We know the beauty industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world so it comes as no surprise that haircare and extensions are also lucrative in their own rights. But how much is the global wig industry really worth? Let's find out.
Why is the wig industry worth so much?
For many people, hair care is a crucial part of their beauty and self care routines with the average British woman spending £162.52 on hair care each year; a sum that contributes to the £10 billion total spent annually on beauty and hair products in Britain. In the US, hair care alone tops other sectors in the beauty industry, accounting for 24% of global market share, followed by skincare at 23.7% and cosmetics at 14.6%.
Where are wigs most popular?
While wigs are worn in various parts of the world for different reasons including work, fashion and health, some key countries import and export wigs at higher rates than others.
When it comes to countries where human hair is sourced from, some of the most popular human hair for wigs comes from India, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Hong Kong and India alone took the top two spots when it came to countries that exported the highest dollar value of raw human hair in 2019 with $30.2 million dollars and $19 million dollars respectively.
However these figures were in relation to raw human hair which can go on to be turned into extensions and wigs. When it comes to wig imports in 2019, the US took the crown as the biggest wig importer responsible for 56.6% of global imports valued at US $758 million followed by the UK with US $70.9 million and Nigeria with $64.6 million.
These three countries are well-known for their love of wigs and hair extensions with much of the wig trends originating from those countries. Online Influencers like Ms Rosh Posh and Jennie Jenkins in particular are well-known for their incredible wigs and looked to by wig lovers for wig advice.
How much will the wig industry be worth in the future?
For hair extensions (wigs included) in particular, it's an industry that's quickly rising in popularity. Hair extensions are set to reach a value of $5 billion dollars by 2024 with growth projected at $4.01 billion dollars between 2019 and 2023.
This rising popularity in wigs across the world can be attributed to different factors including a rise in protective styling coupled with the desire to still experiment with colours and styles, celebrity influence, less stigma around the topic of wearing wigs, and higher disposable incomes.
These factors have also meant that people are also buying multiple wigs to allow them to switch up their look. Similar to how you can wear different bags to match your outfits, makeup or the occasion, people are using wigs in a similar fashion.
For now, the popularity of wigs doesn't seem to be slowing. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, interest in wigs continues to rise as new audiences find the joy in them. However, this rising popularity isn't all positive. The high demand has led to shortages in types of lace used for wigs making it more difficult for buyers–both wholesale and personal–to procure their favourite wigs.
While problems like the pandemic and the lace shortage have and may continue to have impacts on supply chains, wig popularity itself looks to be on the rise and with it, so is the industry's worth.
Additionally, new brands are emerging and releasing wig-related products aimed at making the wig wearing experience more accessible to different audiences. One such brand is The Renatural. Through it's products, the UK-based beauty brand hopes to make wig-wearing fun, easy and safe for everyone.
Their first product is the Wig Fix. A silicone wig gripper, it uses the natural gripping abilities of the material to keep wigs secured without damaging hair, something traditional wig attachment methods like glue have been known to do.
With the addition of brands like The Renatural creating innovative wig accessories, interest in wigs will only rise as wigs are made more enticing and accessible to new audiences, further increasing the value of the overall global wig industry.
What do you think about the worth of the global wig industry? Let us know in the comments!