Akinyele Damilola Fagbola is a woman with her hands in many pies; she is a stylist, wig maker, make over specialist and Hair care product manufacturer. The proprietress of Damsalt Gold Wigs in Lagos speaks with YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE, on her journey into hair treatment, wig making and production of hair care products.
How would you describe yourself?
I will simply describe myself as a Business minded person; one that believes in getting results and making an impact. I am a hair stylist and produce hair products and wigs. Basically, I am a focused person that puts her eyes on the goal. Hair and anything hair had always appealed to me even while growing up, so I can say that I’m earning a living from my passion and this allows me to be creative. I found out that you can use hair to do many things aside making people beautiful; you can use it to describe personality and there are various hair styles for different faces. Hair styling is an art which I am proud to say, I have mastered.
You started with hair styling then wigs, how do you combine that with makeovers?
Well, both can be termed as businesses that are connected; both have to do with bringing out the face in a particular manner, and actually work together. They are inter-related and both are about beauty especially in relation to how the face is perceived, so, I can say that it is the same line of business. Hair and make-up are like two halves of the same thing.
Aside makeup, hair styling and wigs, what other services do you offer?
I do a whole lot of things; I do makeovers, I produce hair care products; that is, shampoo, conditioner and detangler sprays for both natural hair and weave-on. The detangler which I also named Ddetangler, is a hair softener and can be used as a leave in conditioner. Also, I am a trainer, I train people on all aspects of hairdressing and I also specialise in bridal hair styling.
What would you say prepared you for what you are into?
I can say passion and the fact that from childhood, I had always wanted to be in charge of my affairs especially business wise because I am someone that always aspires for the best and I always want to see how to evolve things, so I need the kind of freedom that will make me creative and allow me experiment. So it was a path I choose long ago.
What aspect of your business do you enjoy most and why?
I love all that I am doing but hair making is my favourite, not because it pays best but because it allows me try new and exciting looks and brings out my creative side. When you see what you create and its impact especially when the client appreciates your talent, there is a kind of joy and satisfaction that it brings.
Which is most lucrative?
Wig making is the most lucrative part of the business and it is also time consuming and requires patience.
How did the journey into wig making come about?
Though I am from Ondo State, I was born and I grew up in Lagos. You know Lagos is a home of trends and I am always in the frontline when it comes to development that has to do with my vocation. So, immediately wigs started evolving, I cashed in and got the training and I started producing wigs professionally five years ago when it was becoming a trend as ladies preferred to use wigs rather than their weave-on and also because it allows the hair rest so that they can grow back their edges damaged by excessive stress on the scalp due to different hair dos.
What differentiates Damsalt Gold wigs from so many others that are available?
Yes, there are different types of wigs but Damsalt products stand out for many reasons, we are not a bandwagon company that jumped in because it is the trend. We started when it wasn’t common place and have made a name for ourselves as quality wig producers. I am trained to know the peculiarity of every hair texture and determine what works well for individual hair. So, we create what works for individual clients. I won’t just produce a wig because it is what is trending but rather because it is what fits the person that will use it. Also, when I make my wig, I always have it at the back of my mind that no one wants to carry a wig that is too heavy, I make sure it fits very well so it won’t just fall off and finishing matters most in my work. My products are always very durable and I only use high quality materials and hairs
Why is wig the trend now?
It seem like wigs took over because it made it easier to change your looks any day, any time, plus you no longer have to sit for long in salons. I enjoy the fact that I can enhance the beauty of my clients and their satisfaction gives me joy, it also gives me access to create new looks and trends. Above all, with wigs, the pressure on the scalp is drastically reduced.
What advice do you have for people with hair disorders?
They should not put too much stress on their scalp especially the edges, use products that will aid their hair growth and grow their edges without adverse effects. And ensure they know products and styles that work for their hair texture
How has the journey been?
Well, it has been filled with ups and downs like every business. Starting a business in this environment is not a joke. It is one step at a time but I thank God for growth. How far I have come is plainly a result of God’s grace, hard work, perseverance and dedication to what I believe in.
How affordable are your products?
They are surprisingly affordable for the quality of our products. Many people express surprise when we tell them our prices. I can tell you confidently that the quality exceeds the price because the result you get for what you pay is much more and the time the products will be used is longer than the average life span of other similar products.
Are there challenges?
Of course, every business has challenges. Running a business in our clime involves so much and requires so much; talk about power supply, security and other issues of that nature. Now come down to the fact that our job is a service oriented one with diverse clients; some take out their bad moods on us, some find it difficult to understand that their hair texture is different from the one they are comparing it to but all in all, we must make everyone happy, this can be a challenge.
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There is also the fact that many fake and adulterated products have given the business a bad name; so it is serious work to ensure people give your product a trial and that is a difficult step however, once they do, they give us referrals. Other challenges are the same experienced by other entrepreneurs in Nigeria especially manufacturers; rents, epileptic power supply, challenges of transportation and sending products from one location to the other and employees that do not care about the reputation of the business among others
How do you combine all these with motherhood?
It is actually not a child’s play especially when you are a mother, some wigs can take weeks to be completed and one must have more hands to make the job faster, then to maintain a name in this business, you have to be very creative and innovative so that you can give clients what suit them. It’s not easy combining all but with the help of God and good staff, I manage. Also, I always make sure that I create time for my family; I have off days so I use such days with my family.
Where do you see your brand years to come?
I see it as a leading name in wigs and hair care product manufacturing. I want Damsalt Gold Wigs, hair products, make up studio and hair service to be a leading name in the industry; we already have clients outside the country and we supply to all states in Nigeria. I also want to work on our online marketing because that is where business is going now. I want to be a reference point when you talk of all encompassing hair business in Nigeria.
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