By Amaka Agwuegbo
The hair, it is said, is the crowning glory of every woman. Little wonder time and resources are not spared in ensuring that hair styles are catchy, if not eye popping.
But if guys decide to enter this business that demands skills and expertise, it means they know their onions and are confident as proven by three brothers _ Kenny, Jacob and Michael _ who handle womenâ€™s hair with speed, skill and finesse.Â Edo State born Kenny Igologba is the owner of Kennis Beauty Salon in Festac Town, Lagos, and has been in the business of braiding and fixing ladies hair since 1991 but started professionally in 1993.
Though Kenny started out as a barber when still in secondary school in 1989, his interest in making ladies hair was further was influenced by some Ghanaians who were into braiding.
â€œI had a passion for hair dressing from my childhood because I grew up in the midst of my sisters who always did their hair in my motherâ€™s small salon and I was always playing in the salon when they did their hair.
â€œOut of curiosity, I would always question what the various chemicals were used for and how to use them. I was intrigued by what I was told, and that boosted my interest in hair dressing. Now, I specialize in braiding and fixing of weave on.â€
When asked if his parents kicked against his choice of career, Kenny pointed out that his parents had no choice but to support him when they realized he could pay the bills.
â€œOneâ€™s background, to an extent, will determine what one becomes in future. I am from a not too rich family and since my father was retrenched from service in 1983, I took up the responsibility of fending for my siblings.
â€œMy parents didnâ€™t object when I decided to become a hair stylist because I was able to feed and care for the family from it. And to God be the glory, I have 24 stylists working with me and 8 of them are men.â€
For his younger brother, Jacob Igologba, who has been in the hair business for 10 years and owns JC Salon, it was only natural for him to venture into hair dressing since his mother and elder brother were already into it.
â€œLike the average Nigerian, it took me a while to gain admission into the university. Instead of whiling away my time, I decided to keep myself busy by learning hairdressing since my brother was already established in the business and is doing well.
â€œAfter training with my brother, I worked for someone on a contract basis and remit a certain amount to the owner. I just opened my shop this year and business is boomingdue to the increasing demand for male stylists.â€
On the acceptability of his career path by his family and friends, Jacob said his family gave him all the support he needed.
â€œMy family accepted my decision to become a hair stylist and supported me since my mother and brother are stylists and are financially stable. My friends were amazed that I wanted to go into womenâ€™s business but Iâ€™m glad I stood my grounds because Iâ€™m happy and better off.â€ Michael, the youngest of the Igologba brothers, is also a creative hair stylist who has always had the passion to make women look beautiful right from his childhood.
â€œGrowing up with my sisters and seeing them going to my motherâ€™s salon to do their hair made me want to make women look beautiful when I grow up, and I thank God Iâ€™m fulfilling that dream.
â€œThis business is more like a family thing as my mother and 2 elder brothers are into it. I started four years ago when I left secondary school. I learnt from my brother and worked for him for some time before I went my way.â€
So passionate is Michael about hairdressing that he intends to open his own salon in the nearest future.
One thing the three brothers agree on how lucrative their chosen profession is.
According to Kenny, â€œSo lucrative is it that myself and Jacob got married with money from the business and Michael is about to open his salon.
â€œWe have our various families who we take care of. It pays the house and salon rents, fuels our cars and pays our bills.â€
When asked if ladies prefer male stylists to female stylists due to the sexual pleasure derived when a man touches the hair, the Igologba brothers answered in the negative, stating that male stylists are more patient than their female counterpart.
Kenny said â€œI donâ€™t think it is sexual because every woman wants to look good with pretty hair style. Women prefer male stylists because we are 101 per cent dedicated when doing the hair. Also, women naturally beef themselves because we found out that what a woman would not accept from a fellow woman, a man would overlook it.â€
Jacob and Michael concurred by adding â€œLadies prefer male stylists because they are cool headed and patient when making ladies hair. Also, male stylists are more creative with hair styles.
To show his love for hair dressing, Jacob disclosed that if his son decides to become a stylist, heâ€™ll encourage him all the way.