May 20, 2011

Think on this the next time you go buy your weave...
For almost 50 years, the Korean-American community has dominated the black beauty supply market by opening large stores, buying out smaller black-owned ones and using the faces of black celebrities on their products and black employees in their stores to grow their businesses in the black community.

Between manufacturing, distributing and selling hair care products, Korean-American entrepreneurs appeared to control all major components of the beauty supply business, he [Mohadou] found.

He learned there were four central distributors serving a large portion of the beauty supply stores in the country, all Korean-owned. Aron Ranen,who produced a documentary in 2006 on the beauty supply business, reported that these distributors only worked with other Koreans in order to dominate the market.

Devin Robinson, owner of Atlanta's Beauty Supply Institute, said about 9,800 beauty supply business existed nationwide; but only a little more than 300 were black-owned.

"The Koreans strategically make it harder for us to get into the business. They have the supplies the customers want," Robinson said. "They sell it to us at higher prices or they deliver the products late to the black-owned stores. Sometimes they don't allow orders from us at all."

Many beauty salons said they often go to the Korean stores because they can't find what they need at the black-owned stores.

That's because they can't get the supplies, Ranen and Robinson said.

Mohadou found out that Koreans were getting their hair from Jinny United. But a Jinny representative refused to sell him hair.



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