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Hair extension entrepreneur plans large online campaign


Shanon Nelson, owner of Amari Hair Extensions, an online hair boutique, traveled to China recently to deal directly with source manufactures in the hair extension business. She and Jill Williams, a makeup artist, and Dawn Medaries, a hair stylist, are working to create a collaboration of high-quality hair and beauty boutiques that cater specifically to the needs and desires of Black women.

Nelson said the Black hair care and beauty industry is upwards of $500 billion strong worldwide, and the three women are confident that by working together they may be able to recapture a significant portion of that market. In most large cities, the Black hair care industry is operated by foreign interests, particularly those from China and South Korea.

Nelson calls the movement a “sistahood,” noting that the collaboration is well-timed because a segment of Black women have expressed concern about lack of respect and ownership issues with other ethnic groups running the Black hair care industry.

This is illustrated by a range of responses recently from calls for boycotting the industry, to more Black women opening beauty supply stores. Devin Robinson, an economics professor and author of “How to Become a Successful Beauty Supply Store Owner,” organized a boycott in November 2016 against non-Black-owned beauty supply outlets.

“The problem is with the distributors,” Robinson said. “Distributors are mainly non-Blacks and they handpick who they will distribute products to. This oftentimes leaves aspiring Black owners disenfranchised.”

While Black-owned beauty salons have been a mainstay in African-American communities, Nelson says that only recently has the industry witnessed a declining level of Black ownership. She said she and her partners may have to “disrupt the status quo” in the global hair care business and utilize e-commerce to be successful.

“We are prepared to grow this business from an international e-commerce platform,” Nelson said. “The collaboration will include Jill Williams, CEO of Jay-Jill Cosmetics. She is a certified makeup artist who does the make-up/makeovers for the ladies once they’ve gotten their hair extensions put in. We hope to have a variety of African American hair stylists in the community. Synergistically, we can keep the Black dollar circulating in our community, while providing service to our clients.”

Amari sells 100 percent virgin hair extensions in a wide variety of textures and colors. They currently offer Brazilian, Malaysian, and Vietnamese virgin hair that is machine-wefted and handpicked for quality. The hair comes to you in its most natural state which is natural black on an easy to sew-in machine weft track but can be professionally colored by a stylist.

In addition to the Amari Hair Extension Collection, the online hair boutique will feature edge control and 3D Mink lashes. The online boutique will also expand to include additional beauty and accessory products as well.

“We have a proven track record for offering human hair extensions that can be colored, styled and treated to exceed your expectations,” Nelson said. “We only offer high-quality hair products for our beautiful customers. We are excited to offer you top quality hair extensions at affordable prices. Our online store focuses on giving you the best customer experience with great products, service and fast shipping.”

For more details, visit or call (352) 214-2033.