Vivian Kaye Of KinkyCurlyYaki On Her Dedication To Keeping It So Kinky, It’s “Kanky”
The extension game as we know it has changed over the years. Weaves are getting longer, no one cares if they look less than realistic, and the more inflated the more embraced. But another major change in terms of extensions is the growing popularity of textured hair to match natural hair, and when it comes to that, KinkyCurlyYaki is a name you need to know — if you don’t already.
KinkyCurlyYaki is a company started by Vivian Kaye, which sells high quality, 100 percent human hair that’s textured. It was one of the first companies to make hair extensions solely for our actual hair, and was created out of Kaye’s desire to have options that would fit not only her style, but her actual hair texture. Kaye was working in the wedding industry and in an attempt to always look her best at these events, she realized she needed better options. This was way back in 2010, 2011.
“I was doing research and realized at the time, nobody is really selling just kinky hair.”
So she decided to step in and dominate that lane, and KinkyCurlyYaki was born. It has since expanded into six different textures (afro coily, afro kinky curly, kinky curly, light yaki, coarse yaki and kinky blow out), full wigs, head wraps from Ghana, styling accessories and more. Clientele for the hair (which starts at $95) has grown exponentially, as have the styling options.
“It’s 100 percent human hair. You care for it like you would your own hair,” Kaye said. “You can dye it, twist it out, Bantu knot it. Pretty much whatever you do with your hair you can do with this hair.”
“We have the largest variety of how you can wear the hair,” she added. “If you want to weave it in we have wigs and we also have clip-ins.”
And while other types of extensions of the Brazilian, Peruvian and Malaysian persuasion can bring about a lot of questions and side-eyes (especially from your non-Black co-workers), you won’t have those same issues with hair that blends in perfectly with your own.
“It looks like you,” she said. “No one is asking you where you bought it, how much is it — you don’t get that with this.”
After dealing with questions of “Who wants to buy kinky hair?” when she was starting her company, KinkyCurlyYaki has brought Kaye a lot of success. However, that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily interested in expanding to your local beauty supply.
“It’s because of the experience,” Kaye said. “People DM us and say, ‘This is what my hair looks like when it’s wet. This is what my hair looks like when it’s twisted out.’ So we can tell them, ‘Okay, so this is what you should wear.’ I don’t want it to end up in a beauty supply store with the rest of all of the yaki. Those people are not going to help you out.”
“I have that unique experience, I am my own customer, so I have that unique point of view as a customer and as a business owner,” she added. “It would be ideal to have this out in Africa and in the Caribbean because they don’t have the shipping access that we do in North America. But other than that, no plan to get it in stores.”
If you’re interested, as you should be, you can check out the wide variety of offerings at KinkyCurlyYaki.com, and see the many styles and ways to wear the KinkyCurlyYaki hair on the company’s Instagram page.
Images via KinkyCurlyYaki