Best friends turn a hobby into a multi-million Naira business
Founders of Flawless Xtensions, a beauty bar in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria are best friends and have known each other for more than 19 years. At the time the brand was established in 2009, it was just two friends importing and selling great quality hair to colleagues and friends. Seven years later, Flawless Xtensions has grown to become a trusted brand for excellent quality hair, a brand that is now worth millions.
Kanyinsola Latinwo (on the left), a lawyer by profession and co-founder of Flawless Xtensions has always had a keen interest in hair. “My love, or should I call it ‘obsession’ with hair started right from when I was a child. I had several dolls growing up, and would spend countless hours combing and shaping each one’s hair into different styles, taking into cognizance the shape of their faces, hair texture, and the event they are to attend with their girlfriends or Ken doll”, she says, laughing.
“Fast forward to my adult years, I became obsessed with styling my own hair till it looked perfect. I guess other people noticed because, I began to get calls from girlfriends and aunties soliciting my advice on what hairstyle to do next that would suit their facial structure, or what colour of highlights would make their skin pop or to even recommend a salon that could provide them with the desired look,” she continues.
Kanyinsola’s bestfriend, Tosin Kalegha (on the right) who co-owns Flawless Xtensions is no novice to hair either. Tosin studied Economics and Law in Canada but it was when she was in high school that hair suddenly became a means to an end.
“My love for hair began when I was in high school in Canada. It was difficult finding a reasonably priced hair stylist within close proximity of where I lived, which was a suburban white/Asian neighbourhood. As such, I was forced to teach myself how to do my own hair, which included anything from cornrows to relaxing my hair, and then, of course, fixing my weaves. Then I started doing my friends’ hair as well. So, I really wouldn’t call it love in the first instance, more like a necessity, which eventually developed into a flare for hairstyling and love for anything hair-related, ” Tosin says.
While Kanyin describes her interest in hair as an ‘obsession’, Tosin explains that hers was initially born of necessity. However, both women agree that hair is a woman’s crowning glory and it is this mutual belief that makes their partnership the success that it is.
Over the years, the love and support received from their clients gave these two business-savvy friends the confidence to expand their business from just selling hair extensions into opening a beauty bar. Flawless Beauty Bar opened in October 2016. The salon, located on Tunde Fisayo Street offers a range of beauty services including:
- Natural hair styling
- Buying and selling of hair
- Weaves, hair extensions and wigs
- Highlighting and colouring
- Hair perms
- Nail extensions, manicure and pedicure
- Professional Makeup
- Barbing for males and females
Both women are equally talented and work full-time jobs. They also both share equal responsibility when it comes to the management of the business.
“The business is an equal partnership. It’s an interesting dynamic. We both have different skills and expertise. I think I am more of a people person, interacting with clients, marketing etc. She (Tosin) is more into sourcing for hair vendors, interacting with them, orders and supplies etc. I also handle all payments while she deals with the bookkeeping and accounting.” Kanyin adds.
When both women started the company, they never expected or planned to become a household name. The trade aspect started as a means to make extra money in University, in addition to their monthly allowance and now they are bonafide entrepreneurs.
Managing a full-time job while running a business has not been without its challenges, but these ladies make it work and look relaxed while doing it. Their bond is further strengthened by their partnership, and, in spite of their crazy working hours and often sleepless nights, they speak to each other an average of an hour every day.
Kanyin and Tosin pride their business success on their excellent service – I would know, I have experienced it many times. They go over and beyond the usual to guarantee customer satisfaction. This, they attribute to the number of repeat customers and referrals they receive.
“We offer a wide range of virgin hair extensions of the best quality, sourced from different countries, and of different textures. Quality is one thing we do not compromise – with that we have gotten a number of referrals over the years.” Kanyin concludes.
If you’re looking for great quality human hair that you can wear for years to come, I’d definitely recommend Flawless Xtensions, just be ready to spend. Good hair does not come cheap. Their beauty bar services are equally great. I’d give them 9 out of10 (my highest rating ever).
To find out more about Flawless Xtensions, check out their Instagram page @flawlessbeautybar_lekki.