This is an episode I’ve been wanting to do for a long long time.

One of the things I’ve found bewildering working in the region is the frequency with which the females I know change their hair style.

From month to month it can change drastically and, dare I say it, unrecognisably. On occasion I have momentarily re-introduced myself to new colleagues on account of a completely different hairstyle changing their appearance.

Anyway, this episode is all about hair.

Luxury hair to be specific which, as you’ll find out means it comes from the real hair of other humans.

It’s honestly one of the most fascinating interviews and businesses on the podcast so far.

Gisela, founder of Zuri Lux Hair and I discuss the global supply chain of human hair,the huge sums paid for it in their Congolese outlets and how she has grown this enterprise from a side hustle to a fully fledged operation.

Gisela and I discuss her luxury hair business, one which began as a side hustle, and now employs people across the region.

The main focus is the hair extensions that Zuri sell.

Their brand is all about luxury, and this means that the hair extensions are made of real human hair.

We discuss the global supply chain involved in this, and how hair from Brazil is considered the best. She often goes to China on quality control, to ensure that the “bundles” of hair are high quality won’t go bad once they have been made.

Time is spent covering the demand side too, and how people will spend a fortune on good quality hair.

Each wig/ weave costs $100-300.

Zuri is looking to expand their offering beyond just luxury hair and into other luxury beauty products. They’re currently in Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, and will be looking to expand beyond this through their sales agent network.

Lessons and Insights

Biggest lesson: How big (and underserved) the market is

Biggest insight: “Our hair extensions are like cocaine”


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