Beauty Store Business

SEP 2017

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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Page 34 of 75 | September 2017 33 Jason Bennett HairUWear tackled an undeveloped niche, changed the haircare landscape and struck skyrocketing success—while maintaining its family-owned values for nearly 50 years. By Tracy Morin hen Michael Napolitano, owner, president and CEO of HairUWear, launched American Hairlines in 1980 with wife, Denise, and mother, Eleanor, he couldn't have predicted the explosion in popularity of hairpieces, extensions, wigs and accessories in the coming decades; but he did have a strong premonition. Even years later—after acquiring Eva Gabor International in 1996 and introducing Great Lengths in 1997—many skeptics remained. "Everyone thought I was crazy," Napolitano says. "In 1997, there was virtually no hair extension business in the United States, outside the ethnic markets. But I didn't believe that." His hunch proved correct—and drove him to play a major role in reigniting consumers' passion for the category. Beauty Store Business recently chatted with Napolitano and a few key executives in his thriving enterprise to learn more about the company's humble roots and meteoric rise to becoming the No. 1 alternative hair company in the world. Ready to Wear

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