Ngozi Opara is the founder of the Heat Free Hair Movement (HFHM)- a range of natural hair extension and wigs is all about giving more power to black women and showing that with they (with their thick black hair) are enough.
In 2012, Ngozi, a natural hair stylist wanted to give women weaves and wigs that are closest to their hair textures. This led her to train with some of the leading hair manufacturers in China.
She leveraged on technology to produce heat and chemical free-virgin human hair which has become a favourite among celebrities such as Brandy, Jill Scott, Teyonah Parris, Uzo Aduba, Kandi Burruss and Nicole Ari Parker.
Heat Free Hair manufacture high-quality wefted hair extensions, closures, wigs, and clip-in extensions. The hair is created to blend effortlessly with the different curl patterns and textures of a woman’s natural hair.
According to her in a recent interview with ‘howwemadeitinafrica.com “We were the first company to specialise in creating kinky, curly and coiled textured hair for the different types of natural hair. We manufacture at our factory in Qingdao, China, then ship to the US for packaging, after which we ship to our customers across the globe.”
“ Our leading markets in Africa are South Africa and Nigeria. Our customers here are career women who can afford to spend $300 on their hair and have a local stylist to help them fit the hair. We also run the Heat Free Hair Movement, which expands beyond our products and focuses on the education of the natural hair community through seminars, instructional videos and events for women who wear natural hair.”
“Prior to starting Heat Free Hair I worked as a financial analyst. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur so I opened a small hair studio in Washington DC to tend to clients after work each day. When I first started the business, I was still working in the finance sector in DC. I saved all my pay cheques from that job to use towards my business, and lived entirely off the money I made doing hair.”
“I had to deal with many fears when I started my company. For starters, the hair manufacturing industry is male-dominated. I was terrified of being in an industry that is male dominated but told myself I would do it to prove to myself that fear does not control me. I was motivated by fear.”