For many Black women, our textured hair thrives on low manipulation and protective styles. Not to mention, there are so many cute options, making it not just easy, but a preference. Whether you want to switch up your look for a special occasion, experiment with a new cut and color, or simply a low maintenance look, wigs are an excellent protective style for serving just about all of these needs.
And there’s a new company on the market that wants to help Black women and their wigs — every day of the week. Waeve is a new lifestyle brand that is on a mission to bring Black girls joy by allowing them to express themselves through wigs.
“We really wanted to kind of change that narrative and to inject an element of fun into wigs,” says co-founder and CEO Imevbore. “So that’s why it was important for us that the styles are different. We believe you’re putting on the wig to have a different hairstyle, maybe one that’s different from what you could achieve with your natural hair. And so, it was important to us that the styles were all different from each other, and sort of fun in that way, and try to incorporate some elements of classic style.
Founded by three Black women in their mid-twenties, Mary Imevbore, Susana Hawken, and Tiiso McGinty, Waeve is reimagining wigs by harnessing the power they represent to empower Black girls—because wigs are actually about power, and control.
The hair extensions industry may seem overcrowded, but if you have the right marketing strategy you could be well on your way to cashing checks at the bank. Waeve’s beginner-friendly wig line, which has a Gen-Z marketing focus, offers a different look for every day of the week and is doing just that.
By making it fun and easy to buy and wear wigs, the Boston-based company allows Black girls to reclaim their time and change up their hair without having to spend hours in a salon chair or fruitlessly searching for wigs online. Waeve’s motto of “Feel Good Hair” is not only a reclamation of agency in beauty, but a manifesto dedicated to looking good, feeling good and doing good.
Imevbore first became conscious of her hair, its texture and all of its complexities her sophomore year of high school, when she cut off all of her chemically straightened hair and started to grow out its natural texture.
“My hair was such a big part of my personal identity,” says Imevbore. “I actually wrote my college application essay on my hair and on the experience of going natural, because I just knew that after I went natural, I was never going to go back to chemically straightening my hair. I felt I kind of discovered a part of myself. But then I got to college and I didn’t have the same amount of time that I had in high school.”
Convenience became Imevbore’s entryway into the wig world. “I was just looking for something that was just easy,” she says. “And so, I was complaining to my mom one day and she kind of recommended that I try a wig and it absolutely just changed my life.”
The Waeve founders recently ranked on the small list of Black women founders who have raised over a million dollars in venture capital, after raising $2 million in its pre-seed funding round. Two notable investors are former executives at skin care Glossier and current leaders at beauty brand incubator Chord (formerly Arfa): Henry Davis, former Glossier president and COO ,and current Chord COO; and Bryan Mahoney, former Glossier CTO and current Chord CEO.
“One of the biggest things [while fundraising] was just having to spend much more time defining the problem than we would have,” says Imevbore.
The current “Days of the Week” collection: three wigs made of synthetic hair and the other three from human, range from $72 to $398. Outside of their wig line, the founders are also guiding consumers on how to best care for the hair. Waeve has curated a lifestyle blog along with a gallery of online tutorials that walk clients through product must-haves for any wig, as well as tips for cleansing and styling.