The $2.5 Billion State Of Black Hair Care Struggling Amid Coronavirus Shutdown
By Chika Dunu
- The Black hair care industry is valued at more than $2.5B
- Most hair care products purchased by African-Americans are imported from countries such as India, Vietnam and China
It seems like hair care would be the least of any person’s concern right now, but Black salons often function as the epicenter of community. Beyond hair, Black women use their appointments as a form of self care, in a world where their overall appearance is often policed. Now beauticians who work in the industry are trying to financially and mentally sustain themselves during these uncertain times, even as Nielsen estimates the Black hair care industry is valued at more than $2.5 billion.
Why This Matters: It’s no secret that hair plays a major role within Black culture. Black shoppers spend $473 million on their hair care yearly, which includes visits to their local beauty and barbershops. This number has dwindled much to the dismay of hair stylists and clients alike. Without that money being spent in salons, stylists and owners have had to reevaluate how they do business.
Between 2015 - 2019, wigs increased in popularity by 79%, and weaves increased by 47%
The struggle to secure hair shipments from Asia has been very hard, especially for beauticians reliant on the sales of hairpieces. Most hair care products purchased by African-Americans are imported from countries such as India, Vietnam and China, areas heavily impacted by coronavirus shutdowns. Between 2015 and 2019, braids with extensions increased in popularity by 64%, wigs increased by 79% and weaves increased by 47%, according to global market research firm Mintel. The growth in these categories had been positively impacting income for stylists.
What’s Next: Hair company Mayvenn, a Black-owned supplier and distributor of high quality beauty products is on a mission to help stylists across the country, with its #SaveTheSalon campaign. To help alleviate their financial constraints Mayvenn is providing them with $500 during the pandemic. They’ve raised more than $800,000 so far with the support of venture capitalists Ben and Felicia Horowitz, along with Twitter (TWTR +8.12%) CEO Jack Dorsey.
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