About Abantu

YES. Abantu was launched in British Columbia in 1993 by Canadian immigrants Birgit & Michael Okoth. Son Mark Okoth, a Canadian citizen, currently operates Abantu and has no plans to move it from Canada to Mexico!

YES. Since our first day of business in 1993 Abantu has featured a real store with real product and real people who really know their stuff. Please visit our Contact Us page for directions and hours of business at our Kingsway, Vancouver location.

YES. Knowledgable Abantu staff can be reached at the Kingway store at 604.431.8008 or toll-free 1.800.615.9899, Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm– 6pm PST. Closed Sunday and Monday.

NO. Abantu does not accept reverse charge calls, not even from the Queen however, you and the Queen may reach Abantu at no cost from anywhere in the world using our Toll-free number 1.800.615.9899

YES. However, diesel, steam and nuclear powered wheelchairs will have to park outside.

YES, and generally NO.

Abantu is often open to bright and energetic individuals who might thrive in this exciting yet demanding industry. Of course we give preference to those with prior experience and who show a natural inclination for hair-care, hair fashion and trends, backed with a knowledge and personal experience regarding various hair and hair-care products.

If you'd like to join our excellent team and can bring both character, caring, enthusiasm and professionalism to the task, please forward a detailed resume to Abantu's owner:

Mark Okoth c/o Abantu

3596 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC Canada V5R 5L7

Abantu opened its first retail store in Vancouver, BC in 1993 as Abantu Beauty Products Ltd., and launched its retail website in 2000.

Store Policy

Abantu's website displays Canadian Dollars by default.

YES. PayPal is safe and secure and a good alternative to credit cards. Transactions are conducted in Canadian currency.

YES. In addition to PayPal, ApplePay and Abantu Gift Cards you can pay securely with VISA, Mastercard and American Express. Transactions online are conducted in Canadian currency.

YES. If you change your mind about purchased product (not including Sale or Clearance items) the item may be returned if shipped at customer expense within 10 days of the purchase date. The product should be unused and in original factory condition. Please visit our Store Policies page for our current up to date information. (This may be affected by Covid-19)

YES. There is a restocking fee (10% of the purchase price) on straight return/refunds however, there is NO fee when exchanging items. Please visit our Store Policies page for more info.

NO. Abantu sells only 'new' product in original packaging. Our customers can always be assured they are purchasing product in perfect condition. Also to ensure the welfare of our customers we do not  re-sell ‘used’ hair for hygiene concerns. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please visit our Store Policies page for more info.

If your item arrives by mail or courier and the package is notably damaged or compromised, please notify the courier immediately at point of delivery. Abantu is not responsible for such damages but shipments are insured to protect you. Please visit our Store Policies page for more info.

YES. If your item arrived in damaged condition from the factory (not sustained enroute) call Abantu immediately at 1.800.615.9899. You may also email Abantu with photos of the suspect item. Please visit our Store Policies page for more info.

If we shipped the wrong item please call the store (1.800.615.9899) BEFORE returning the item by mail. Please visit our Store Policies page for more info.


YES. When you place an order online you can avoid all shipping charges by selecting 'Local Pick-up from Abantu...' as the shipping option. Items in stock are normally processed within 48 hours. If your ordered is placed before 10am Tue–Sat same-day pick-up may be available but is not guaranteed. Out-of-stock items are normally available for pick-up within 2 weeks (dependant on supplier's availability).

When requesting free pick-up at our Kingsway store, you personally must be present with proof of purchase and payment method.

On all occasions PLEASE CALL ABANTU BEFORE DEPARTURE at 1.800.615.9899

YES. Abantu currently offers free Standard Canada Post shipping on orders of $200 or more, destined for a Canadian location serviceable by standard Canada Post delivery. For addresses beyond the reach of Standard Canada Post additional charges may apply.

YES. Abantu delivers to all communities across Canada served by Canada Post. For additional charges Abantu can ship to remote areas serviced only by couriers. You will be notified of any additional charges before orders are finalized.

YES. Abantu ships to all major worldwide locations accessible by standard postal or courier services. For additional charges Abantu can ship to remote areas serviced by only couriers. Customers are always notified of additional shipping charges before an order is finalized.

POSSIBLY. Shipping costs quoted do NOT include possible customs/duty charges. We apologize for the inconvenience but it is near impossible to establish fixed rates across international borders. Ever turbulent trade relations between Canada and the USA specifically produce unstable policy and pricing.
What we may be able to do is provide examples of charges levied in the past, as a rough guide to what you can expect. Please call us at 1.800.615.9899 for more information.

Subscribers, Gift Cards & Discounts

Joining our family of Subscribers is as easy as submitting your email from the link at the bottom of most pages.

You'll receive our eNewsletter featuring news about our services, the brands and products we offer including the heads-up on new product. Subscribers also receive exclusive offers, discounts, contests and a birhday gift every year. Visit our Subscriber Page for more info.

Abantu constantly looks at mutually-benefial ways to increase the value and impact of your membership and we encourage you to submit your own ideas via phone or email (info@abantu.com).  For more info visit our Contact page.

We look forward to seeing you at the next family gathering.

Mark Okoth

Owner, Operator, Son of Abantu's founding mother in 1993

YES. Abantu is pleased to offer Digital Gift Cards that may be purchased online (click here) then forwarded to any friend or family member with an email account (or you can use it yourself). You may choose a value between $10 and $500. Abantu Gift Cards are balance-trackablehave no expiry and can be used on any desktop pc or mobile device.

Currently Digital Gift Cards are ONLY for online purchases at abantu.com.

We are pleased to offer to all our most seasoned shoppers (65+) a 20% discount every single Tuesday, off the pre-tax total of all regular-priced wigs instore. Just quietly slip us some photo ID off to the side and no one needs to know. :)

To make the most of your day in the sun, every year, you must first be an Abantu Subscriber and have completed the date of birth field at sign-up or at a later date (by clicking your 'Update Preferences' link in Abantu newsletters) and have replied to a birthday morning email we send you.

Click here for more info.

Help for Novice Shoppers

If you’re new to the world of extensions, wigs and hairpieces and feeling a bit overwhelmed, relax, Abantu staff are only a phone call away. Better yet, our bright Kingsway store lets you see and feel your options including the best method of colour matching. Based on your budget and needs we can help you choose the hair that’s perfect for you. Reach us at 604.431.8008, Toll-free at 1.800.615.9899 or drop into 3956 Kingsway Tues–Sat.

Alternately, consult your favourite stylist. Salons have specialties and preferences based on real-world applications and their practical experience is priceless.

You can also visit our Face Shape Guide and Wig Styles Guide via the INFO menu. Both are excellent sources to learn about both your particular face and which styles work best.

Spelling!  Certain brands stick with the original ‘y’ and some prefer branding with the ‘i’. Either way the actual hair remains of the same type. At Abantu we reference the ‘y’ except when listing actual branded usage of the ‘i’. eg. "Bohyme Birth Remi is expensive but outstanding remy hair."

All are 100% human hair however Virgin hair is not chemically altered, cuticles are intact and hair is smooth and manageable. Remi offers greater quality beginning with virgin hair from a single donor, consistent cut lengths, aligned cuticles for tangle-free longer-lasting hair, and possibly professional colour-dyeing.

Budget-priced Human hair may come from multiple sources and may be more-heavily processed and coloured. Quality, manageability and durability varies yet it is often still considered a better choice than most synthetic hair.

Debatably yes. Good Synthetic hair may be easier to wear and maintain at first but resilience to the elements (incl. repeated cleaning) is sometimes brief and managebility decreases faster than it may with more expensive human hair.

Human hair demands the same care you give your own natural hair and generally, the more care you give the more beautiful your hair will look, for longer periods but conversely be warned, if you don't take great care it will show!

Dependant on initial quality and how well you care for your extensions, you can expect 1–6 months as a fair lifespan. Exceptional quality extension hair and exceptional care may earn a few more months of exceptional style!

If unsure about a specific product it is wise to assume that the wig or extensions are NOT 'fire-proof' and are NOT 'heat-resistant'. This is true for both natural and synthetic products. Wigs or extensions made with the best quality human hair are subject to all the same limitations as your own hair. Too much heat-styling will eventually damage human hair, and exposing directly to flame is simply never a good idea.

Synthetic products may be even less tolerant of heat however, there are many popular brands offering patented fibres designed to allow for heat-styling. Estetica Designs offers their own Futura Fibre in a number of quality wigs. Tony of Beverly uses Ambient Fiber, and Jon RenauHair Couture and Natural Way all provide heat-stylable synthetic solutions to afford you some piece of mind and more styling options.

That said, you still can't put a flame to anything and expect good things to happen, and certainly not a refund!

Directly related to the question... How long will you take very good care of your wig?!

Consider the worst case example of a poor quality wig, receiving no care/maintenance yet spending two weeks non-stop at the sandy beach, the heated, chlorinated wave pool, sunbathing, the nights on the town hanging with that one last friend in the smoking room, and oh, that baking incident! Truth is, under those conditions, not even the finest wigs will last longer than your hangover.

Alternately, buy a quality wig (have you seen our selection?) and invest in some common sense ground rules, stick to them, store your wig properly (wig stands are priceless) and clean/shampoo only with recommended product and brushes. Your wig will last months if not years and still look nothing like a bird's nest.

If ever in doubt remind yourself, if you wouldn't do it to your own hair without consequences, you shouldn't do it to your wig and not expect similar consequences. Show your wig some love and respect and you'll go places together forever!

Over the past 2-3 decades there have been outstanding advancements in wig design and construction that truly set today's wigs lengths apart from the mops your Grandmother had to put up with. Even the notion that wigs are really for seniors with hair loss is antiquated. The explosion of styles and colours in combination with wefted, hand-tied, monofilament and lace-front advances has put wig wearing in the everyday mainstream.

Costume wigs are frequently not built to the same standards as 'normal' wigs, and are generally not designed to last beyond the single event you thought that Beehive was perfect for! Buy a costume wig or poor quality hair/badly made wig and 'comfortable' may not come to mind but invest in a good wig made for everyday wear and there's a very good chance you'll forget you're wearing it. 

Don't wear it to bed!

YES... please visit our Wig Styles Guide

There are as many styles as there are stylists with imagination. In time any style may become the prime example of a trend and yet, in time, may itself give rise to a dozen variations that themselves obscure the original. It's likely that we'd all disagree on what to call the next variation to leave the salon but we can agree on a few benchmarks that stand the test of time, on which most other styles evolve from.

At Abantu we currently list 11 of those wig style benchmarks although there are more we don't carry for lack of demand. Abantu offers over 250 wig styles that largely meander between those benchmarks. Our Wig Guide describes the characteristics that must be present to define a given style. To help you zone in on your favourites we also tag all wigs with one or more benchmark styles. eg. a short Shag may also be seen as a longer Pixie. All styles are linked to their own collection for quicker browsing. In alphabetical order the current benchmarks (some quite broad) are:

Afro, Big Hair, Bob, Mullet, Page Boy, Pig Tails, Pixie, Purdey, Shag, Silky Straight and Wedge.

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