You can’t mention wigs and weaves without eliciting a chorus of snickers from our readers, but the reality is black women wear them, love them and spend big money to own them. The business of hair extensions is a $9 billion (yes, billion) dollar industry with black women doing much of the spending and little of the selling.

The disparity is borne from the Korean monopoly on distribution. It’s not that black female sellers aren’t there, it’s that they’re systematically shut out from acquiring product to sell in their stores by Korean distributors, according to The Florida Courier.

“Getting hair is a huge hurdle, because the distributors are Korean and most times they will only sell to other Koreans. White said, “I have to buy hair through exchange. It is rough, but if I don’t increase my hair game, I won’t be in business next year. It is a cold business in terms of the hair game.

Johnson said that some Korean distributors say they will not sell to stores within so many miles from their other clients, but when she tried to have hair sent to her Aliquippa location, which has no other beauty supply stores, they still would not let her purchase it. She said one distributor also told her the hair she wanted was no longer being sold, but when she went to a local Korean beauty supply store, that same hair was there. When she inquired about it she was told that a local store had told the distributor that if he sold to her, he would no longer buy from him. She said she agrees with location rules, ‘but there needs to be regulations. One Korean store should not be able to dictate the entire industry in one area.”

Whether you personally choose to wear weaves or not, you can agree that every industry, especially a billion dollar one, should be regulated.

And it also makes sense that black women, who make up the majority of consumers, are represented on the other side of the counter.

White has a solution for the current state of the weave business, that reads as a call action to black business owners:

White said Koreans succeed in the industry because they support each other, but the Black community does not. “They (Koreans) have the relationships and work within, we laugh at them when they are living together, then they break through and have four stores in our community. But we won’t help each other out. It is a culture thing.” None of the other Black-owned beauty supply stores work together to pool their resources.

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? Are Korean distributors unfairly shutting out black business owners? Is the solution for entrepreneurs of color to work together and pool their resources? Discuss.


  • silkynaps

    It is a little disgusting how we have allowed Koreans to corner the market on beauty supply stores.

    And I probably shouldn’t care, but Koreans having a lock on that industry doesn’t disappoint me as much as Black women running around with Korean hair stapled to their heads in the first place. Why not take that money and invest in cultivating and rocking one’s own luxurious mane?

    If I went bald today, I’d wear a scarf on my head before I’d duct tape someone else’s hair to it. But that’s just me.

  • Picabo

    Messages like this need to be broadcast far and wide among black women. I know everyone likes what they like but we have to little to be spending so much. My only hope is that we all get angry enough to put the Koreans out of business. Imagine what we could be with an extra 9 billion smartly invested?

  • LKJ

    I quit shopping at the Korean hair stores in my area a couple of years ago when Michael Baisden started talking about how the hair game is set up to exclude black entrepreneurs. Unfortunately in my area that means no more beauty supply stores, all my stuff now has to come from Target, or Walmart but I do buy black owned.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    wear your hair nappy and keep your money……

  • Echi

    I hear you but alot of black beauty products, especially black owned hair products are sold in Korean beauty supply stores. It is only as of recent that you can now find a wider variety of brands made by Black companies in Walmart and Target. I guess buying online is another option, but I find that to be an inconvenience. I loc my hair and yeah, I could go the homemade berry juice and kumbahyah route, but it’s just not for me and my busy lifestyle. When I was an undergrad, the African American Cultural Center gave students discounts for patronizing the one black owned beauty shop in our neighborhood. However, the Korean shop literally across the street had a wider variety, was cheaper, and had longer hours of operation, which for me was the deal breaker.

  • Kam

    I learned about 10 years ago when I went natural. I personally didn’t like the way I was treated at the local Korean beauty supply store and this just made me stop going there finally. My mother still goes. They’ve gotten much better in their behavior and even carry some brands made by Black people but my hair doesn’t need all that product. For a brief moment a Black owned beauty supplier opened up in my neighborhood. They had good products too, but she soon went out of business. Her store carried better quality hair products, but in a neighborhood where Blue Magic grease reigned I guess she couldn’t last.

    There used to be an organization called BOBSA (Black owned beauty supply association), but when I tried to find their videos for this comment I couldn’t find them anymore. I guess they are defunct. I did find a info about a man named Devin Robinson who owns the Beauty Supply Institute, an organization that helps Blacks open beauty supply stores.

    I’m really happy though that Black women have taken to online media and created their own lines and products. I think this gives them a lot more control.

  • Hairhats4sale

    Good for them, they keep the $$$ flowing among their own, we should be doing the same.

  • entro

    There was a time when the norm was our own hair pressed, permed or natural,with cuts and styles that were attractive and creative. We need to get back to those days for many reasons, this right here being one of them. The weaves have gotten so out of hand with many of them looking very fake and not becoming its almost laughable and I just don’t understand why we are buying into this

  • Fit_MissC

    I was thinking about BOBSA as I read this article and know of the video you are speaking about. A few years ago I worked at a natural hair store and the owner introduced me to BOBSA. I was shocked to see how the American beauty supply industry is run by Koreans. In Toronto, where I live, the store I frequented for extensions was black-owned and that was all I knew throughout high school. About 2 years ago Asian-owned (not sure if they’re Korean) stores sprang up and not just small mom and pop stores, huge warehouse style stores. When I went into one nearby I was disappointed to see that it was OK for the black girls to be on the floor selling and serving but not OK for them to be behind the register. It pisses me off so much that they hire the people that use the product to sell it but don’t trust them enough to cash out their customers. There’s only one store that I see that has black girls behind the counter but I think they are an anomaly. That black-owned hair store I went to in my younger years sadly closed around the same time also. The issues the industry is experiencing in the States are sadly being imported into Canada.

  • Malik Hemmans

    this isn’t news….i think everybody knew this was going on

  • Sanura Hart

    I agree entro, I don’t what happened with black women not caring much for their real hair. How sad.

  • Nicole

    Its funny the Korean lady at my beauty supply I go to sometimes tells me to call her mama and shes give a 20% of discount. I dont call her mama though.

  • Gigi Young

    Er…black women (and white women for that matter) have always worn false hair. Flip through old issues of Ebony from the 50s and you’ll find wig ads. I have magazines from the 1910s–geared to white British women–full of ads for wigs and hair pieces. A sewing blogger I follow scanned photos of hair pieces in a black magazine from the early 1900s. So this whole “we wore our own hair back in the day” is a myth.

  • LaNubiana

    Oh the revolving door called the beauty industry. I wish as black people we would practice responsible consumerism. If we could learn anything from the Jews, it’s how to use our money in order to make stuff happen. Koreans don’t even treat black people properly even as loyal customers. Why keep going back? Who’s crazy idea was it that we need this silly unnatural looking hair attachment? If we use the same amount of money to better our diet and treat our natural hair roots with herbal treatments, we would look healthier and prettier as nature intended. In this countey, we use fresh avocado, guava, organic butter, henna, etc to treat our hair weekly and I can honestly say it works.

    I don’t car if you thumb me down but I have never seen a natural looking wig or weave in my life. 95% of it looks silly.

  • Malik Hemmans

    truth be told the Koreans and Mexicans are taking over

  • Val

    “However, the Korean shop literally across the street had a wider variety, was cheaper, and had longer hours of operation, which for me was the deal breaker.”

    I’m not attacking you but, maybe the reason that the Black store didn’t have the variety, longer hours of operation or cheaper prices was because everyone was going to the Korean place which brought in enough revenue for them to be able to offer all of that. And the Black store never had a chance to compete.

  • silkynaps

    Word! I’ve never seen a wig or weave that I didn’t know was a weave or wig.

  • C

    Of all the things to boycott, I wish black women who do buy weave would boycott the non-black hair supply stores, even if only for a year. I know it would be hard, because even without weave, ‘we’ like our other products (but those could be purchased elsewhere). I personally do not go to hair supply stores anymore.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    so when is it that we stop making excuses and do for self?

  • jamesfrmphilly

    we can’t even control our own hair money?
    do you realize how lame that is? come on sisters.

    at some point some black person has got to have some courage.
    let’s do to the asian parasites the same as we would any other parasite.
    this situation is embarrassing.

  • JC

    Messages about black people sticking together aside (though that is an important conversation), I wonder if this is legal? Are they breaking any anti-trust laws? You need to collect evidence and talk to a lawyer that specializes in this issue.

  • omfg

    ha ha…the joke’s on you black women…

    koreans are smart and they also believe a great deal in national/racial pride; they believe in working together and trusting only each other and in enriching one another.

    they know they’ve got you by the ovaries and they know you can’t stand your hair and don’t want to have any relationship with it whatsoever.

    they know somebody else’s hair is like crack to you and you’ll do anything and spend anything to get it.

    so, they’ve circled the wagons.

    asians own the resources (the hair), the means of production and all of the distribution chains. why in the world should they let black people in this game when it’s their product you want? duh.

    they can do all of this knowing that black people will bitch and complain but still give them money. they know a lot of black people are ignorant, self-hating and just plain dense.

    funny, they would NEVER allow something like this to happen.

    yep, the joke’s on black people (and i’m sure they laugh among themselves.) sorry to say, we deserve this.

    nurture and grow your own hair and you’ll put them right out of business. otherwise, it’s a dumb discussion.

  • danielle brom

    Gigi Young thanks for tell people the truth

  • JC

    I did quick research. I have a strong feeling that this breaks the “refusal to deal” section of antitrust laws. See

    You should collect evidence, talk to a lawyer, and if I am right, sue them until they are bankrupted. If possible, turn it to a class action suit and let every non-Korean owner jump in. Make it national news so that every ethnic community will be afraid of squeezing another ethnic community out of a market.

  • omfg

    that would be so embarrassing. i could see the headline now:

    black women suing to get asian hair

    trust me, one of the first words out of a reporter’s mouth would be, ‘why don’t black women just grow their own hair and put them out of business?’


    ‘i don’t see anybody else complaining about this, why is this such an issue for black women?’

    see how silly all of that sounds?

  • Fox

    It wouldn’t be so bad if so many women wouldn’t wear weave ALL THE TIME. They’ve upped the ante with this remy and malaysian and whatever else. A weave addicted friend of mine said she paid about $100 for a pack of hair. Damn, if only they would stop using it so much. Til then, black women gonna keep getting clowned and ripped off. Plus I don’t like Asian and Middle Eastern stores that follow me like I’m a thief.

  • Yb

    Ummm can we talk about whyyyyyy some black women feel the need to buy weave and perm their hair and figure out how to stop the cause of it or just be mad at them and hurl insults and accusations?

    Can we talk about why some black see natural hair as bad and feel the need to change it or will we just annoy certain things talk about black people are dumb and Koreans are superior? SMH @ the dialogue.

  • so what?

    Yeah, I try to stay out of Asian-owned beauty supply stores. I’ve tried to find black-owned beauty supply stores in Chicago but I can’t find any.

  • omfg

    sorry, but we are so past the point of knowing better. we really are.

    if we haven’t figured out that we are the root cause of this, then we are in fact dumb.

    and the question of hair is one that’s been discussed among blacks in the country forever. do we really have to explain to black women they their issues/desires create the demand?

    there was just an article on here about kimberly elise or whoever “taking back” the black hair care industry.

    they think having access to another woman’s hair is their right.

    on this issue, i don’t feel sorry for us. we got what we deserved.

    so, you know who owns/has the hair, the means of production and the distribution chains. you know they don’t like blacks (but they’ll gladly punk us) but black women still give them money.

    you should call a spade a spade. and this is flat out dumb and now even worth fighting for.

    again…nurture and grow your own hair and you put them out of business. period.

  • omfg

    is it really that hard to avoid their stores? seriously.

  • Candi83

    Same here Fit_MissC!! I was in a beauty supply store in Pickering and I was kind of shocked to see that it was Koreans running the store. I’m thinking to myself, say if I ask question about the products or have they tried a product in the store, they won’t be able to answer my questions. I’m not racist but we need to take back the black hair market.

  • omfg

    with regard to prices, you know what sometimes happens?

    sometimes a business will lower prices just to drive the competition out of business and then raise them once they are the only game in town.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if there was price-fixing going on between the korean beauty supply places. they believe in working together to help each other get over.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    black self hate and low self esteem.
    masochism, really.

  • Yb


    You really missed the point I was trying to make with my rhetorical questions. My comment wasn’t focusing on business savy and the supply and demand curve. It focused on why black women want to straighten their hair.

    To fit the white beauty standard. It’s as simple as that. To tell someone to stop doing something flat out is ridiculous, as well as impossible. Instead of tell black women to stop manipulating their hair we need to discuss WHY they manipulate their and change their actions.

    Let’s find a way to not let the media’s ideas of beauty influence. Let’s make the community more accepting toward blackness. Let’s rid the stigma in natural in the work setting so some black women are FORCED to straighten their hair so they can get work (I know I’ve had to in the past).

    Doing this will lead to the desired results you seek as well. Instead of vilifying black women for trying to ascribe to the beauty standard promoted by America (like other Woc) we need find a way to make it so that we don’t ascribe to it.

  • omfg

    okay yb…i hear ya.

    i don’t disagree.

    i’m just over it. and i find i’m frustrated that we’re having the same convo over and over.

    this has been going on for years – koreans and beauty supply stores. and they make more money every year.

    nothing has changed.

    thk goodness more black women r going natural.

  • Tyler

    Don’t care to much for the topic , however I do some how have a answer. it’s a black owned business that’s specializes in quality and affordable hair. It’s the truth y’all
    Love , Tyler Taylor.

  • Tracy

    Thank you, It’s pathetic really.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    every ‘fad’ and ‘style’ that we ‘must have’ is a profit center for somebody. somebody who is laughing at us. it is masochistic to give your money to people who hate you.
    it is crazy to walk around with fake looking stuff fixed to your body. tattoos, piercing, all profits for somebody. all signs of low self esteem. black people show signs of oppression. parasites rush in.

    the asians are parasites who get rich off black people.

    do for self, black people.

  • Picabo

    The reason has always been known. Too many have allowed white features to become our standard and have become ashamed of black features. What we need to do is figure out why we make it acceptable to do it but taboo to talk about the self-hatred fueling it. We’ll risk scalp burns, bald spots and other foolishness, on ourselves and our DAUGHTERS, but God help anyone that tells us what we’re doing is ridiculous.

  • Kacey

    I totally agree.

    The Koreans are getting rich off black women’s insecurities, and laughing at us at the same time. They don’t respect their customers at all, and view black people as inferior and disgraceful.

    I’m shocked by how prolific weaves and wigs are. It seems like if you were to randomly grab 10 black women off the street, 7 of them will be sporting a wig or a weave of some sort. Just check YouTube – the number of black so-called beauty “gurus” giving tips and promoting wigs and weaves is incredible.

    It’s so sad because we’ve bought into a beauty standard that makes many of us look ridiculous.

  • Fit_MissC

    Your comment fits perfectly with the story that was going around last month of the father who supposedly straightened his baby daughter’s hair. This self-hatred of our beauty starts so early nowadays. It’s quite sad that the people who should be teaching their children how to love themselves, hair and all, are pushing their insecurities and this Eurocentric idea of beauty onto them from birth. SMH

  • Please Believe

    I agree! All weaves and wigs look absolutely ridiculous to me–now mater how “natural” and “real” the wearer thinks it looks. I’m like girl, what you doin with that long indian hair on your head–you black! you see Indians wearing black hair? and the difference between us and others wearing weaves is that they get hair that blends with their own natural texture–we get hair that is so fai removed from our own texture, we have to corn row our own hair and sew it or paste it in, or put on a wig to cover our whole head! I’ve never seen a white person cornrow their whole head and sew in hair–usually they’ll get extensions that blend with their hair and maybe use a clip on that easily removable. And please can we sto this “hair is just an accessory” foolishness? you might be folling while people, but you aint folling me. I’ve heard the things black people say about black hair–we have issues with our hair and it’s deep rooted and emotional.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    i see sisters in the mall with newborns getting their little ears pierced. in unsanitary conditions at the ‘beauty’ supply store.

    black people have natural beauty. we don’t need any of that stuff from asians. we have to unlock our minds. we are the most beautiful of people.

  • Ms. Information

    I wish some of your brothers thought like you…my ex asked me to perm my hair that I had natural forever…it was even long and curly…he still asked me to perm it…it looked “neater” to him….hence the ex title.

  • apple

    no we can’t talk about it , you know why so stop asking

  • apple

    koreans or everyone else has businesses or monopoly because they have the knowledge,funds,and direct connect to their product or at least know how to get there.. black people don’t have that for some reason, so they don’t have monopoly over anything.. i once went to this african accessories store in was lovely, until i flipped over the earrings and saw they were made in taiwan..i guess its good he has a nice store, but even then there is a disconnect…idk

  • C

    Exactly. It has gotten to the point where I don’t want to support Asians in the hair supply game so badly that I don’t wear weave at all. I got twists, and I used yarn just to avoid supporting them.

  • C

    And I say “even if only for a year” because I think that is all the time many black women would need to either a) realize their hair IS good and beautiful as is, or at least get used to it, b) many might get away from the habit.

  • mommaused2say

    Do we realize that WE are in control in this situation? Does anyone remember the bus boycotts and this little thing called a Civil Rights Movement? The hair doesn’t have to be bought and just like we let go of the creamy crack and started a natural hair revolution, we can do the same with weaves. Stop buying from them and see what happens.

  • Picabo

    It’s funny you mention the civil rights movement. I was talking about it with some friends about it the other day. We came to the conclusion that the Jewish, LGBT and feminist (re: white female) communities benefitted greatly from the movement. Us… not so much.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    “Do we realize that WE are in control in this situation?”

    no we do not realize it. that is what is sad.

  • Anthony

    I would be too happy to see black women wear their natural hair, either relaxed, pressed, or natural. I also think black hair businesses should file class action lawsuits against the Korean distributors.

  • Viva Lola

    Blacks and Latinos spend BILLIONS of dollars on fake hair. If I was the Koreans I wouldn’t sell it to them either!!!! They are the BIGGEST consumers… HELLO!! Why would anyone let the consumer be their competition!!!! ummmm, NO. Not a good business move.

  • JC

    I’m asking black beauty shop owners to sue for anti-competitive behavior, not the black women that buy the hair. You can’t stop media spins from preventing you from standing up for your legal rights.

  • theblackparacosmistmind

    I personally don’t well weave but I’m more or less versed in what’s happening with black businesses. And I really just don’t feel sympathy because it’s the name of the game. Same with the perm businesses. The truth of the matter is that natural hair, whatever form (locks, etc.) is increasing and black women aren’t picking up the perms like they used to. And perm makers (black, white, Korean, etc.) are feeling the loss, especially with black owned natural hair products–Kinky Curly, Miss Jessies, Carol’s Daughter.. etc Because there’s such a heavy blogsphere (youtube included) surrounding natural hair to support these products. I really can’t remember the last time I went to by something from the store, maybe Taliah Wajiid-which is a black owned natural hair/locs line. What I’m really trying to say is-yes-black business owners need to come together. But you need a marketing strategy. You need youtube, blogs, etc. so you can utilize customer’s youtube prescence. But then again…with the natural hair/diys/and locs dominating the scene-you may or may not get that much love. se la vie.

  • Pema

    Gosh, are we always the victim? Here’s an idea…stop supporting these businesses. If you cannot get by without their products ask yourself why it is so necessary to glue someone else’s hair own your head.

  • lol

    instead of going off all over this thread why don’t you talk to the black men who hate kinky hair, huh? black women get these ridiculous weaves to attract their attention, otherwise the rate of single black women might be higher than it already is…

  • lol

    ^^what a dufus.

    the ex, i mean.

  • lol

    because we rely SOLELY on movements and neglect to police ouselves as a community, we neglect to educate each other, a great percentage of us neglect to hoist our own selves up. we rely far too much on other people to help us instead of us putting in the CONTINUAL work necessary.

  • Charity

    So because someone chooses to manipulate something as superficial as their hair in a manner that is not deemed to be “natural” then they must be insecure or ignorant?

  • Sick

    Send them into bankruptcy, everyone go natural!!!!!!! Quit wearing weaves!!!!!! Don’t give them your money, simple as that. I am natural and will stay this way from now on!!!!!! And I don’t buy my products from any beauty supply store because every time a black person goes in them, they stare you down like they are waiting for you to steal something. So I don’t go to any. I buy my products online or in the local Target. I hope they all go bankrupt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sick

    Apple darling, everything is made in Taiwan, China and India. Go to Macy’s or any other department store and look at where the majority of those items are made. Sad, but true.

  • Sick

    All Black women should never, ever go into another beauty supply outlet ever again!!!!

  • DaTruth

    This just goes to show you how stupid and ignorant black women are. I have a simple solution, why don’t you sistas stop buying this fake-ass hair crap from these people. And start your own dam businesses.

  • Eyes Wide Shut

    When I was in D.C., I went into a Korean BBS. A black main came into to the store with damaged relaxed hair. He asked the Korean lady what should he use to repair his hair. She recommended a no-lye relaxer! As a chemistry major, lye and no-lye are the same basic caustic agents, it’s just that one uses sodium hydroxide (lye) while the other may use another hydroxide like Potassium hydroxide.Potassium and sodium are the same group on the periodic table of elements, so therefore they share the same properties. I politely told the man the best way to treat his damaged permed hair was to cut off and start from scratch with no chemicals. He rolled his eyes at me and took the “No-lye” relaxer that the Korean lady recommended!

    The problem is not only the racist Koreans that have locked out blacks from owning beauty supply stores, it’s also that many blacks do not know how to take care of what God gave them on their head!!!!

    The more blacks that are educated about natural hair care (or just proper hair care overall), there will be a HUGE step in economic independence from Asians, Arabs, and other ethnic groups that economically rape black communities!

  • lol

    you know what? you are very right. black women are stupid because they rely on relaxers and weaves because they are trying to achieve the long straight hair beauty standard that black men have adopted from white folks. silly black women caring about what black men think…tsk tsk…

  • Charsie Robertson

    Ok, we know the “problem”. Now, here’s the SOLUTION. I’m a part of a company called Micore’ International that is poised to bring the black hair & beauty care dollar back to OUR pockets in the black communities around the country where it TRULY belongs. You can join the movement in the hair weave/extensions industry and claim your stake of this $9 billion industry, also. Our sisters know this product/service inside and out. Now, it’s time to get PAID from it! For more details, contact me via Facebook and/or check out:

  • HoneyChile

    You will NEVER see the Koreans buying their rice bags from Black/African suppliers….they would rather walk 30 blocks to patronize a Korean owned market than go around the corner to a non-Korean owned business. In a sense it’s savvy business……by consistently patronizing business owners of your same culture, they are almost guaranteed to stay in business. Black people need to wake up and take back control of a market we heavily consume. Why buy from the Koreans? Because they have the best price? Getting your hair done is a luxury, not a necessity so if you can’t afford to patronize a black owned hair supply shop because the prices are a little higher, you can’t afford to get your hair done. How many times have you gone to a Korean hair store and have a question and receive the answer “I don’t know, I don’t use?” If we, in mass numbers, are willing to take our business back to our own people, then the Korean suppliers will have to start selling to black owned hair stores in order for them to stay in business themselves.

  • breakthecycle

    thats so odd

  • rkahendi

    Lol. Thumbs up!

  • Sanura Hart

    same thing happening in Mississauga and Brampton. What a shame

  • Sanura Hart

    @lol, good point. I’ve way too many stories of women who’ve gone natural who have found black men not being as receptive to their hair compared to when they’re wearing a straight weave or wig. How sad is that.

  • Sanura Hart

    Agreed. That’s the big difference and it’s one of the reasons why I’m always scratching my head when people argue that white women wear weaves as often as black women (which is a lie lol). Like you said, non-black women are wearing hair pieces that match their texture and we’re wearing things don’t even suit our features.

  • ?!?

    @Gigi Young- Yes women have always worn fake hair, but black women have taken it to a whole nother level. I see too many girls walking around with somebody else’s hair on their head, and it looks so obviously fake. I do see some girls with decent weaves, but there are way more women walking around with horrible weaves. It is laughable. I can remember when only black folks knew it was a weave. Now everyone knows it’s fake. I saw a girl yesterday with a waist length blonde weave. It was so hideous and fake.

    Too many black women cannot afford to get a good weave, and they should just wear their own hair whether that be permed or natural. And the majority of black women did wear their own hair back in the day. Now it seems like the majority of black women are wearing a weave. Celebrities wear fake hair a lot, but Beyonce can afford to get a nice weave. A lot of women can’t pay to get a weave that looks natural like that. Not only is it just putting the weave in, it’s maintaining it. Some of these girls won’t even take care of the weave that they put in their head!

  • Patience

    “I’ve never seen a white person cornrow their whole head and sew in hair”

    Could it be because their hair texture is different and doesn’t hold a braid very well?

    Likewise, once while getting my hair braided, a South Asian woman had weave sewn into hair using the cornrow method.

  • Patience

    “You see Indians wearing black hair?”

    Kinky textured hair is hard to replicate. But yea, does an afrowig count?

  • Patience

    “You see Indians wearing black hair?”

    Kinky textured hair is hard to replicate, but does an afrowig count?

  • jamesfrmphilly

    so you have actually heard ” i would have hit that but i didn’t like her hair”?

  • jamesfrmphilly

    let us be honest, black women wear fake hair because they love white features. black women don’t give a hoot what black men think.

    stop making excuses and do for self.

  • Cybertronic Purgatory

    have you had a particular experience where a Korean store owner laughed at you, or disrespected you?

    if so, i don’t think blasting an entire ethnic group because of one jerk is the answer. i know a lot of Koreans who have had bad experiences with Black people, and they refuse to believe we are all like that. i think we should do the same.

  • paul

    WE don’t let Koreans or other non-blacks into our communities.

    We don’t own the banks that provide them with loans to lease out buildings (that we also don’t own!) and buy the stock that they get rich selling to us.

    Whites own those entities and whites are the ones financing outsiders to come into our communities and exploit us.

    We have no way to finance commerce in our local communities, which puts us at the mercy of white controlled banks and financing institutions.

    Well, when has any white institution ever worked for black people?

    Asking rich blacks to pull together to provide financial services for us is not the answer either. For them, loaning money on the scale we’re talking about would be a massive personal risk because they’d be lending you their own money. Plus – they don’t have that kind of money anyway.

    For the white banks their is no risk because they just create money by adding digits to your bank account, but they won’t lend to us because they don’t want us to become their competitors, they want us weak and dependent and to have no role in the economic system other than as consumers.

    Buyers of crap like WEAVES which have no appreciation value, serve no practical purpose – can’t be eaten, traded, saved for a rainy day or passed on as inheritance to our children.

    deep sigh


    I was one of those who bought into this

    “we let others come into our communities and make off with our money” , mantra, because I was even more ignorant

    (due to conditioning not to take anything more than a superficial interest in serious issues)

    than I am now.

    But when you begin your (self) education it soon becomes apparent that this whole s hit rigged against us at every conceivable level.

    Black people please stop beating ourselves up, everytime one of us opens our mouth we become an inadvertant spokesman/woman for white supremacy.

    We blame each other for things none of us has EVER had any control over.

    Check it –

    we didn’t let nobody come into our communities and rob us. They come because they can.

    Now if you won’t take the time at to educate yourself about how this s hit works then the least you can do is shut up

    If not, you are no better than all of us black people who won’t do this or that, that’s supposedly keeping us down.

  • omfg


    black men love those white features every bit as much as black women do. and you know dang well many care what black men think. that’s just a cop out.

  • omfg

    you can control whether you go into some people’s stores and buy their stuff.

    there are too many black women/men who have started and run successful business that focus on natural hair care. it can be done.

    it sounds all nice and deep to come up with scenarios such as the one(s) you’ve listed. however, back in the day black people had very prosperous communities. the reality is that many in the black community simply do not have the mindset that others do when it comes to supporting your own. if this were the case, the koreans would never have gained a foothold in the beauty supply business. they win because we patronize. so, a korean beauty supply place has NEVER gotten a penny from me.

    i knew someone who had a corner store. he was always baffled how the blacks would go to the koreans and not his place.

    sure there are some structural issues that make it more difficult for blacks to get ahead. but there are many things that contribute to black success and prosperity. in this case, black consumers who can be totally ignorant, are making their choices. it’s not supporting white supremacy to look at how you play a part in actually maintaining white hegemony.

  • joyce

    Just check YouTube – the number of black so-called beauty “gurus” giving tips and promoting wigs and weaves is incredible.I am beautiful woman and I love good man…..inter racial romance is my dream… so I joined —blackwhitеPlanet.С0M—–it’s where to- connect with beautiful and excellent people! My only hope is that we all get angry enough to put the Koreans out of business. Imagine what we could be with an extra 9 billion smartly invested?

  • WhatIThink

    The reality is that blacks never owned and controlled the beauty market and never set the standard of beauty in American or the European dominated global beauty industry.

    Every since Africans were brought to America, their features were denigrated and ridiculed by European Americans. Europeans went to great lengths to uphold white features as the “ideal” of beauty. Within this framework of constant abuse, black folks decided, if you can’t beat them, join them (even while getting kicked in the head). So they decided to try and make themselves over and adopt those “ideal” standards of beauty pushed on them by white folks. Madame C.J. Walker popularized methods of straightening hair and other treatments including industrial strength chemicals (Garret Morgan invented relaxers after he noticed wool straightening out after being dipped in industrial chemicals) were developed all with the purpose of achieving the white beauty ideal.

    And because European features and hair were the ideal of beauty, the only kinds of wigs and weaves available were those with straight textured hair. The first people to adopt these styles and popularize them were those in the entertainment industry. If you look back at most of the major artists in the 50s, 60s and 70s, they either wore their hair straightened or they wore ugly looking wigs (look at most black girl groups from the 60s).

    The only aspect of the black hair care market that African Americans ever had a major role in was in chemical relaxers and other treatments, following Madame Walker and Garret Morgan. But most of the beauty industry, including weaves and wigs was always controlled by Europeans and other folks. Weaves are just wigs braided into the scalp.

  • cocochanel31

    Reseach who owns all of these natural hair products as well that many sistas swear by. I’m willing to bet we are inadvertently still spending money outside of our community even in our natural state. “They” know what hair care products we want straight or natural, and will manage to still get our money. so sad. smh

  • lol

    quite a lot of ‘em are owned by black folk . we just have to choose where we put our money.that’s all.

  • Dami

    This article holds a lot of truth. We need to start supporting black owned businesses, not for them but for bringing resources and pride to our own communities. I know for a fact that for the past 7 years I personally only purchase hair weaves/supplies from black owned businesses and I came to this decision after a black business owner told me how they are being driven out of businesses and offered money by competitors to sell their businesses.
    I just recently had an experience that reinforced this decision. My friend and I were visiting a new neighborhood and we googled beauty supplies stores around the area for her to buy hair clips for extensions. We found a big hair supply store and while we were there the Korean business owners, a man and his wife were arguing with a black customer. I listened while my friend looked around the store and to my amazement the man followed the customer outside calling her names among which he said “monkey”. Was that how he viewed all black women, men that patronize and keep his business afloat? The level of disrespect struck a cord within me and I grabbed my friend, explained to her what I just heard right in front of the owners and walked out of there without purchasing anything.
    It would help to embrace our natural beauty and work it proudly without having to purchase hair. I am approaching that stage, however it is currently convenient to use a weave/extensions, and as long as I buy weaves(hopefully not for long), its black businesses all the way!
    We need to support our people, remove the identity barriers….Africans, African Americans, Carribean islanders…we are all the same people and should support each other, that’s my personal opinion.

  • Dami

    I have witnessed a Korean business owner call a black customer a monkey. I don’t know the specifics of what she did to get him angry but it does not warrant calling a patron such a name or if I might generalize that view of his to all his black customers.

  • Leinahtan Chaise

    if you ask the average Black Male how we feel about weaved hair, we’ll tell you that most of the Black women that wear and depend on weaved hair looks ridiculous; even hoochie-like. Seems like most Black women that wear this hair have way-too much on their heads and it looks long and dirty. So please don’t blame this on us. We haven’t been able to run our fingers through our woman’s hair for a long time. Love songs and romance used to be connected to your hair. We never asked Black women to emulate any other race, especially white women. Funny thing is, they’re trying to emulate you. False butts, breast, tans, lips, ect. everyone else knows that the Black Woman is one of the most beautiful creatures on Earth; the only ones the don’t seem to know this fact is the Black Woman herself. That’s why she buys what she thinks or what other races have told her her beauty should be, from a race don’t don’t even use the products they sell to the Black Woman. And with the wealth they’ve aquired from selling her this false beauty, they’ve been able to support their children and transfer money back to their home country to send for their relatives and bring them here, set them up in business in our communities, while our own children can’t even find jobs which lead them back to the new slave plantation called prision. Black women only have their self to blame for the demise of the Black economic base in our communities. No other race have or will ever sell-out their people like the Black Woman has and its as clear as the hair up under the weave on their heads, so please don’t blame the Brothers for something you chose to do to yourselves !!!

  • lol

    yes, more times than i care to remember…

  • apple

    then i wonder how other races still can make profit and we can’t with the same products? hmm

  • paul


    you can control whether you go into some people’s stores and buy their stuff.

    What if, Koreans for eg, are the only ones the providing an essential service in the community, where else are people to go to get their supplies?

    Also, are there enough black owned businesses to cater to the all the consumer needs in the community?

    black community simply do not have the mindset that others do when it comes to supporting your own.

    I don’t think this is true at all.

    Black people, like everyone else, make rational consumer choices when we spend our hard earned money – even when we’re buying non-essentials. Nobody goes shopping with the economic politics of “buy from your own” uppermost in mind”.

    We go where we think we can get the best quality goods and services our coin can buy. No different to whites who buy japanese cars instead of american because japanese cars have a better reputation – inspite of “buy american” campaigns.

    If buying black simply isn’t a viable or attractive option, for whatever reason, people will spend their money with others. It’s a matter of practicality not a flaw in black people.

    back in the day black people had very prosperous communities

    Yes there were pockets self started black prosperity among blacks who migrated north after the civil war, but it was short lived prosperity because by whites destroyed it where ever it sprang up.


    to drive blacks back into social subordination and economic dependency..

    Black families in the south were forced into the sharecropper system – renting the land you farm from white landowners. That system left the relationship between former “slave” and former “owner” almost unchanged.

    Not what I would call economic independence or prosperity.

    There has never been a golden age of self started black prosperity in america so let’s draw a line under that one.

    It always troubles me when I hear blacks waxing nostalgic about the good ole back in the days, reminds of those mad dog tea partiers who wanna take their country back . . .

    back to a time when blacks, and other minorities, and women were totally disenfranchised.

    If the best you can offer to explain our economic impotence is ‘blacks don’t buy black’ then I’m sorry but that’s not strong enough to justify your emphasis on what black people do wrong – when there are other far more compelling explanations.

    It’s a gross injustice to present day blacks to erase the historal roots of our condition. It’s a straight lie to pretend that the same forces that kept our ancestors down are no longer a factor today.

    That’s why we’re going deep.

  • Charsie Robertson

    So, let me get this straight. I offer a legitimate “SOLUTION” to the problem being discussed here and I, essentially, end up getting hated on for my suggestion?? REALLY?? Seems to me black folk just wanna seat around here and COMPLAIN about sh!t instead of actually DOING something about it. Now, THAT’S what I call IGNORANCE at it’s finest!

  • Echi

    @jamesfromphilly – you are obviously out of touch.

  • Michirenee

    Black people would rather buy a pair of $100+Jordan’s than invest that money. Black people would rather spend money on things that depreciate in value than things that will actually make them money in the long run.

    A lot of black people are all about consumerism and just aren’t business savvy.

  • truth hurts

    If birds would just take care of their own damn hair, this wouldn’t have happened. Chicks are just lazy and DIRTY, not washing their hair for months (because god forbid water washes out the perm) and piling on smelly ass grease and pink oil. Not only is that terrible hair care, it’s terrible hygiene. Nasty asses.

  • truth hurts

    Not caping for bm (because lord knows they’re as colorstruck as bw) but I don’t think it’s accurate to put the blame mostly on bm. bw wear weaves because they want to and even if bm made it known they preferred a big ‘ol Angela Davis fro, most bw STILL wouldn’t give up creamy crack and Ming Lee’s hair. Let’s be honest.

  • leelah

    I think one of the factors is that there is only 3 popular businesses n the black community, and they’re usually owned by foreigners. we only see bodegas, liquor stores, or beauty supply stores. When talking about this issue we have to talk about how being stuck in the hood with the fear of crime is not part of the american dream for black people. crime killed our entrepeneurial spirit

  • drea

    you know i have read some of the comment on here regarding black women and hair weaves. first off it is a misconception to say the weaves are only worn by black women. silly in fact. White women and Asian women wear hair extensions and weaves as well as wigs. In fact they were the first. Second, it is a little trite to always assume because a black woman presses her hair or wears a weave that she has some problem with her own “blackNess” while i agree that our concept of beauty has been skewed by media perception of us and who and what we are, or should be. why can it not be because beauty is a diversified experimental process. Wearing your hair different (weave, natural, wave, wig) is just a fashion statement, like wearing different heels on shoes, or short dress vs long. The length of a jacket or the cut of a coat. when we stop letting everything we do be classified by our color then we will have reached a pentacle of true cultural strength. why does everything we do as black women have to be under the curtual microscope and analyze as to whether we feel Black Enough?. or like who we are as black women.

    As for Black beauty supplies being locked out? Yes! that has been a long standing issue for black stylists. Glad to see someone is writing an article about it. It is an unfair Monopoly that the Koreans have on the hair market. and often times they are the ONLY beauty supply in the area, or that the Black suppliers are being charged a different price then their counterparts which caused them to increase their prices in the store. When customers come in and see the higher prices they assume it is because they are trying turn so huge profit when in reality they are only trying make “some” money off the higher price they paid. It seems to be a cultural cold war being played out in the beauty business with the customers being the causality.

  • drea

    i agree with you. i also would like to note that while we are supportive of going back to natural depending on what industry you work in your “Natural” hair may not be acceptable to the company you work for. how we view our selves has always been controlled by forces in our society that we have no control over. you either comply or risk having no job. what other race do you know of has to be told how NOT to wear their hair?

  • Mary

    Korean Distributors are not the only race or nationality of people who are shutting black entrepreneurs out of our neighborhoods. Most of these business owners will not employ people of color within our own neighborhoods.
    I personally refuse to spend my money in places where people of color are not employed. We as a people should band together to Boycott these outsiders.
    Please take note of a very powerful principle; “We teach people how to treat us.”


    Yes absolutely the korean have shutout the black distrbutors and flooded the market
    with knock off, and inferior black hair products. This is a new time and age and we as black people need to use our heads and take back this four billion dollar bussiness
    with technology that is available to us. Please check out this black bussiness
    that is doing just that. and tell them Fonda Williams
    refer you.

  • Vickie Hughes

    Micore is the answer for this article….If you are interested in buying/selling hair weave, Micore Intl recently launched and looking for hair consultants (part/full time)!! (corporate site )

  • deborrahcooper

    This is why it is mandatory that black women begin to order their products from black suppliers online. There are dozens of cottage hair and skin product manufacturers selling online that you can easily support with nothing more than a PayPal account. Check on You Tube for ideas, or perhaps a writer at Madam Noire will take on the task of creating a database. No, this is not for advertising purposes, it is for the purposes of SUPPORTING OUR OWN in their business efforts. The more black women go natural, the less dependent upon Koreans we will be and we can keep those dollars in our community and pockets, as they try to keep ours in their pockets.

    This is smart business. It makes sense to organize and to focus on spending your hair dollars ONLY with 100% black owned hair care businesses.

  • Blatina

    Agreed 100%, how can black women be upset and want to take over this market when the Asians (among other races) are the ones who’s hair it is that they’re buying?! They SHOULD have the monopoly, it’s their damn hair black women are buying! When skipping rent/bills to wear another race’s head of hair becomes the norm (to the point of never wearing one’s own God-given locks in public, at any and all costs), this sort of shutting out and being taken advantage of is truly deserved. And though women of other races do sometimes wear wigs/weaves, take note that it’s only SOMETIMES (except of course for celebrities, but that’s another story…), and they buy textures/colors to match their own, but how many black women do you see rocking their own texture/color in wigs/weaves? It’s always Indian this, Malaysian that, Mulatto curl, and don’t get me started with the reds and blonds! It looks horribly fake all the time, and yes, everyone else is laughing, I’ve heard it myself….

  • Blatina

    Let’s be real, you’re average Latina is not wearing fake hair, esp. since plenty of Latinas are supplying the hair themselves! (Brazilian wavy, Dominica wave, Latina body wave, etc., ring a bell? Google ‘em…)

  • Dana

    How DARE some of you guys speak so ill of my people and ethnicity. If you’re so bitter and adamant about changing this circumstance, STOP BUYING IT. YOU are the ones who are dishing out your own money for OUR hair. honestly, if you guys had nice hair, there’d probably be business amongst only you guys as well. people of the same group help each other out. Just like jews help jews out in hollywood. brothas/sistas help brothas/sistas out. this hair is part of US. i’m not even a weave company owner, but quit hating. you have no one to blame but yourselves. why don’t you appreciate your hair and what you have, instead changing yourselves and then proceed to yell at other people. if you really cared, you’d stop, but no, you still continue to buy those weaves.

  • aybar

    i agree with you

  • http://youtube,com/imanibabiitv Imani

    I understand where your coming from, but the matter at hand will never be addressed if we just focus on black hair care products. Lets face it. Most black women are not conforable with their own hair. Thats why they get perms and weaves all the time. Some get it for a fashion statement, but most just because they dont want to go natural. And unfortuantely that is sad becuase black women have GOOD HAIR. However the media and society add on to the stress to conform to what their take on “GOOD HAIR” is. Which is silky smooth, not tangled, matted, or nappy hair. This is sad. And because of this acceptance from the black communities and even from our BLACK MEN! it will be virtually impossible to get black women not to buy weaves or get perms. So with that being said, as black women we need to get together and support one another in the hair industry and become distributers so we can put back wealth into the community!

  • http://youtube,com/imanibabiitv Imani

    Ok, Ma’am
    I understand that you feel like we are jumping on your race, but we are not. If you read most comments. We just want a piece of the pie (merchandise). Do you think its fair that your people shut the their own loyal customers out of the hair market. Its not fair. Its a monopoly. Which in most cases are illegal. But like the article stated this is not a regualted business. There is no need for you to get upset and be disrespectful. Saying we dont have “GOOD HAIR” and all that. Most women I know who wear weave have great hair. Shoot, I know white women who wear weave. Since you probably think their hair is better. How do you explain their purchases?
    Buying/wearing weave is just as much a part of our culture as it is apart of yours to sell it. And no ma’am we probably will never stop buying it because its apart of our culture to wear it. But dont insult us for it. If we didn’t buy the weave, what other way would your people thrive in our society? We help you all out, so where is the reciprocity?

  • http://youtube,com/imanibabiitv Imani

    I see… well I’m black and I dont wear weave. But Im going to start. I think it looks just fine if the stylist knows what they’re doing. Yes they’re are some black women who don’t get the best weave and make all women look tacky for wearing it. But come on who thinks it doesn’t look right. Just you and the other black women hatin’. Sorry to say, but most people cant even tell that the weave black people where is fake or even care to know for that matter. My hair has two extreames. It gets poofy and nappy and wavy when wet and air dried and when I straighten it my hair is silky straight. And yes Im black… use to even get perms (grew that out). And even though my hair is pretty taimable. Im gonna rock some weave! And there is nothing wrong with that.
    Also… weave is a great way to protect your hair. Going natural or not… weave protects your ends and promotes growth.

  • Bob

    To be honest, this sounds like every other nativist smear campaign. Other than hearsay and insinuation, is there any actual evidence that black people are being “shut out” of the business? I find it extremely hard to believe that any business person would not sell their product to a potential buyer – that is not how businesses succeed.

    Personally I find it ironically disgusting that some African-Americans resort to using using racially charged unsubstantiated insinuation to stoke resentment. It makes you guys sound a lot like Don “Moose” Lewis.

  • Cyndee

    You make me sick to my stomach. Just say you are black. No way would a Korean write what you have nor would the sound as sickening.

  • Cyndee

    Why don’t you call one of the 4 distribution places that service Koreans and find out. Better yet, a previous comment sate that extensions are not just worn by blacks. Show me where a Korean owns a white beauty supply store, or for that matter a white hair salon. Be for real!

  • Bob

    There are Korean and other Asian-owned beauty supply stores everywhere you look – these cater to anyone black, white or yellow.

    It does no good to tell me to find the evidence myself – the burden of proof lies with those making the claim, and so far I’ve seen little evidence.

  • Mike

    As a black hair care distributor in the late 1980′s I witnessed the systematic takeover of the industry by Asian distributors. They purposefully took control of regional distribution networks, even exerting disproportionate influence on African American manufacturers. Upon securing control of the wholesale distribution channels, the local retail outlets were targeted. Often the Asian distributors, who controlled the distribution channels in a given market, would not sell products to African American distributors and retailers. These were African American merchants who had usually developed the market for these same products.
    I do not begrudge anyone developing and taking advantage of a good business model. However, a lot of the advantage in this market was gained through nefarious practices.
    That being said. It is incumbent upon each community to recognize their advantages and take care of their own.
    I later brought to market a completely unrelated product line as a wholesale distributor. 95% of the Korean owned retail establishments I approached refused to hear my presentation before they knew what I had to offer.
    This is no “nativist” fiction or race baiting. This is the sad story of race and business in America.

  • Bob

    I’ve heard all of this many times over, but have yet to be presented with any substantial evidence. There’s a lot of emotionally-charged, inflammatory, and seemingly exaggerated, hearsay, but little actual evidence.

    The problem is, that I never get to hear the Korean side of the story, only the hearsay of the African-American experience – and unfortunately, that is laced with race-baiting and barely conealed racial hostility. Even in Aron Ronen’s sorry excuse for an investigative documentary on the subject, not once are Koreans given the opportunity to answer the charges made against them.

    Don’t forget that there is a history of racism between the two communities. For the most part, the Koreans have received all of the blame for this tension, but if we are honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that many African-Americans harbour racist attitudes towards Koreans (and possibly other Asians) independent of any economic issues.

  • JustSaying

    o-o In the case of people saying Black people only wear weave… && ….

  • movers halifax

    Fantastic blog. Your links in this are wonderful. I went via all this and I very many thanks for your advice.

  • http://facebook bonny

    Growing up I sold hair with my mom and stepdad. I know the buisness inside out. I always thought It would be my retirement job. It is almost impossible. I dont think anyone should be able to block others from an industry especially that there own race is the main consumer. This is America. Land of the free for everyone but native americans that where here first and black americans that where forced here.

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