"Wigs go global" - a wig is worth a fortune!
With the increasing emphasis on "beauty consumption," the sales of wigs and hairpieces have been rapidly increasing, including in the international market.
It is estimated that there are nearly a million wig industry workers in China. Chinese wigs account for nearly 80% of the global market share, with annual exports exceeding $3 billion for several consecutive years. North America and Africa are the top two export destinations.
Xuchang in Henan Province is known as the "wig capital." With a history of over a hundred years in wig production, the wig industry chain covers every aspect from raw materials to processing and sales.
Juancheng County in Heze is also a leader in the wig industry. There are currently over 110 cross-border e-commerce enterprises specializing in wig products. Every year, over 4,000 tons of wig products are sold globally through e-commerce platforms.
Wigs are known as the "black gold," with a top-quality breathable full lace wig being sold for seven to eight hundred dollars. Local offline distributors in the United States even price them at over a thousand dollars.
Behind the high customer price, wig weavers need to carefully handcraft the hair strands onto the wig cap. Even for skilled weavers, it takes three days to complete a dense, smooth, and high-quality wig.
Social media "wig fever"
Liu Qiang, a girl from Xuchang, was born in 1992. She used to work as a saleswoman at a physical store in the United States, selling Chinese wigs to foreigners. Due to the impact of the pandemic, her job as a saleswoman disappeared, so Liu Qiang returned to China and became an online live-streaming host. She promotes Chinese wigs to African-American consumers on AliExpress.
Liu Qiang has calculated that her fastest speed during live broadcasts is changing 20 wigs in one minute, averaging less than 3 seconds per wig. This speed rivals Li Jiaqi's lipstick application speed. She hopes to become the overseas version of "Li Jiaqi" in the wig industry.
To keep up with the popularity of short videos overseas, many wig factories have set up TikTok live-streaming rooms to show the journey of wig production to overseas consumers.
According to statistics, the number of views for content with the hashtag #wig on TikTok has reached several billion.
Diverse paths to "go global"
Driven by social media platforms and guided by internet celebrities, more and more people are accepting wigs. Particularly with the rise of TikTok short videos, it has opened up an infinite world for those who want to try different wig styles.
Users who pursue individuality also have a strong preference for unconventional wig colors. The rapid growth of cosplay and role-playing activities has greatly boosted the wig industry.
In recent years, brightly colored wigs such as pink, blue, and purple have become popular among consumers, and some people even mix different colors to create unique looks.