J’can hairstylist turns heads with braided wig hats, headbands

It’s common to see a bevy of lace wig providers during your average social media scroll, but wig hats? Not so much.

Melissa Walker

Self-taught hairstylist Melissa Walker is not only shaking up the online algorithm with her Wigs by Xtensionsja business, she’s also turning virtual heads with an innovative line of braided wig hats and wig headbands.

The 29-year-old said the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to take more risks and pursue her goals, thus birthing the Kingston-based venture in September.

“I was forced to re-evaluate plans for the sake of survival at the time. I started my hair business doing protective styles in 2014.”

– Melissa Walker

“As the trend of headband wigs get more popular, I was inspired to make the braided version as well as with hats for the main purpose of convenience,” she told BUZZ. “During this pandemic, you want to be able to throw on your hairstyle and go – literally. Also, managing braids versus loose hair is relatively easier.”

The braided products range from US$120 to US$140 per unit with a variety of styles (like locs, twists and box braids) to choose from.

“The reception has been favourable and positive,” Walker said. “I get a lot of questions as this is relatively new to most, but hopefully the interest will reflect in the sales.”

One such question is the benefit of a wig hat or headband in comparison to a regular wig.

“The main benefit of the wig cap/headband I would say is that it will last for years and has little to no maintenance – no washing or touching-up,” she said. “It’s very sustainable because it doesn’t need to be maintained after purchase. The headbands are interchangeable and replaceable.”

The hats can also be customised. Orders can be made via her website https://wigsbyxtensionsja.company.site/.

From interest to income

Walker’s interest in hairstyling is innate and flourished into income after she completed accounting studies at The University of Mary in North Dakota, United States.

“I didn’t consider it until after leaving college and being unemployed,” she shared. “I was forced to re-evaluate plans for the sake of survival at the time. I started my hair business doing protective styles – mainly faux locs and crochet braids – in 2014… I actually make regular wigs as well so there’s something for everyone… I also sell my own line of hair products in partnership with Marabelle as well as headbands.”

She intends to expand her offering with more innovative products and sees herself becoming a mega brand in the near future.

“In five years I see my business being a multi-million dollar business having its own or multiple physical locations, (and) being the inventor of creative, unique products.”

And for the woman who has never tried a wig hat or headband?

“She should definitely purchase one for those throw-on-and-go moments when she doesn’t have time or just doesn’t feel like combing her hair. It’s the most convenient fix right now.”