The hair weave industry is a multi-billion pound market that is forecast to grow significantly over the next few years.
According to research by Statista, the hair weave industry is expected to grow to 13.28 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.
Haircare products such as weaves and extensions are particularly popular among black women, who spent $6.6 billion on beauty and account for 11.1 percent of the total US beauty market.
However, although black women account for a large share of the beauty spending, the industry is dominated by non-black manufacturers and companies.
Figures show that black brands only make up 2.5% of the industry.
The black hair weave industry is a complex and fascinating one, and in this guide, we have compiled some of the most compelling statistics to dominate the market.
Key Hair Weave Industry Statistics
- In 2021, the weave industry was worth $6.6B, up from $5.8B in 2020.
- The weave industry will see a CAGR of nearly 15% from 2021 to 2026, growing from $6.6B to $13.3B.
- Asia-Pacific manufacturers will produce 43% of the hair weave, wigs, and extensions market growth from 2020 to 2024.
- Google search queries for hair weave peaked in the mid-2010s and hit a 10-year low in April 2020.
- 40% of human hair product consumers live in North America. Experts project that the North American market will contribute $2B to the industry by 2026.
- Among North American countries, the US imports the most human hair products. In 2021 alone, the US imported $1.8T worth of hair, up 28.66% from US hair imports in 2020.
- Since 2004, Mississippi, Washington DC, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama have had the highest volume of Google searches for “hair weave.”
- The majority of hair weave and extension customers are African American women, who spend around $1.1B per year on this beauty category.
- Hong Kong exports $30.2M worth of human hair annually, making it the leading supplier of human hair used in weaves, wigs, and extensions.
- China and Hong Kong, Korea, and Southeast Asia are home to 70% of the world’s weave, wig, and extension manufacturers.
- Aside from the US, the top markets for weaves, wigs, and extensions are Africa, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Europe (especially the UK, France, and Italy), Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.
- In 2020, the world’s three largest human hair exporters made up 86.6% of global exports.
- Great Lengths, Balmain, Dovetail Dreams, Easihair, Godrej, and Rebecca are the largest hair weave, wig, and extension companies in the world.
How Much Is the Hair Weave Industry Worth?
The hair weave sector is part of the human hair industry, which also includes wigs and extensions. Here are the facts and stats our research uncovered about this industry:
- Experts expect the global weave, wig, and extensions market to hit over $10B by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 14.9%.
- The global weave, wig, and extension market will increase by 100.3% from 2021 to 2026, or from $6.63B to $13.28B.
- In 2020 alone, the wigs, extensions, and weave market grew by 5.12%, which is greater than the growth rate seen in 2019.
- Asia-Pacific manufacturers will produce 43% of the hair wigs, extensions, and weave market growth from 2020 to 2024.
- Google searches for hair weaves hit an all-time high in late 2012 and early 2013.
- Since their peak popularity in the mid-2010s, search queries for hair weave have steadily declined and reached a 10-year low in April 2020.
- As a whole, the human hair market is a multibillion-dollar industry.
- Despite a rise in hair weave, wigs, and extension sales in 2020, wig and hairpiece manufacturing revenues dropped 1.4%.
- Online sales of hair weave, wigs, and extensions accounted for 63% of the human hair market in 2020.
Who Buys the Most Human Hair?
Weaves, wigs, and extensions are more popular in some locations than others. We break down the countries and consumer segments that contribute the most to this market in the section below:
- The US imported nearly $1,600M worth of hair in 2018 and 2019.
- US hair imports declined 15.6% in 2020 due to the pandemic, or from $1,600M worth of imports in 2019 to approximately $1,350M in 2020.
- In 2021, the US imported $1,750M worth of hair. That’s up 28.6% from 2020 and 12.5% from 2019 and 2018.
- Over the past 17 years, the majority of US Google searches for “hair weave” come from Mississippi, followed by Washington DC, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama.
- Metropolitan areas with the most searches for “hair weave” since 2004 include the Greenwood-Greenville, Mississippi metro area; Albany, Georgia; the Hattiesburg-Laurel, Mississippi metro area; Montgomery, Alabama; and Jackson, Mississippi.
- Since 2004, the cities with the highest number of searches for “hair weave” are Memphis, Detroit, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, and Atlanta.
- Among hair product customers, the majority wear extensions, followed by weave and a full wig.
- Partial wigs are the fourth most common hair product used by hair product consumers.
- Among hair product consumers, the majority say that having an ethically sourced and sustainably manufactured product is most important.
- Around 25% of hair product consumers say that neither ethical sourcing nor sustainable manufacturing is important when considering a new product.
- People of African descent are the largest global consumers of weaves, wigs, and extensions.
- With 40% of the market share in 2020, North America is home to the most consumers of human hair products. Experts project that this market alone will contribute $2B by 2026.
- Among North American countries, the US has the largest customer base for human hair products, including weaves.
- In the US, people of African and Caucasian descent are the largest consumer base for human hair products.
- 34% of US women use hair extensions on a regular basis.
- African American women make up the majority of hair weave and extension customers, spending approximately $1.1B per year.
- 44% of black women say they’ve bought a weave, wig, or extensions within the past 12 months and 38% of black women say they plan to buy one of these hair products within the next 12 months.
- The average black woman spends $239 or more per year on weaves, wigs, and extensions at local beauty supply stores. The average black man spends only $173 per year on hair products from independent beauty stores.
- Urban-based weave, wig, and extension customers account for the majority of the beauty and hair industry’s growth.
- Customers between the ages of 35 and 44 are the largest consumers of human hair products, followed by people 54+ (23%) and 45–54 years old (22%).
- In 2008 British women spent £65 million (over $88M) per year on hair extensions, up 5x from 2004.
Which Country Produces the Most Hair Weave?
Ever wondered where the human hair your weave is made of came from? We uncovered the top exporters of synthetic and human hair around the globe. Keep reading for our findings.
- With $30.2M worth of annual exports, Hong Kong is the leading supplier of human hair used in weaves, wigs, and extensions.
- India is the second-largest supplier of human hair products, exporting $19M worth of hair each year, followed by the United Kingdom ($2.4M in exports) and the United States ($0.95M in exports).
- Myanmar, Brazil, Thailand, Ukraine, Japan, and Italy export a combined $3.5M worth of hair each year, which is $0.15M more than combined exports from the UK and the US.
- The majority of human hair used in the weave, wig, and extensions industry comes from Eastern Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, synthetic hair production is concentrated in China, Japan, and Korea.
- The majority of weave, wig, and extension manufacturers are located in China and Hong Kong, Korea, and Southeast Asia.
- The top markets for weaves, wigs, and extensions are Africa, Australia, China, and Hong Kong, Europe (especially the UK, Italy, and France), Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States.
- The top three human hair exporters accounted for 86.6% of total global exports in 2020.
- Of all seven continents, Asia was the top human hair exporter by dollar value in 2020. The continent exported $74.9M worth of human hair, which equates to 95.2% of the world’s human hair exports.
- Europe is the second continent with the highest value of human hair exports, accounting for 2.9% of total exports in 2020, followed by LATAM (1.2%), Oceania (0.28%), and North America (0.26%).
- Of all seven continents, Africa exports the lowest value of human hair at only 0.15% of total exports.
- Over 70% of weave, wig, and extension manufacturers are located in China.
- The top 10 weaves, wig, and extension manufacturers account for 27% of the market share.
- The weave, wig, and extension manufacturing market is highly fragmented, with the top three manufacturers holding less than 3% of the market share each.
- The top hair weave, wig, and extension companies in the world are Great Lengths, Balmain, Dovetail Dreams, Easihair, Godrej, and Rebecca.
What Are the Best Black-Owned Hair Weave Companies?
Despite being the primary consumers of weaves, extensions, and wigs, black people have long struggled to break into the market. Below, we’ve listed some of the few black-owned hair weave companies that are making it big in 2021.
- Insert Big Chop Hair is a black-owned hair brand based in New York. It sells wigs, ponytails, and clip-in weaves in natural, wavy, and straight textures.
- Heat Free Hair is a black-owned hair product company and one of the first brands to produce 100% virgin human hair for Type 3 and 4 curl patterns.
- Latched & Hooked is a black and female-owned synthetic hair brand. This company’s affordable products come in an impressive range of colors to suit your every mood.
- Boho Locs sells handmade wigs and protective weaves. The company is owned by black entrepreneur Lulu Pierre.
- To All My Black Girls is a hair extension brand founded by Anu Obe. This black and female-owned brand specialize in natural hair products for women of African descent.
- Love Gilliana is a black-owned high-end wig brand offering lace and non-lace wigs for a surprisingly affordable price.
- Doll Baby Hair is a black-owned luxury hair brand. It specializes in extensions and weaves of a variety of textures, including wavy, straight, and body wave.
- Veelocks is a UK-based, black-owned wig brand. In addition to its high-quality wigs, the company offers custom wig services and private wig-making classes.
- Dellahs Hair is a black-owned hair brand with a unique selling point: each hair product is made from a single donor’s hair, making for the most natural-looking product on the market.
- Hair for the Girls is a black-owned hair brand founded by social media influencers Yvette Corrine and SayLindsay. The company offers a wide range of products, including afro wigs, twists, and braided extensions.
- London-based Hair Symphony is a black-owned salon that also offers custom weaves and wigs.
- R.C. Hair Solutions is a black-owned hair brand founded by a 20-year veteran of the hairdressing industry.
- Catface is a black-owned hair brand offering braided hair extensions, weaves, and wigs.
- Wig Design is a black-owned hair brand created by Gina Knight, who founded the company after being diagnosed with Alopecia.
- Elite Hair Collection is a hair company founded by black entrepreneur Monica Frempong.
- KinkyCurlyYaki is a black-owned hair brand selling 100% virgin human hair products that come in six different textures.
- Kurly Klips was the first hair brand to offer natural texture clip-in weaves. The company is owned by black entrepreneur Lana Boone.
- RadSwan is a new synthetic hair brand created by Big Hair No Care founder Freddie Harrel. The company offers textured hair clip-ins, wigs, and hair accessories.
Hair Weave Industry Fun Facts
Hair weaves have literally been around for thousands of years. Learn more about this hair product’s history and some little-known facts about the weave and wig-making industry below.
- The world’s first sewn-in hair weave dates back to 3,400 BC in Egypt. Around a millennia later in 2,700 BC, the Egyptians also invented wigs made from real human hair.
- Louis XIV is famous for his wigs. Legend has it that he employed 48 wigmakers after he began balding in his teens.
- Christina Jenkins invented the modern weave in 1949. She dubbed it Hairweeve and patented the idea in 1951.
- In 2018, Myanmar women could receive $11–$150 for their hair. That’s 4x–55x greater than Myanmar’s minimum wage: $2.70.
- Southern Indian Hindu temples are a major source of human hair supply. At the Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, India, 1,320 barbers collect hair from 40 heads every day.
- Human hair isn’t just used to make weaves, extensions, and wigs. Manufacturers also use this commodity to make furniture, suit linings, and calligraphy brushes. It’s also used to clean up oil spills and make Dunkin’ Donuts bagels.
- A high-end wig usually takes days to produce.
- The average bundle of hair extensions weighs between 100g and 110g.
- The average person pays $150–$300 for a weave installation.
- Wigmakers will pay up to $1,500 for a head of naturally blond hair.
- The average Keratin Fusion extensions last 3–4 months. Compare that to tape-ins, which only last about 1–3 months.