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Tanzanians flip their wigs over hair extensions tax

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:16s - Published < > Embed
Tanzanians flip their wigs over hair extensions tax

Tanzanians flip their wigs over hair extensions tax

In Africa, the huge "dry hair" market of weaves, extensions and wigs crafted from everything from synthetic fibre to human or yak hair is worth billions of dollars.

But now, Tanzania's government has announced a 25% "dry hair" import tax, which has women and industry stakeholders up in arms. Lauren Anthony reports.


Tanzanians flip their wigs over hair extensions tax

For these Tanzanian women, their wigs are part of their identity.

So it comes as no surprise that a tax increase on hair extensions has been met with anger.

Tanzania's government has imposed a 25 per cent hike on "dry hair" imports.

In other words - wigs, weaves and hair extensions.

They've also added a 10 percent tax on those made locally - in a bid to increase government revenue.

But those involved in the production line - importers, retailers, hair dressers - and their clientele - say the new tax is devastating for business.

(SOUNDBITE) (Swahili ) GLORY, DAR ES SALAAM RESIDENT, SAYING: "I think the government should leave it alone.

Leave the original cost as it is, so we can afford to be beautiful.

Women have to look good, and if we cannot afford to do so then we are not attractive." (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) CONSTANTINE, HAIR DRESSER, SAYING: "If the tax is raised, there won't be enough work for us.

This is the only job I have.

We have employed ourselves, we leave our homes to come do this work.

So if I lose my customers, it will affect me a lot, because this is where I get my daily bread." Tanzania is East Africa's third-largest economy - and it's hungry for funds.

That's due to heavy investment in public infrastructure projects.

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