Tanzania has imposed a 25% tax on all imported wigs and hair extensions as it makes efforts to rake in more revenue.
The country’s finance minister, Philip Mpango also announced a 10% tax on wigs produced locally.
The latest taxes will be enforced from next month, according to the government as part of it’s annual budget statement.
The statement was delivered on Thursday by the minister who was detailing how the country intends spending in the coming twelve months.
Millions of Tanzanian women do patronize wigs or artificial hair especially those produced abroad and imported into the country.
Some of these wigs can cost as high as $130 with the cheapest costing around $4.
The government wants to discourage the use of these products as well as their importation.
Tanzanian women are unhappy with the new taxes and have complained on various social media platforms.
A wig importer Annasatasia Sigera is quoted by the BBC as saying that “People love artificial hair. Why of all the things that could be taxed did they opt for wigs?”
One women who spends $450 on her hair extension also told the BBC that “It’s like they’re punishing us because women like hair and we like to look good.”
Aristote Mwamtobe, runs a popular salon in the main city Dar es Salaam. He expressed his anger in an interview with the BBC.
“The 10% tax [for locally-made wigs] and the 25% tax [for imported wigs] is too expensive for our sisters,” he said.
Mwantobe claims women “might cut their hair and then get a divorce as the men are used to seeing their wives with long hair, and then suddenly things change!”
Meanwhile the government has also reimposed taxes on sanitary towels. The minister argues that an earlier exemption has not benefited consumers.
Mpanga argues that many sellers did not reduce their prices when the exemption was announced.