Premium, top quality hair for extensions and weaves are not something easily acquired, said Indique Boutique’s co-founder and creative director Ericka Dotson.
Indique hair offers a unique product to women who want the best, instead of cheaper products, which do not last as long and eventually rack up higher installation and maintenance costs. Dotson said typical hair extensions are not “pure,” meaning the hair has been altered from its original state or is a synthetic version
“What was prevalent on the market before we came into the picture was a lot of not natural human hair,” Dotson said. “If it is human hair, it had gone through an acid bath wash, and the cuticles ran in two different directions. It’s not going to last as long. Our hair will last for a year. Other hair will last for a few months after a few washes. Most women who have worn weaves have experienced this inferior hair and found it frustrating. We introduced something that is totally beyond what they’ve experienced.”
Located at 1607 South St., Indique Boutique’s new location in Philadelphia has already attracted a significant amount of customers. The company began six years ago as an online retailer of the premium quality “virgin” hair. Since then, it has expanded to offer in-store service, with boutiques located in Philadelphia, Lower Manhattan and New Jersey – and others opening soon in Houston, Atlanta and Chicago.
Indique offers stand out due to its standards of hair quality. Instead of working through a middleman, Indique established its own connections and resources in India, where the company purchases hair donated to temples. Women donate their hair to the temples, which then sell the hair for money to improve their facilities. In turn, Indique is able to offer its clients hair that has never been dyed, altered or chemically affected.
“It’s a huge blessing to be able to offer this type of hair. It’s not easy to obtain,” Dotson said.
She called her discovery of the premium-type hair an “epiphany.”
On Jan. 12, Indique Boutique opened its doors on South Street, offering free weaves to the first 10 customers who arrived that day. The promotion sparked a frenzy of attendees, who arrived even before the doors opened.
“We had a lot of people waiting in front,” said store manager Maryam Sherif, who relocated to Philadelphia for the new store. She previously worked with Indique in New York at the flagship store in SoHo.
“I noticed a huge line of people outside the doors on its opening day,” Christina Ponsaran, the store manager at the nearby Pure Fare, said. She added that the store looked very appealing and added a lot of aesthetic appeal to the area. The interior of the store is adorned with warm pink walls and artfully displayed hair.
Though Indique hopes to attract young, college-age clients interested in investing in a better quality hair, it also boasts very high profile clientele. Many celebrities are loyal Indique customers, including Brandy, Monica, Lady Gaga, Cassie, Aubrey O’Day, Azealia Banks, Ciara and Philadelphia native Jill Scott, among many others.
“I hope Jill Scott comes in,” Sherif said. “That would be really, really nice.”
She said many of these celebrities find Indique so appealing because of the versatility of its hair, which can be dyed to fit the desire of a client. Many available collections of specific hair options cater to a broad range of lifestyles, something not only busy celebrities can appreciate, but also students with hectic schedules.
Indique works with professional stylists in the area to which it can refer clients who have purchased its hair product, after being able to have what Sherif called “the Indique experience,” which entails being able to touch and feel samples of hair until they settle on what fits their desired look best. Students working with a budget should look into Indique, she said, due to its higher quality, ensuring a longer lasting product.
“College kids should come in and experience it,” Sherif said. Dotson agreed and also noted that students could be referred to affordable stylists.
“It’s great for a student because you’re not spending tons of money taking poor quality hair down and going back to a stylist,” Dotson said. “Who has time to worry about hair? You want to go to early class and still look stylish. We look forward to working with groups of clients from Temple.”
Erin Edinger-Turoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.