Why is there a lack of black-owned hair and beauty stores in the UK?
British black women consume 80% of total hair care sales. This is a weighty figure. Despite this, black hair and beauty product stores are often owned by Asian men. This post investigates this topic.
There has long been a noticeable difference between how the Asian community support each other in business, compared to the black community. There are several Asian hair and beauty franchises, whereby Women Of Colour (WOC) are the main consumers, yet their black-owned competitors are much harder to find.
Shopping in Asian-owned stores as a black customer can prove challenging when seeking advice on products, due to the lack of knowledge from staff. This indicates the need for more black-owned hair and beauty suppliers. Advice is a key part of customer service.
So why is there less support within black communities? Some customers say it’s the lack of professionalism they’ve experienced. Business owners have claimed it’s the notion of customers expecting discounts because they personally know the owner. Neither of these contribute to growth.
Although the majority of black hair and beauty stores are Asian-owned, there are increasing examples of change. xSandy’s and Hair Glo, both in South East London, are owned by black women and can therefore advise on products for their community. There’s also an increase of online suppliers, like us! So, there is some slow but sure progress.
Why is supporting black businesses important?
If we don’t support our own, who will? Investing into the community helps bridge economic disparity, which benefits our community first. It’s not uncommon to see black culture bought then sold for profit in the West. A return of investment into our own community would be a great shift.