By Rieva Lesonsky

When I was a kid I got a Tressy doll as a gift. The “magic” of Tressy was her hair. She came with normal (for the 1960s) pageboy-style hair, but when you pushed a button on her stomach, part of her hair instantly grew, giving her luxurious-looking long locks.

They don’t make Tressy dolls anymore, but most of us can get instant long hair today (without pushing any buttons) thanks to extensions. Hair extensions have become big business, either DIY or at salons. If you own a salon, beauty supply store or website, or other female-focused retail business, you might think about adding a line of extensions to your inventory.

According to the folks at Alibaba.com, hair extensions “accounted for a whopping 68 percent of all beauty product purchases from AliExpress” (their international consumer e-marketplace) in the first half of this year. Consumers in the United States accounted for 75 percent of those purchases, trailed by buyers in the United Kingdom (7 percent), Canada (3 percent) and France (2 percent).

Not all extensions are the same, of course. AliExpress reported that in August the most popular searches were for “body wave curls” style extensions, though curly and kinky-curly styles were also popular.

The top U.S. purchasers of extensions live in Brooklyn, Atlanta and Miami, so if you live in one of those cities, selling (or helping people use) hair extensions could bring in some pretty profits.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+   and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.