Why Do Korean Beauty Supply Stores Outnumber Black Owned Ones?

Do you seek out black owned BSS stores

This is an issue that has been irritating me to the core. OK, let me refrain from being hostile. This is an issue that has been irritating me for years! Oh well, I tried, I tried but my heart isn’t in it because it’s a problem that needs to be fixed and I think that the Natural Hair Movement (NHM) is one of the ways to change that.

What do I mean? Well, let’s face it…black women, can you find a Beauty Supply Store in America that isn’t owned by Koreans?

By the time I was living in New Orleans and going to college, weaves were big business and you couldn’t pass a block without seeing an ultra-big Beauty Supply Store in the shopping center.

Now, am I equating the BSS with weaves? Yea, kinda, because I can’t remember that many stores being around until weaves got big. I also can’t remember being in a BSS without Koreans running and owning it either.

Now, I have nothing against Korean’s and their entrepreneurial spirit but I do have a problem with them selling every product known to black women for our hair when there are barely any black owned beauty stores.

IT’S OUR HAIR!!! I know we corner the market on the salons and hair stylists that do our hair but we have too many other areas of marketing that we fail to control.

There are the hair products, the added hair, the accessories and even hair trends. We have the numbers and the power but let me slow down before I have people riled up talking about a revolution. I’m just wondering why we don’t monopolize this market and have the majority of beauty supply stores that carry the products we use for our hair.

Now, I’ve heard a few reasons as to why Koreans are owning and running these shops where we find our hair products. One reason being Koreans can get loans from prominently white banks that will not often lend to blacks.

I have heard of banking or lending discrimination and I’m willing to believe at least some of that is true but for the vast majority I know there has to be a deeper explanation.

Sally’s Beauty Supply is the largest chain in America with over 2,300 stores but if you add all the Korean BSS’s together you get three times that many! Scary but true.

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About Sabrina Perkins

Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com

About Sabrina Perkins

Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com


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Mika Green

Variety demands

Demetric Smith

He needs to try his Owen products! Variety is not demand.

Tiffany Murphy

Besides supremacy issues blk ppl still have to fight against today…the Korea stores seem to have a bigger variety, I would have to drive at least 1hr away to get to a blk owned beauty supply store that would have everything I needed and a good selection of options too! It’s sad!


I agree. Most black people still have a problem supporting each other. As a people we tend to think “we” should get a discount because “we” are supporting each other. Unless that is something we” do in other stores, “we” shouldn’t do that in “our” stores. In addition to that thought process, I’ve seen “our” people charged more for a product just because of the color of our skin causing us to raise the in-store prices to cover our shipping costs. It’s like a catch 22 – we want to own stores catering to us but society and our own people make it a little difficult.

Chantal McKelton
Chantal McKelton

Discounts will NEVER grow a business, and “we” only seem to expect continuous discounts from our own people. As someone who has tried and failed several times to grow my business, that really ticks me off. No matter what price I set, it’s always “too high!” for my own people. My hookup-happy friends don’t care that they’re eating away at my profit margin, which I need to feed my family. The mentality is clear; my people still don’t believe that I deserve to make a profit, but they will line Korean (and European) pockets without the slightest argument! How about hooking ME up by paying the price that I set?

Mayola Welborn

I agree with your statement. I am a designer of one of a kind clothing and jewelry!!! I work harder on average than people that do the same thing of another ethnicity. I am Always asked to lower my prices and they are Very reasonable sometimes dresses under forty dollars, one of a kind and well put together. Truth, we Cannot survive and its our own that does it. Sisters will see my earrings and ask me to lower costs and then they will go to Claire’s or Spencer’s and pay the same amount for a mass produced article of jewelry…smh! It can be disheartening, but I won’t give up!!! I’m glad to know that they are people like you who see this and speak up about it. Thank You for your comment!!! I wish you Blessings Up Always…stay focused and think positive even when it just doesn’t pan out. One day it will, I have to believe that!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Meco Harris

I look for product variety, price, customer service, knowledge, and shopping experience …I don’t care who owns it

Stacey-Ann Honeyghan

Yes. Hard to find

Kai Grayson

I agree w/Mika. ALL of the black (African) owned beauty supply stores that I’ve visited in Houston have very little to offer. Meanwhile, the Asian beauty supply has everything needed for your beauty needs. I would love to patronize my own as support, but “variety demands”.

Antoinette Boston

Most black owner stores can’t compete with the prices. Did you see good hair/bad hair by Chris Rock?

Chrissi Peake

Its easier for themq

Catina Lovett Gay

My opinion black owners price are high. So how can you support them.


All of the stores prices are high, even the Korean or any other ethnic group that sells Black oriented products. People can spend money when they want to spend money. It’s just an excuse not to support.

Gina Smith

They have the hookups and won’t give them away

Princess Elvin-Lewis

Good hair by Chris rock is one of the best tv documentarys ever

Beautiiful Camille Berry

Yes! Along with lack of variety the prices are more at a black owned beauty supply stores…js

Carrie H James

Are there any black owned in Greensboro

Vicki Jackson

Because we don’t have that overseas connect!


It’s not that we don’t have the connections, it’s that the Koreans have made it so the sellers won’t sell to black business owners. It’s a very calculated move to keep us out of our own hair business.


This is very true, I live in the United Kingdom and South East Asians (mainly Indians and Pakistani’s) own the majority of Black Hair shops. I hate going into the shops as they guard the shop as if they are prison guards watching over prisoners in a yard- they have workers strategically placed in every corner of the shop, they have security cameras and mirrors covering all areas of the shop also. They even have the nerve to follow you sometimes, I hate that they hate us (By showing us such disdain by assuming we are all thieves yet LOVE our money). So many black people overlook this fact, they don’t see the bigger picture, they are more concerned with the price, getting that product for £3.99 instead of £5.99 (I get this as I am guilty of this myself). However we should care about this, the black hair industry generates millions of pounds in the UK, I can only assume that this is far greater in the US, why should we not be profiting from an industry that predominately caters to US. The lack of unity and faith in the black community is what in my opinion holds us back, ‘United we stand Divided we fall’. South east Asian people understand this as they are overall quite a close knit community and help and support each other in business and in other areas and are in doing much better financially than African-Caribbean people in this country. Communities that do well socially and economically are respected even though they may still be subjected to racism and discrimination.


Lord God Khaya, you just said a mouth full and I enjoy every piece of it. Women can cuss out LaKeisha like nobody’s business for shorting them on a rib tip platter but let them go into one of those Korean Beauty Supply stores, they just as mild and meek and subject themselves to be ridiculed like they are on a slave platform, being followed around, talked about by those Koreans in their language, putting them on a showcase, trying to find the right wig for them and telling them it’s pretty and nice when all the while it looks like a damp dog and don’t talk about the return policy, you buy, you buy….that’s it, don’t come back because we got your money now so skedaddle outta here until you come back with more money to buy new hair. I pray our sistas wake up and realize we are just pawns in this hair game and we are the losing pieces. If anyone knows of any Black own BSS, please pass on the information.

Donna Germany

I don’t even know if there is a black owned beauty supply store here in a Oakland anymore. There used to be one but he NEVER had any inventory…you want to support black owned businesses but they make it hard when they don’t have any products to buy!!!

Martine Galliotte

It depends on where im at or what I need at the time. Not too many black owned beauty supplies stores where I live.

Ashleiigh Sanz

I wouldn’t care if a Australian owned it. I look for great customer service, variety of products, employee knowledge, and preferably locally owned.

Haud Bert

I often wonder why???

Laquicia Dinish

because they have connections on the goods, and they know the Black hair care stores is were the money at.

Britney Smith

Here in louisville, ky. I’ve only ran across one black owned hair store and they really don’t carry natural hair products like the other stores do that are not black owned.


I know exactly what you mean. I’m in Louisville too and the only non-Korean beauty shops around here is Sally’s and believe me, Sally is NOT Black! You don’t see the Korean owned shops in the wealthier sections of the city, Only the lower-middle to low income areas, but then again it’s no secret that Black women spend more money on hair products than any other ethnicity, so they go where the money is. They hate us but they need us. I haven’t stepped in a Korean BSS in 5 years and I don’t think I ever will again.

Tasha Blackburn

Nope cuz I don’t use any of that stuff. … professional products only

Lenora Hall-doss

Because their coming to the USA taking over everything!!!!

Tamika Birmingham

I do support black owned beauty supply stores when I can find them.

Ella Alexander

Not only variety demands…but prices….I have been in many black owned businesses. ..their prices are ridiculous! ! And we never want to cut eachother any discounts…you got to give a little to get a little! !

Mieshel Jett

Korean has the bus warehouses locked down…

Cheryl Williams

Unfortunately it is still a big struggle for African American to get loans like that ,it’s easier for foreigners to get business loans!

Denise N Raymond Sanders

I have a black owned not too far from me…I don’t mind the drive, but don’t go bcuz they ither are out of the products I need (don’t purchase enough stock) or they don’t carry my products I buy (not enough variety)!

Socearre Moskalski

Because black people refuse to step up and be entrepreneurs

Alethea Hunter

What does it matter hair is hair.

Angela DaRocha

Unfortunately not enough variety and the prices are more reasonable…

Marsha Denise Willis-Howard

I’ve owned a Beauty Supply Store and have tons of friends with stores….I can go on and on about this subject.

Kimberly Crump

Would love to but mainly Asian

Tashi Patton

It might b bcuz its easier to get loans from the banks for asians…i can barely get tha homie to pau me back my 20 bucks

Sharetta Howard

Foreigners get government grants and different monies that allow them to have successful businesses. They truly are awarded for becoming citizens as where blacks have to spend more and work more just to start a business let alone invest in having the supplies.

Milicent Gadgetgeek White

I make my own natural products for my locs. I shop at Sally beauty supply, Walmart, drugstore.com and as a last resort Asian-owned beauty store if I can’t wait or find it anywhere else.

Ashley Iainttakinnoshit Plummer

We are too busy buying the hair when we should be manufacturing and distributing the hair. As usual our focus is in the wrong place

Giana Marshay

I don’t even know any black owned in Cleveland and don’t care to be honest I’m always searching for a deal black owned shops back in ny where I’m from cost entirely too much

Kristie Alston

Yes they do

Renee Connerly-Fields

Their prices are more reasonable and they have a wider variety of products

Leigh Young Fly N'Saved

Ive always thought this…

Jamillah Davis

Of course they outnumber black-owned bss’s! there’s a black owned on near my house and their prices are ridiculously more than the other non-black owned ones in my area. I refuse to go to a black owned business or any business w/ higher prices when I can go get what I need cheaper.

MiMi Moore

In the past I would seek out black owned stores, but their prices would be much higher than a Korean or Arabic owned beauty store. So I don’t care who owns it as long as I can find what I’m looking for at a fair price.

Brandi Wake

It’s the PRICES. nothing more, nothing less. I want to be more supportive of black businesses but 9 times out of 10, the same product will either not be in stock or higher. The exception is Wal-Mart or Target. But I def don’t patronize Korean beauty suppliers half as much since returning natural.

Karen Mukey Burks

Because we won’t support each other

Tonya Martin

These conments tho….smh. Fact is, we can’t get loans like foreigners can! They get interest FREE visas and they use that to start a business, then they get their products cheap from overseas so of course their prices will be cheaper!! People always want a “hook-up” but don’t know the meaning of profit/loss, income statements, markups, etc etc. This country made it too easy for aliens to get rich! I knew people that had beauty supply stores in the DFW area, those Asians came through and bought an old Target store and ran them out of business! THEY….stick together, whereas we DON’T! And that will ALWAYS be our downfall as a people!

Lori A. Crafter

They out number black owned businesses because we have got to be some of the most selfish folks on earth! We don’t support each other, we’re always thinking somebody is trying to get over on us! These folks stick together, support each other whether they know each other personally or not! Black folks need to take heed!

Collene McIntosh Fristoe

Asian’s control the black hair market making it hard for black owners to carry and order various products, The manuals in which you order from are written in there language (Korean) making the process even more difficult for black owners to keep up with supply and demand while eliminating the competition at the same time causing black owners to over price the limited product’s they receive to stay in business… Fact: They will not spend there money with you… that’s the truth drink it!!! Fact: You making the richer, that’s why your only option is them…

Cyrenthia Anderson

I say this all the time. We are the largest hair product consumer and the least represented in the business. #boom

Beverly TruelyBlessed Conover

When i go into a black owned beauty shop,the first thing they do is look me down and try to sell me some non quality hair and /or accessories!!! Get mad when you don’t buy for high price, and once you leave store cussed you out and refuse to serve you again in near future!!!! Unprofessional!!!!

Tamika Birmingham

@ Marsha Denise Willis-Howard, please give us the list of these black owned businesses.

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