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.