Afro American woman are the major consumers of these items (wigs*, weaves, hair for braiding). The Koreans control the major source of import of this hair through there home land of Korea. Afro Americans are only 12% of the country’s population, but are consumers of over 33% of hair care products in America. These facts make for good business sense for the Korean Beauty Supply Stores to be located in the Afro communities. Koreans control 60% of the beauty supply industry in America, but they are only 3% of the population. http://bobsa.org/
The direct connection the Koreans have does answer the question as to why there are so many but it doesn’t give reasons as to why many of us would rather go to the closest Korean BSS instead of finding that black owned shop. I’m floored at our ridiculousness.
Why is it ridiculous? Here’s a list.
We are treated BADLY by some of these owners – I mean like common criminals. As soon as you walk in the store you get only two types of treatment. You are either ignored to the point you have to damn near go in the back to find someone to help you or you get followed and talked down to like you are annoying them. Rarely do you get the in-between. Now, I know not all stores are like that but I’ve been in enough to know the majority are run just like I expressed.
You are treated like a stereotype rather than a person – This kinda goes with the first point but I cannot explain how many times I walked into a store and it’s assumed I want the most outlandish color or style of hair when I could have just been looking for some glycerin! Have them tell it we ALL wear weaves and wigs* and we all want blue or pink hair. They do not talk to you but AT YOU and many times it is a bark. I hate being treated like that.
We should be owning and selling these products to us! How crazy is that we are buying these products created by primarily white-owned companies through BSS’s that are owned by Koreans! We cannot corner the market on our own hair? Do you know how much money black women spend on their hair? The black owned stores are there but you may have to make the effort to find them. I don’t know about you but I am TIRED of putting their kids through school by getting my hair stash.
I’m far from alone in this feeling. I have talked to several black women and men who find that the massive numbers of Korean owned BSS (which have all of our hair products) ridiculous as well as sad and who are also fed up with it. Many refuse to frequent the stores at all. Here’s a YouTube vlogger called TheMahoganykiss, discussing her anger on the issue.
She touches on the Natural hair movement (NHM) being the catalyst for a much needed change. She wants to know if the NHM is really going to make black women back away from these Korean owned stores.
Now, she mentions black owned beauty supply stores and the stigma associated with them. She discusses how some black women feel that the treatment in the black owned store is subpar or downright rude.
Really? Like the rudeness or sometimes blatant ignorance from Korean stores is better? Personally I feel that some folks are slapping an unnecessary negative label on black entrepreneurs and this needs to be removed.