The sports category has moved to a new website.

Indian firm behind 'Darling' hair products sells assets to new company

652 Kenyans are expected to lose their jobs after the Competition Authority of Kenya approved the acquisition

A woman being braided

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the acquisition of certain assets of Style Industries Limited by the newly established Hair Manufacturing Kenya Limited.

Style Industries will exit the market and be replaced by Hair Manufacturing.

This move has, however, cast a shadow over the future of hundreds of workers, as it is reported that up to 652 Kenyan employees might lose their jobs as a result of the transaction.

The approval came with the condition that Hair Manufacturing Kenya retains at least 70% of Style Industries' workforce for 12 months post-acquisition.


However this leaves 30% of the employees facing job insecurity.

"Therefore, the proposed transaction will have a positive effect on public interest. However, the transaction is also elicit negative public interest concerns. Specifically, it will lead to the loss of 652 jobs which is equivalent to 30% of the target's 2,171 employees," the authority said.

Style Industries Limited has been a significant player in the Kenyan beauty sector, known for its hair addition products like braids and wigs under the 'Darling' brand.

Style Industries is ultimately controlled by Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPLIndia).


"The proposed transaction involves the acquisition of certain assets -- plant & machinery, office equipment and inventory -- of Style Industries by Hair Manufacturing," the Competition Authority of Kenya said in its statement.

The market for hair products in Kenya is highly fragmented with a combination of local manufacturers and a significant number of imports.

The authority, in its mandate, ensures that such mergers do not hamper competition or public interest.

The CAK has taken into account the need for competition as well as the public's welfare.


The assessment included a review of the target's financial standing and the implications for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), industry sectors, and the broader national interest.

According to CAK, the market for hair extensions and wigs is largely fragmented having players with local manufacturing capabilities as well as a significant extent of imported goods.

It is characterised by many players comprising local manufacturers and importers. Some notable players include; Angels Hair Collection Kenya (Sanaa Industries Ltd), Lush Hair Kenya (Tolaram Group), Fashion Idol (Rebecca Fashion), Olivia Hair Kenya (Di Lorenzo Ltd), Africa Hair Factory Ltd., Unique Beauty Salon Consultants (UBSC), Style Haven Ltd., Exotic Dreadlocks & Weaves Ltd. and Lazy Daisy & Shear Elegance, among others.


In the last 5 years, the market has experienced the entry of new players like Lush Hair Kenya and Olivia Hair Kenya.

6wresearch, a global market research and consulting firm, reports that Kenya has increasingly been relying more on imports to meet its growing demand of human hair extensions.

Domestic production and supply trails local demand.

According to Volza, an import export database company based in India, 2021 import data places Kenya's annual hair extension shipments at 49. These shipments belong to 21 importers who access their product from 20 suppliers.

Solpia Industries accounted for the highest import market share with 12 shipments. Torchmark Enterprises Limited had 5 shipments while Rose Naisenya Suakei was at third with 4 shipments.


The industry's revenue in 2022 was approximately Sh80 billion. In the same year, the target's market share stood at 5%.



Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: