'Fake hair' alert after Joburg salon bust allegedly selling synthetic Peruvian hair
A Johannesburg woman is fuming after claiming she spent R2,300 on what she believed was natural Peruvian hair - but which she later came to realise was fake.
Bonolo Mokoena*, 28, is now seeking legal advice over the saga.
Mokoena said she bought 20-inch Peruvian hair for R2,300 from Sky Diva Hair in Johannesburg. But she claims the quality was not as advertised. A few days after buying it, she tried to straighten the curly wig as she got ready for work. To her shock, it started getting tangled and falling out.
“I tried brushing the hair and it got crazy tangled. Then I ran my fingers through it and I realised it was synthetic hair," she said.
"To my knowledge, hair named after a country is not meant to tangle. You buy it because you know it will last you years.
"I was slaying with the hair. For a day it was beautiful and perfect - but little did I know."
Soon slaying became a thing of the past. “It felt like steel wool. It’s upsetting because I paid so much money for something I could have spent R300 on. It’s upsetting to see your money on the floor,” Mokoena told TimesLIVE.
"I have three other wigs that I have all had for over a year. None of them tangles or breaks to that extent."
After wearing the wig for three days, Mokoena contacted the salon for a return. They suggested that she exchange it, but she didn't want to because she felt she couldn't trust the product any more. She claims the salon gave her the runaround before paying her back, adding that she even had to get a lawyer to write a letter of demand.
A Sky Diva Hair manager, who would only be identified as Khomotso, confirmed knowledge of the incident.
Mokoena claimed that Khomotso examined the hair and confirmed in front of three other people that it was not “body wave" but was in fact "straight hair that had been curled and it was never going to stay curly".
“Normally hair should last you about three to four years,” said Khomotso.
She accused Mokoena of seeking unnecessary attention. “We paid her back, so what’s the problem? We thought this was solved and let go of."
Yentl Palmer, owner of Hair Extension Experts, provided tips on how to identify whether hair was human or synthetic.
“Heat-resistant synthetic hair is often misleadingly labelled as human hair by dishonest suppliers and sold for a lower price than human hair," she said.
"A way to test if hair is synthetic is to take one strand and burn it. If it ravels up and lets off a blue smoke with a synthetic smell and then leaves a little melted ball at the end of the burnt strand, then it is most likely synthetic hair. Human hair has a lighter smoke and a burnt smell, and the end will turn into a powder.”
* Name changed to protect her identity.