stories. Below are the excerpts…
Why did you start 1 Hair Stop?
As co-founders of 1 Hair Stop, Richa and I saw a gap in the market for high-quality hair extensions that were easily accessible and affordable for women in India. We wanted to create a brand that offered a one-stop solution for all hair extension needs while providing 100% natural human hair extensions that could enhance the appearance and confidence of women everywhere. Our family’s origins in the hair industry, coupled with our passion for beauty and fashion, inspired us to start this venture.
How has 1 Hair Stop evolved from when you started?
When we started 1 Hair Stop in 2019, we were a small startup with a big vision. Over the past few years, we have grown into a well-known brand in the hair extension industry, with the largest range of hair products in the country, catering to various hair types and styles. We have expanded our online presence, introduced new product ranges, and established an unwavering commitment to quality customer care. We are proud of the progress we have made so far and are excited about the future.
How tough or easy was it during the pandemic?
The pandemic was a challenging time for everyone, including us. Like most businesses, we faced disruptions in our supply chain and had to adjust to new ways of working. However, we were able to adapt quickly and implement safety measures to ensure the well-being of our employees and artisans. Despite the challenges, we continued to provide our customers with the best products and services possible and we saw a surge in business during the pandemic.
How important are hair extensions?
Hair extensions can be a game-changer for people who want to enhance their appearance and boost their confidence. They offer versatility and flexibility, allowing people to experiment with different hairstyles and colours without committing to a permanent change. They can also be helpful for people experiencing hair loss or thinning. At 1 Hair Stop, we believe that everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, and hair extensions can be an integral part of that journey for some.
What’s the most satisfying part of being in this business?
The most satisfying part of being in the hair extension business is knowing that we are helping people feel more confident and beautiful. We love hearing from our customers about how our products have transformed their appearance and boosted their self-esteem. It’s also rewarding to see the growth and success of our brand and the impact we are making in the industry.
Where do you see 1 Hair Stop in the next 5 years?
In the next five years, we see ourselves cementing 1 Hair Stop as an industry leader with a few more verticals. We plan to expand our product range, establish an offline presence, and continue to provide our customers with innovative and high-quality products. We also aim to increase our social impact by supporting initiatives that empower women and promote sustainable practices in the industry.
What do you think is the most common factor of extensions that is misunderstood?
One of the most common misconceptions about hair extensions is that they are damaging to natural hair. However, when installed correctly and cared for properly, extensions can actually be an alternative that can prevent damage caused by styling tools, chemical treatments, and hair colouring. It’s also important to view hair extensions as an investment.
How should one decide on buying extensions?
When deciding to buy hair extensions, it’s important to consider your hair type, lifestyle, and budget. At 1 Hair Stop, we offer a range of products catering to different hair types, lengths, and styles. We also offer consultations with our experts to help customers choose the right product for their needs. It’s also essential to invest in high-quality, 100% natural human hair extensions, which can be a bit more expensive, but are value for money in the long run.
What is the most challenging part of managing a company like 1 Hair Stop?
As with any business, there are always challenges to overcome. For 1 Hair Stop, one of the most challenging parts is keeping up with the constantly evolving market trends and customer demands. It requires staying ahead of the competition, constantly innovating and improving our products, and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction while navigating change.
Hair extensions are very expensive. What are your thoughts on this?
While it’s true that hair extensions can be a significant investment, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits and quality of the product. At 1 Hair Stop, we believe in providing high-quality hair extensions that are worth the investment. Additionally, we offer a variety of options to fit different budgets and preferences.
What sets 1 Hair Stop aside from the other brands?
A: One of the things that set 1 Hair Stop apart is our commitment to quality and ability to manufacture high-quality extensions from scratch thanks to our manufacturing prowess. We source only the highest quality hair from ethical and sustainable sources, and our products undergo rigorous testing and quality control to ensure customer satisfaction. Additionally, we offer the largest range of styles, colours, and lengths to suit individual preferences.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about having extensions but wasn’t sure whether it would be appropriate for them?
It’s important to do your research and perhaps consult with a professional stylist before making a decision about hair extensions. A stylist can assess your hair type, condition, and goals, and recommend the best type of extensions and application method for you. However, since this process can be overwhelming, I would say that the content 1 Hair Stop puts out on its socials and the breadth of educational content on our website itself is adequate to make an informed decision. We also offer customer support to help pick the perfect product for our customers. Additionally, it’s also important to consider the maintenance and upkeep required for extensions and whether it fits with your lifestyle and budget.
Do you think hair extensions completely changes a person?
While hair extensions can certainly enhance one’s appearance and confidence, we believe that true change comes from within. However, we have seen many of our customers feel more confident and empowered after trying our products, which is really our goal- to make women feel confident however they choose to be.
Clip-in extensions is the Safer alternative for Glue or bonded extensions, how?
Clip-in extensions are considered safer because they do not involve any chemical adhesives or heat application. They are also easy to apply and remove, making them a convenient and low-risk option for those who want to try extensions without committing to a long-term application.
What maintenance do customers have to do in order to keep the extensions natural and healthy?
Proper maintenance is essential to keeping extensions looking natural and healthy. This includes regular washing and conditioning with sulfate-free products, brushing gently and avoiding tugging or pulling on the extensions, and storing them properly when not in use. Additionally, it’s important to avoid excessive heat styling and to use heat-protectant products when necessary.
Where do you source the hair from?
At 1 Hair Stop, we ethically and sustainably source our hair from the temples in South India. We work closely with our suppliers and have decades-long relationships thanks to our family’s prior involvement in the business that really ensures that the hair is of the highest quality and has not been obtained through exploitative practices.