A bad business deal spurred Riqua Hailes, owner of Just Extensions, a hair salon near the Miracle Mile, to make a documentary about the imported hair trade.

“I was dealing with this (hair) vendor – ordering a couple kilos,” Hailes, 42, said. “Once I felt comfortable, I did a big order and they sent me this hair and it was garbage.”

That bad shipment cost her $20,000. So she decided to visit some of her vendors directly to understand why some hair is of better quality than others – traveling to manufacturers in India, Cambodia, Peru and Brazil.

The 79-minute film, “Just Extensions: The Documentary,” took two years and about $45,000 to make and is available online through iTunes. The trip also helped her find two new vendors, who she’s working with to create a collection of hair extensions.

The bad hair that inspired the film? It was human hair mixed with cheap synthetic fibers, which tangle easily and can melt under the heat of a flat iron.

“I still have that hair in my salon – in storage,” Hailes said.

Dating Game

Nicky Hamila, a 27-year-old account executive at Torrance PR firm Hoyt Organization Inc., doesn’t get flustered when an online date goes poorly. In fact, she sees it as an opportunity to brush up on her PR skills.

“A first date is awkward conversation with someone you don’t know in a social setting, but it’s not social, it’s more like a job interview,” Hamila said. “PR is about meeting with clients and journalists and finding things in common. It’s similar.”

If a date is a flat-out disaster, she can practice her troubleshooting tactics.

“I don’t just leave, because it helps me learn how to deal when something goes wrong with a client,” she said. “I learn how to talk my way through anything.”

She also looks for people in the industries she represents. That way, if it’s not a romantic match, it’s still a networking opportunity. And as with meetings with potential clients, she keeps it short: drinks, never dinner.

“You don’t want to commit to a two-hour dinner with a person you may not want to spend 45 minutes with,” she said.

Hamila has been using the dating app Bumble, on which women must initiate a conversation with matches or they disappear after 24 hours.

“On Bumble, people are pretty normal and have careers and goals,” she said. “It’s not like Tinder, where people are just looking to have you over at 3 a.m. to watch Netflix.”

Staff reporters Subrina Hudson and Hannah Miet contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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