The virgin hair extension craze is still going strong and in a world of many, Empress Hair Extensions, based in Baltimore, MD is standing out!
EGL had the chance to not only try the product Empress Hair Extensions has to offer, but chop it up with owner and founder, Nyasha Bivins, as well.
If you order from this company, expect quality packaging as well. Your bundles will come in a cute box with a bow on top and each bundle will be tied together in their own separate plastic bags. Your purchase will also come with care instructions, which is a big plus for first time extension-wearers.
Because of the natural state of the hair, the bundles are varying colors of brown, which is a great indication that you’re dealing with REAL virgin hair.
According to Bivens, “Empress’ virgin extensions are 100% virgin hair that has not been altered, mixed, or chemically treated. We carefully pick through and thoroughly inspect every bundle before we sell it.”
We decided to dye the hair a natural black (Review done on the “Royal Deep Wave” texture in 16, 18, 18, 20 inches.).
The hair has a beautiful curl pattern to it that remains even after dying. It’s best to let the hair air dry after washing and conditioning it. Initially, the hair is very soft, has minimal shedding and doesn’t even need combing/brushing, if taken care of properly. If not, the hair can become dry, a little tangled and lack shine. It’s important to tie your hair up at night, wash and condition as instructed on the care sheet provided and even twisting or braiding you hair at night with light oil in your hands will keep the hair’s curl pattern. You don’t have to worry about split ends on this hair either and it can withstand thermal styling and still revert back to its natural curl beautifully after shampooing.
EGL: What made you want to get into the hair business?
Bivens: Growing up, I never saw any black-owned hair business, [although] I always felt that our people spent the most money in the cosmetics and beauty industry. I wanted to find an alternative to make it a lot easier for women to have access to high quality hair and beauty products. I understand the hassle that all women face when it comes to purchasing good quality hair, so it was important to me to eliminate the doubt that many women experience when purchasing hair and beauty products ― mostly felt because of a lack of trust in the beauty industry that, at times, does not have the best interest of black women at heart. My ultimate goal is [for black] women be inspired that someone just like them could find success being a business owner in this industry.
EGL: What makes your company different from all of the other hair companies out there?
Bivens: Empress is directed by a certified hairstylist, so we genuinely care about the health of your natural hair. We teach women how to properly take care [of] and maintain their hair. We also offer a variety or organic beauty products.
EGL: Where do you see yourself in the next year? Five years?
Bivens: Within a year, I plan on owning a full service beauty salon-store combination [with] the best certified beauticians and estheticians, top of the line hair products for women with different hair textures, top quality virgin extensions that last for years, trendy apparel for women and cosmetics that not only enhance your beauty, but provide the best ingredients to strengthen your skins health and overall look. I see Empress being one of the most known and trusted local brands in the hair industry
EGL: What would you tell someone who wants to get into the hair business?
Bivens: I would tell someone that whatever it is that you aspire to do, DO NOT let fear or negativity stop you from doing what your heart desires. Just because you may not have it all together or have all the necessary funds at the moment, that doesn’t mean you can’t still be ambitious enough to take the risk. Always remember, you have to start from somewhere and the money and customers will start rolling in eventually.
2016 will be an exciting year for Empress Extensions, as Bivens will be releasing a natural hair line for women who prefer to keep their hair naturally styled. She is also releasing a lipstick line and a product line for men that will include cologne, lotion, and organic face and beard oils that will be available for purchase in barbershops across the DMV area. Her “Empress navy” will be able to purchase merchandise like t-shirts, leggings, jackets and much more very soon as well.
To find out more about Empress Extensions, follow the company on Instagram at @empressvirginextensions_. You can also reach out via email (email@example.com) or phone at 443-796-3536.
Written and Interview By: Chey Parker, Editor in Chief