Why Do Koreans Own The Black Beauty Supply Business?

September 27, 2010  |  

It’s odd but not so odd at the same time. By now, many people expect to walk into a beauty supply store and see a Korean store owner manning the register. Whether you’re in the suburbs of Houston or on MLK Blvd in Anytown, USA, you know what to expect. And yet, walking down a street in a Black neighborhood with Black residents and Black customers buzzing about the retail shops, that image of the few Koreans in the neighborhood only existing behind the cash register of liquor, beauty supply and other retail shops is still perplexing.

But what can explain the seemingly random attraction of Black hair to Korean entrepreneurs? Is it that they love Black hair so much? Was there a plan amongst the first wave of Korean immigrants to hone in on the black hair care industry and dominate the beauty supply store market? From a business perspective, it was no coincidence.

The wig business and the explosion of the wig business in South Korea in the 1960s is instrumental to understanding the Korean ownership of beauty supply stores. According to the book “On My Own: Korean Businesses and Race Relations in America”, the rise of the YH Trade wig manufacturing company was significant. Founder Yung Ho Chang, conceived the idea of the company while working as the vice-director of Korean Trade Promotion Corporation in the U.S. Between 1965 and 1978, his company exported $100 million worth of wigs.

The wig business was doing so well, especially amongst African-American consumers that the Korean Wig Merchants pushed to corner the market. “In 1965, the Korean Wig merchants joined together and convinced the Korean government to outlaw the export of raw hair,” said Aron Ranen, a filmmaker who has documented the marginalization of African-American entrepreneurs in the hair care industry in the film Black Hair. “[This ban] made it so that one can only buy the pre-made wigs and extensions.” In other words, Korean hair could only be manufactured in Korea. “Six months later, the United States government created a ban on any wig that contains hair from China,” effectively putting South Korea in prime position to exploit the market.

The business structure helped set up many Korean entrepreneurs in the sale of wigs and over the past five decades, wig stores have evolved to become full fledged beauty supply stores where hair for weaves and extensions represent the top selling products. Since then, it’s been a chain reaction as one store beget another; family members and employees of one store owner duplicated the business. According to said Dr. Kyeyoung Park, associate professor of anthropology and Asian American Studies at UCLA, competition also played a role in the proliferation. “Korean immigrants are more concerned with peer competition,” she said. “If one is running a business so well, then another Korean will open up a  similar business very quickly.”

Today, there are over 9,000 Korean-owned beauty supply stores serving a billion dollar market for Black hair. Between manufacturing, distributing and selling these hair care products, Korean entrepreneurs appear to control all major components. Ranen was inspired to make his documentary because of what he saw as the injustice of unfair business practices.

“It’s really about allowing black manufacturers to get inside the distribution channel,” he said.  “‘I mean, if you ask me, ‘what is your vision for the future?’”  Well, right away, it’s a 100 black-owned stores opening up right next to Korean stores – a boycott until the Korean stores accept at least 20% black-owned manufactured products. Then we are talking about money in the community.”

According Ranin, there are only four central distributors serving beauty supply stores in the country and these Korean owned distributors discriminate against Black store owners in order to maintain their monopoly in the market. Ranin interviewed Lucky White, the owner of Kizure Ironworks which specializes in making styling tools like curling irons, for his 2006 documentary. Ms. White claimed that distributors told her that her products were no longer in demand as an excuse to turn away her products in favor of knock-offs produced by Asian companies.

Devin Robinson, an economics professor and author of “How to Become a Successful Beauty Supply Store Owner”, organized a boycott last November against Non- Black Owned Beauty Supply stores. “The problem is with the distributors.” he has stated. “Distributors are mainly Non-Blacks and they handpick who they will distribute products to. This oftentimes leaves aspiring black owners disenfranchised.”

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  • Kevin

    This is dumb. Why does it matter who owns the store? Since I’m Mexican I should only support businesses owned by Mexicans? If a white person wrote a similar article people would go nuts. Your race doesn’t connect you to people. We are all “brothers” or “sisters”, regardless of race.

    • Belle010717

      I don’t think it has anything to do with not supporting businesses of other races. As Black people we do that EVERYDAY and think nothing of it. I’m all for supporting small businesses in general.

      It has more to do with supporting Black owned businesses that are specifically selling Black products made for Black, Bi-racial, and sometimes Brown people (I’ve seen Indians at the Black beauty supply). Our hair has different needs–I’m sure you can tell that just by looking at it.

      As a Mexican, if all of your authentic Mexican restaurants were owned by African people (that didn’t live in your community as your neighbors) in low-income areas where 95% of the population was Mexican you’d question it. Sure, you’d go in and eat–if the food was good. But questions would arise when you and your family decide you want to open an authentic restaurant . . . but oh wait, you can’t!

      Why not? Because African’s dominate that market and the barriers to entry for you, a Mexican, is extremely difficult. So when you finally do find an authentic Mexican restaurant (that happens to be much smaller and lacks variety, because hey, they were just lucky to get what they could) you support it! Why? Because that support lends way to other Mexican owned businesses that if done correctly can generate a wealth in a community that is demographically Mexican. All you have to do is take a look at the Jamaican towns in Toronto to understand that concept. It’s a reflection of cultural pride. Jamaicans have these communities where they own businesses, Chinese have communities where they own businesses, Mexicans have communities where they own, and so on–it’s just common sense. American Blacks desire the same, at the very least when it comes to hair care specifically geared towards OUR HAIR.

      Using my illustration, it would infuriate you even more so if you were supporting these African owned authentic Mexican restaurants only to find they were speaking badly of you in their native tongue while you were in their establishment. So you’re supporting them, and they are talking badly about you right in your face? Oh, how kind . . .

      I have absolutely nothing against Koreans, the shop owners in my neighborhood are genuinely kind–but I see the issue here from a business perspective. I’m sure the restaurant comparison may not be the best example, but it’s the only one I could think of to illustrate what’s happening and why so many Black people feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick in the Black hair care market.

  • Chinh Phan

    Actions that are racially motivated are considered racist. Sure you want to support your own that’s admirable, but your mentality is no different than segregation.

  • linmarco

    Support your own. If no one bought from the Koreans they would have to leave. Tune in and listen to Claud Anderson, Boyce Watkins, and Umar Johnson.

  • William Zhang

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  • RT2

    Identify & then ignore trolls or plants like the ‘Nicmarts’ on here. We know what that’s distraction is all about. Be strong-willed & Stay focused on goal of boycotting and only buying from hair products only created by us and for us. -for a list of stores company names, obtain a list from the BOBS (Black Owned Beauty Suppliers and Products). A boycott to their copycat products from stealing our talent, ideas, etc., similar to Samsung vs Apple court cases, will force some into bankruptcy. Just walk or drive right on buy their stores to that which keep the black $$$ between those of us in our own community like the days of the successful Black Wall Street in Oklahoma. -each one teaches one.

  • nicmart

    Boy does this article reek of disgusting bigotry. It is also supplemented by comments that are anti-Asian and mostly assume that Blacks are fools who will buy any trash.

    • Jenine Smith

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. For the longest time, blacks had little to no interest in setting up shop in the ghetto. If anything, once black people got the money they moved out to the suburbs. They weren’t gonna live in slums for the rest of their lives. Anyone who couldn’t make it out had to fend for themselves. Koreans and other nationalities filled that void. This anti-Korean/Asian/White sentiment was stirred up by Al Sharpton and Sonny Carson in the late 80s. Thankfully, the most notorious Sonny passed away in 2002 so he couldn’t spit out any more of his hateful venom against anyone.

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  • Cookie Cookie

    YES, now I have no problem with a particular ethnic group owning wigs stores, but in the 5 boroughs of New York, most of these stores sell POOR QUALITY wigs. I think it is HORSE HAIR, which is nothing like the hair of most Black people – ranging from kinky to straight. To add injury to that, the cost is too high and some stores have a WIG TRY ON POLICY – the customer can only try on 3 (THREE) wigs per visit. Meaning some females feel FORCED to make a choice, which is what my sister did. I left the store and told them such policies were not LEGAL and any store that has such a policy should be BOYCOTTED. There is only one store in New York, NY that is NOT Asian owned and sell high quality Human Hair – you have to buy the hair and have the wig made. If I ever wear a wig this is the store I will shop at. Also, another store which is owned by Asian, but they respect all people and have no try-on limits and have over 2000 wigs from fake to blended. I cannot vouch for human hair – but they at least try to accommodate their customers.

    • Jenine Smith

      It’s not about whether or not the shop is Asian-owned but about the quality of the product. Apparently, it seems like the stores you described were selling wigs and whatever other merchandise from cheap material. Some shop owners do that to save money on inventory but it can also give them a bad reputation in the end.

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  • Evolaccio

    I am a professional medical non-surgical hair replacement designer and vendor. I also teach and speak on advanced hair solutions.

    I’m posting truth, not ridicule or judgement. Every race of people alter their hair, perm it straight, perm it curly, wear extensions, wigs, ponytails. If you don’t agree, look at the Amish women. That is the natural state of white hair.

    Africans created hair adornment, now called “styling”. It doesn’t mean you don’t like yourself.

    Why do Asians own the beauty supplies?

    There has been no major evolution in our hair styling in decades. Why do you think you see celebrities with jacked up hair? Without continuing and expanding their education, stylists can’t offer their clients any better solutions. I offer training that would improve the hair care, hair options, and client satisfaction, but they say, “it’s too expensive” Ha!

    Why do Asians own the beauty supplies?

    So our women seek cheap solutions that end up costing way more! Quality hair, like I import for Jewish women is expensive but they only purchase every year or two. We are talking $1,500 instead of $3,000 when you purchase every two weeks. The difference between beautiful, realistic hair and memes of gorillas wearing wigs with captions, “lacefront shortie”

    Why do Asians own the beauty supplies?

    We have a large rate of distrust and history of swindling each other, Without a business and finance background, we don’t understand MOQ, marketing and branding, contracts.

    I am a direct importer and have been in the business of importing quality raw human hair for nearly a decade. I am a second-generation hair stylist. I have a background in finance and marketing and my clientele is still less than 10% African-American. But those who are my clients and Black women, LOVE THEIR HAIR!!!

    Its apparent, our women are of little concern, because no one has spoken up to tell them the hair loss and skin damage from the lace wigs is because they are using the products incorrectly, don’t have all the right products, etc. The professional products are used in Hollywood and movie production everyday and have been so for decades! If those products were harmful, places like Hair Club for Men and Bosley would be out of business. We are also professionally trained in wig mastery and use of the adhesives. We teach to stylists and salons- design, application, care. Of all the salons that have completed their training, none are Black! These other salons are now offering our brand, technique, and services and making a mint. They too use to purchase from Koreans but now buy from us. You wouldn’t know one of their clients were wearing a lace wig or extensions and would quietly envy the outcome. What do you say now, knowing they learned from a Black woman? But my folks say, too expensive.

    Why do Asians own the beauty supplies?

    The truth is the real products are exclusive, hard to find, and expensive, upfront but not in the long run. Without $700, we then settle for the crap sold in these Asian-owned stores, who by the way, have no hair training, sell absolute waste hair (the cheapest available), have misleading packaging, and take your money.

    I have tried to literally give this knowledge away and Black folks look at me like I am speaking gibberish. Guess if I hire a white or Asian person to say the same thing, they would listen. Stop worrying about Asians. They only exist because we allow them to by giving them our money!

    If we worked together, we could reclaim our hair care industry. Dare you to try.

    • koreanvendor

      all while most of us koreans are just trying to makes ends meet. not everybody is out to get you

  • Moor Virgin Coils

    It’s the black/African mind set of inferiority. The global system of racism white supremacy has conditioned us non-whites (blks) to love all things white and non-black. Blacks/Africans/Negroes/ peoples of color or what ever the label of the week are in a state of mental slavery. Sick puppies. I like when weavies say “it’s about choice, variety, styling options….really? I beg to differ it’s about hating your own God given hair…and please don’t say something really ridiculous like “well white women wear weaves.” If there was not a demand for Korean wigs, weaves etc from backward, self-hating, ignorant black women…no supply. Oh yeah, please don’t call me a natural hair Nazi…cause I’m not killing you…you’re killing yourself by your enslaved mind. If you really loved yourself, your children, grandchildren and the future generations of black/African people you would not wear another races hair. Stop living in a fantasy world…wake-up and smell the coffee. Koreans hate you and you love their hair? It’s not logical. It doesn’t even make sense, but then it does when you understand how black people hate themselves and each other. Please believe me I really understand cause I use to hate my virgin coils, but had a talk with the creator and now my life is different…cause I love my virgin Goddess given hair and so can you. We need to stop making other people rich from our own self-hate and anti-black state of mind! We must study and understand the global system of racism white supremacy…what it is and how it works, for if you don’t everything else will only confuse you…like wearing another races hair….that’s NOT even your texture!

  • Gail

    an African American woman on her way out of South Korea, can’t leave
    fast enough, I know that Koreans are in no way fascinated by black hair,
    black skin or anything else. Most were repulsed by the very sight of me
    and I’m not that dark. In many areas, it was like walking into 1920
    USA. See, most Koreans consider colored skin to be dirty. They
    disrespect and laugh at there own farmers, the very people who feed
    them, because their skin is a beautiful brown color, close to mine. I
    have been spat at, constantly frowned at, shoved and disrespected. If
    you learn a little Korean, you will here black monkey and yes, inside
    the so ‘very kind’ Korean hair supply stores. They detest us and very
    much worship white Western society. While here, having looked into
    becoming a black hair supplier myself, I discovered that Koreans won’t
    allow non-Koreans to purchase the products that we spend billions on at
    wholesale price. An African American supplier is forced to purchase
    goods at twice, or more, the price as Koreans, which forces the American
    retailer to sell products at higher margins, thus making the Korean
    retailer look more appealing.
    This is off topic but it makes a point;
    walk into the Korean Consulate office and see how well you are greeted
    if you’re asking for a visa into their country. I was ignored and made
    to wait while white and Korean applicants were taken care of, although I
    was there first. Did I report it? Of course I did.
    It is not you
    whom the Korean retailers respect. It is your money, so please don’t
    romanticize Asians until you’ve lived amongst them. I have lived in
    Japan, Korea, Thailand, and a short while in India for job reasons.
    Travel to these places and let’s see if black people want to give their
    money to people who loathe them.

    • hernandayoleary

      Go to the source… India, Koreans do not even make the hair they buy it from Indians who shave their head as part of a religious ceremony.

    • popopopo

      koreans have.black hair…

    • KAT

      Hello, I would love to speak with you further about your findings…Is there a way for me to you?

    • Jenine Smith

      You’re obviously one of those people who was just looking for racism everywhere you went. You feel that if America (white America) doesn’t accept you then no one else will and that is an awful mindset. “Let’s see if black people want to give their money to people who loathe them,” boy you are a joke. Apparently you hate Asians and whites that’s why you call them “white worshipers”. If you knew anything, you would know that this whole idea of fair skin among Asians has nothing to do with race, but wealth. It was like this for thousands of years well before they knew anything about African-Americans. And the reason why Koreans became so leery of blacks in the first place was because of the LA riots. It’s people like you that bring their baggage with them.

      • BleuBlue

        Agreed. I recently started dating a Korean man and he was not disgusted by my skin or my hair. Not all Koreans have this mindset that Gail is trying to instill into people. Gail just seems insecure with herself and uncomfrotable in her own skin.., which is making her paranoid

        • Jenine Smith

          Finally someone who realize that not everyone hates them because they’re black. I’m half black and I got really upset when other blacks would try to say that an Asian person would not like me because of who I am. You as a person decide how people perceive you with your actions.

    • You Know Who

      Thanks for your post. Your statements were very enlightening.

  • fragglerawk

    @ blutopluto-

    Yep. Just like all of the white women who pay for enhanced lips, fake butt implants and rock dread locks are expressing *their* “racial pride. Not to worry, BP. With all of the non-“Negro” women breeding with “Negro” men, all of that may soon change. Shalom!

  • blutopluto

    And negro women buy all those wigs and extensions because of their great racial pride?

    • Evolaccio

      It has nothing to do with racial pride.

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  • KSPP


  • Ykspp


  • Dmoultrie20

    I am so happy to see someone taking up the fight for Black Hair business. This is one of the many fights we need to confront IMMEDIATELY because we export way too much of our hard earned dollars to people who do not give back to our communities. Our money does not circulate in our community at all. This is why we are politically and dependent on other people for our needs. Africans-Americans gross enough money to control their own markets but we just don’t trust each other. time for a change.

    • YAHAB


      • Evolaccio

        The next time you or someone you know wants to purchase, send them to me. nikki@evolaccio.com

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  • cheryl dixon

    I would love to open a beauty supply store catering mostly to natural hair sisters.  If anyone can give some information as to how to go about doing this it would be greatly appreciated. 

    • Shirley priscilla

      hey i would like to opening a beauty supply store also,so it you know please let me know,,

  • Lorretta

    I am excited to know that Black people are taking a look at their market and who is the largest supplier of Black Beauty Product .
    As a small Black hair manufactor it is getting harder to sustain my company , as Blacks love to not support their own , even with a top of the line product .
    I hope one day if not in my generation , that we will be able to not have a negative bone when it comes to uplifting a brother rather than a stranger .

    • hernandayoleary

      You should let people know wht your product is, blacks like to support blacks if they know the product is black owned.

      • nicmart


        • DRE

          @nicmart:disqus you’re the real scumbag. Wouldn’t you love to see black’s stay down and remain dependent on everyone else but themselves unlike every other race. People like you disgust me.

          • nicmart

            So, you also support Whites who support Whites if they know the product is White owned?

        • big·ot
          a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

          Hmm.. Nope, having the desire to support one’s own people does not make one bigoted. It makes them financially sane. If other races have a problem with how we spend our dollars, good! That means we are on the right track.

          • @nsmartinworld

            Let me amend it to suit you. Racist.

            • rac·ist
              a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

              Once again you are using the wrong word for the context. You’re just spewing random words because you either (1) don’t have an actual argument or (2) don’t have the intelligence to eloquently explain your position.

              It’s ok, if the thought of Black Americans becoming financially sane and practicing group economics bothers you, it should. I would be bothered if my customers took their money elsewhere, too.

  • U'Jee

    Everything you have said, is the truth. I've been having this same debate with others for years. In fact, I also choose not to give any of my hard earned money to anyone that shows a lack of respect. We, as people of color (black & brown) have to reclaim what is ours. First, with owning up to our faults and self-hate, and then reclaiming our communities with our own businesses, etc.. We are not going to get those things waiting around for the government or anyone else. We have to find another approach. The "formula" we have been using is outdated and tired. We have to rely on God and work, although albeit, harder than everyone else, but that is one of the gifts of black people, our resilience and perserverance. Lets stop talking and start doing.

  • Ignorance is Bliss

    This article forgets to mention that blacks own more black hair care products than Koreans. Soft sheen carson, Dr. Miracle, Motions, etc., of course funded by the true owner who is white/jewish but black owned nonetheless.

  • Joann

    I will not also buy from Koreans or Arabs. I only purchase from Black beauty owned stores. Even if I have to pay a little more for the time being, its well worth it in the end. I'm also all natural and more black women are embracing their natural beauty as well.

  • Gabao23

    I’ve seen a lot of comments and I have to say that a lot of them were just plain racist and ignorant. And a lot of the mess is coming from black people and some koreans which needs to stop; I believe that it isn’t the korean buissness people all the time that give attitude it’s the customers too. Some customers just go into a store and talk to the merchant any kind of way and expect niceness; my experiences with Korean buisness people has been great if your nice and pleasent to them they’ll be nice and good to you. Some black folks always want people to like them and praise them when not all people are going to do it; do all black people like each NO!! they don’t. So what’s wrong if a person from a certain race not liking you who cares and I know not all Korean people are racist that’s a copout.

  • Whatchu talkin’boutWillis

    Why is it always a black male security guard? Lol. Anyway…..location seems to bother me. The only place you can find a beauty supply is in the black neighborhoods. In the area I live in there is not one. I have to literally drive to the inner city to get my Remi! I do know of black stores that are just as bad as the korean stores. So since I should be supporting the black owner Come out here to the suburbs and open one!

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  • kar

    When I came to america I suffered because the hair from korean store tangled within a week. While in africa I lasted with it for a good while. I wasnt used to bieng discriminated until one day I entere a korean store and the owner left the cas register and came to monitor me in my isle. It was obvious. Since then I started ordering my products from my country. Great hair. Not because am a racist but just to save my self from ever getting bitter. Americans at large are disadvantaged coz many of them do not know anywhere beyond their state. Most africans who live here have been all over. So get on the internent and search companies from africa that supply good quality hair. There so many

  • sheritta flowers

    hello iam trying to open a black own and black operate and i need some help i live in riverview fl and we dnt have a black hair store can u plz tell me how to get started

  • lanile khemet

    Your article on the Korean hair cartel in America in the black community, should be a wakeup call to our people. So their is no reason to complain about black people not having money, that could be creating jobs and businesses. Black women say their are no good men and they have no jobs. I say black women are doing a job money away and they are sale outs to their own people and black community. Thank You for taking my comment

  • First it was Japan, Korea and now it's China. It's Simple why they're successful, we love everyone else's hair but our own and as long as the mind-set is there they will always benefit from it tremendously.

  • Didi

    Roger, I have read your comments with much interest and enthusiasm because you talked a lot of important basic business essentials that AA producers/manufacures/distributors MUST do to avoid the status quo. That is look abroad, expand and enter new markets. I am in South Africa…been thinking of this business and would like to talk to you some more if possible.
    Thanks for your enlightened comments. Regards, Didi.

  • j

    Koreans run a wichin gye, or what is known as a Rotating Saving and Credit Association.

    There money goes from US back to Korean then around the world.

    There organized and it could be the peanut industry they still would be successful at it.

  • stopthestupidity

    We must take control over our habits and purchases by keeping the end result in mind. Also drop a line asking our idols like "Janet" to be mindful of the controversy that surrounds the hair industry because they are some of the largest consumers of those products as well. Listen we must start to take personal care of our own hair and there are now many exceptional black owned hair care companies that can be reached on the web. They give you a voice in what you want for your hair and offer personal tips for your styles as well. If we begin to make these changes it will slowly turn things around, it is our way of thinking in many cases that hold back our progress and independence.

    Vote !!!!

  • RodFromATL

    Well let me add some knowledge to all the comments on this site. There is a site if I may add it that contains black manufacturers of beauty supplies. The site is called http://www.bobsaone.org please please please check this out ladies and gentlemen. We perish for lack of knowledge and I am giving you this knowledge right now! Knowlege is the key to solving our problems. God Bless.

  • kalli

    but did you read your comment though. You said that othr nationalities came here and when they didn't see their product in stores they opened their own. Since when is black hair care products a korean concern for them to open a store in our black neighborhoods. Other nationalities are selling their own products from back home, which I see nothing wrong with, so why aren't the koreans selling Their back home products like kimchee etc. Why are they selling black products in our communities when they aren't black. Leave it up to us to distribute and market our own products. Enough is enough.

  • dee

    Attention.. READ ALL OF THE COMMENTS.. SERIOUSLY>> STUDY THE REPLIES.. Almost 90percent vow to not purchase the product from korean stores..

    Thats the FREAKIN Problem.. Not many blacks see .. The problem is that Blacks have a PHOBIA with owning abusiness.. All we want to be is consumers. Thats it.. We complain and complain and complain.. why hasnt 1 person replied and said.. "Im going to open a store the first chance i get"?… Why.. because we are afraid of what our dumb family and friends think.. we programmed to follow the trends and crowds. Weve been dumbed down so well.. Were afraid to own anything .. Koreans know good and well they will never have competition because we come into the store and by the look of some of us.. they know we will never own a business at all. much less 1 that competes with them . Thats why all this hair and crap is being purchased anyway. Trying to get acceptance from others.

  • Bald Vampire

    If you don't like the state of business affairs then engage in business or politics. You can also simply choose not to purchase from these stores. Perhaps, you can even do something positive like partnering with the Koreans. You are a fool for certain if you complain while doing nothing other than type in this forum. They have the market because they worked to create and keep the market. The question is, what are YOU doing?

  • Pingback: Oh, those sneeky, racist Korean beauty supply businessmen… | The Marmot's Hole()

  • annoyed

    we need to wake up, have you every seen a Korean walk into a black owned business and buy anything. we spend and give them all are money and they don;t even want to live in are neighborhoods.

  • yonah hall

    I am from Los Angeles and when the 1994 riots happened over the acquittal of the cops in the Rodney King beating,a common victim of Black rage were the Korean owned businesses in the hood.
    At the time I cheered the rioters on because I understood the rage.I had experienced on several occasins being followed around a Korean owned mom and pop store and had my change thrown at me.
    Well I am a self respecting Black woman so I took my money and never returned to those stores.What I couldn't understand was how Black people could continue to patronize those disrespectful store owners.
    As regards hair care products,I found a Black owned hair care store and that was where I purchased my products.I never stood on a soap box and preached to other Black folk,but I wanted to.I hated to see us abused and used to make someone else rich,but I remember a time when a lot of those stores were Black owned and they were made an offer they couldn't refuse, took the money and ran.

  • Jameian Selmon

    Wow never really knew this about weave good information!

  • Big Cynt

    I don't buy hair, I wear what God blessed me with. My own. Thats why they cornered the market.

  • Luv07

    Again, more HATE over black women who wear weave…we are not the only race that wears it. It is a personal choice. If you want to go natural DO YOU! But why hate because some chooses to express themselves differently. If you don't like it, GOOD! Wear your hair a different way and keep it movin. OMG…talking about women with weaves…does that somehow make you feel like you look better?

  • Jade

    Why Do Koreans Own The Black Beauty Supply Business?

    1) Because they can, and anyone can.

    2) Racism is a mental trap, it's all about economics

    3) You cannot not use absolutes when judging individuals of different cultures because there is good and bad in all. Think Ying and Yang.

    4) Maybe if you are polite and or learn the language to communicate, it would be an easier transition for a level of comfort.

    5) Don't you feel bad after the anger dissipates, anger makes anybody sick. Learn to find peaceful ways for resolution.

  • Ana

    Thank u thats the bottom line.

    Im tired of seeing all these racist comments about Koreans and asians coming and setting up shop making money off the black community. Well stop buy from them and start buying from black owned buisnesses and then the asians will close shop. BUT NO all I see is *rant* *rant* wah* wah* stop crying and do soemthing about it if you dont like it, but dont talk about them when they are just trying to cash in cha ching

  • Beverly Barnes

    Wake up everybody!

  • ANDRE(hair hustler)M

    RICH told you we just running are mouths

  • ANDRE(hair hustler)M

    I know that im going to be called every name in the book for this but its the turth There is nothing the blackman can do about this DOMANATION of the Beauty Business The Black
    Woman holds the key if every black woman stop buying from the Korean Beauty Supply they would fall over nite but that is not going to ever happen just like pastor Eddie long will all ways be in business so will the Korean Beauty Supply the Black womans MONEY keeps the the doors of the Beauty Supply and the Church open we get so rapped up in the the black mans issues we forgot Madan C J Walker she showed us the future and we just gave it away the white man this the white man that please we have a billion dollar industry in are backyard and we dont know what to do with it SAD people we are lets make are own products we can do thats true
    but soon as someone offers you a check you will sell instead
    of passing it on to build more wealth for your family so if your upset about the Korean Beauty Supply Thank the Black Woman she holds the key love me or hate me its the truth
    Blackmen we just running are damn mouths we dont have no were near the power the sisters have 16 years in the game I know whos holding the money it aint us YOU GO GIRL keeps
    us broke and keep making them rick

  • Marcia Kia Simpson-J

    I am feeling these lyrics. Well said!

  • Disappointed

    Interesting article, and an even more interesting discussion. I was linked to this by a friend in the Atlanta area who thought I'd find this engaging.

    I'm the daughter of first-generation Korean immigrants who own three (surprise, surprise!) beauty supply stores that caters to primarily black women (though we do have a rapidly growing number of Hispanic and white customer base as well).

    In the past 8 months I've found myself wholly involved in the beauty business after my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I had to put my college education on hiatus while we try and stablize the business, and over the months I've learned a lot about the daily grind my parents have had to go through in order to give me a better education.

    I would like to hope that as an individual who strives to understand other persons for their character, and neither their gender nor their race, AND as someone who is involved in the beauty supply business, I have a reasonably balanced view of the matter.

    It seems like a lot of people believe that we Koreans purposely keep information or services within our own community in order to eliminate "black" competition. It is simply untrue. It's not as simple as… "we're one color, so we're going to stick together". Far from it. There are divisions and contention within all groups, and Koreans are no exception.

    Believe me when I say that there is plenty of hostility and politics within the "Korean" side of the market. And, though some may perceive the difficulties a black entrepreneur faces in opening up a beauty supply store as being a racially charged issue, the fact is that it is *extremely* difficult for Koreans to open up a beauty supply store as well. Simple small business truth is that no store owner wants to help a potential competitor, regardless of skin color. Korean store owners don't like to share information with ANY store owners, period.

    What the article has wrong is that wholesale vendors are ALWAYS willing to supply to paying customers, regardless of skin color, whether you're yellow, white, black or purple. Proof is in Florida, in which the beauty supply market has aggressively gone under the control of middle-eastern store owners. If Korean distributors were so concerned with racial issues, why would they supply to those stores?

    Not only that, but a large number of hair care companies are 100% black owned. (TIP: you can distinguish those brands because most have the AHBAI stamp on the product–the AHBAI is an association for black entrepreneurs in the beauty field). And, personally, as someone who cares about the local economy, I always try purchasing new products from local manufacturers (most often black-owned). I promise that most other Korean store owners do too, otherwise "black" companies like Ampro would never have become the major powerhouses they are today.

    There are so many misconceptions about Koreans in the comments section that I am honestly disheartened in reading through them. I would like to address them all but since I have to get up in just a few hours to head off to work I'll conclude with this:

    Are some Koreans racist? Of course. But there are just as many blacks who are equally as racist. I won't go into details about my personal experiences with racists while working in this business, since I know that close-minded and hateful people exist in all shapes and shades. I know that people who are spiteful and resentful will always be that way. What can I say? Haters gonna hate.

    But there are always more good people than bad, and for those of you out there today I am truly grateful. <3

    • Chris

      I knew it all along that this article was written by a white Jew that is petrified of competition from the Asians. These white Jews are collecting money from the Americans so they can fund Israel to control the Middle East. It may sound like a conspiracy theory but it is TRUE. White Jews are utilizing the Divide and Conquer strategy in which the players happen to be between blacks and Koreans. Didn't we learn from the LA riot that the victims were blacks and Koreans and the whites benefited the most? Some people will never learn.

  • cufkt

    WHY do black people get to be RACISTS?

    Let me give you an example. I have cleverly replaced a few words here.

    “It’s really about allowing WHITE manufacturers to get inside the distribution channel,” he said. “‘I mean, if you ask me, ‘what is your vision for the future?’” Well, right away, it’s a 100 WHITE-owned stores opening up right next to BLACK stores – a boycott until the BLACK stores accept at least 20% WHITE-owned manufactured products. Then we are talking about money in the community.”

  • dee

    From this day out, I will only buy hair products from Black owned suppliers. I'm relaxed but attempting to go natural. Im using wigs during the transition. anyone know of Black suppliers, let me know!!

    • Joann

      There is a site called "I support black hair beauty supply stores" on facebook. Join if you can. They show businesses in your area that are black owned. There are tons of black owned beauty supply hair stores online. Search it out. Its all there

  • Leahlizyo

    Get some knowledge from where? Black people need to get knowledge from where????????

    We are ignorant-we are a communal people-we are not individuals. Therefore, because many of us are ignorant, we are ignorant. Ignorant being the lack of knowledge, not stupid-having knowledge and deliberately making unwise decisions. So, get knowledge from where????

    It is our job to educate and enlighten each other. We don't. We haven't tried enough. Or have we tried?? Lol Black people need to get some knowledge…..from WHERE???

    There is now an outcry about education reform. Suppose they reform the education system right? They aren't teaching OUR REAL HISTORY in schools. They're teaching kids that we all have equal opportunities, that we can all succeed, to ignore race and history, that we're all human, all individuals, all capable of attaining the AMerican NIGHTMARE. This isn't true, our current state shows us this daily. (segregated poor education, many poor nieghborhoods, the lowest asset attainment in the country, the worst living conditions ever) Texas wants to take slavery out of the history books. They want to erase our history all together. They already calling it the middle passage-when it was really the Black Holocaust.

    If we don't enlighten each other, no one else will. It is their weapon against us. And ignorant people don't know or care that they're ignorant, they are trapped- many of them. This isn't working, the way the world is turning.

    They never took everything(assets, money, land) in the U.S. and distributed equally or brought African Americans up to speed with Whites. They didn't do it after slavery or 30/40 years ago…after segregation ended(we know harsh laws didn't end immediately after segregation) They only said, this law says you're free, segregation is OVER….wow, yeah we're supposed to heal from that. IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS RATE. There wasn't even any emotional reconciliation. Its just like Oh, time will heal, they'll get over it.

    They even have us convincing each other that we're lazy, stupid, ugly, low down-all ideals that they have taught us very well-kudos to the opressor. The fact that we aren't suicidal-based on our current conditions as a community and history alone is REMARKABLE!!!! There are so many wonderful attributes that we possess- that they have tried to rob us of, and we're still here….research and know why.

    We have to teach and spread knowledge. If we are not patient, willing and hungry to do that, we are all equally responsible and guilty for our demise. MAny of us making it and trying to assimilate to brag about the finer things, and leaving the rest of us behind…is WRONG….or maybe not for those lost self hating ones.

    I'm no expert, but am a young person that recently learned a little about my history, thanks to privilege and education that all of us can't attain because of racist powers….and as a young person, I know how they are training us to think-as separatists, as indiduals, as selfish greedy beings.

    Unless we are talking about redistribution, or new distribution, let's not talk. We don't need conversation alone, but some type of reparation-some type of healing…and the first thing we need to do-those of us who can-spread our knowledge and history. Change our vocabulary, motives, acknowledge and recognize Euro centric, hateful motives….get your kids, before they do. 🙁

    OLD Racist structures are the reasons WE are at the bottom. It has nothing to do with competence. They taught us to compete and hate each other for slight opportunities that divide us. Anything that immigrates here…are given better opportunities and are better to recruit against us because they have not grown up here with the racial tensions. They don't know or care about it. That's why a Korean or a Hispanic can come here and make a living. They don't mind taking the wack White man's job. But if I know that I deserve pieces of their success, why do I want to take the crumbs? But if you're coming from a poor country(poor because these same White people destroyed your country) You're just happy to be here, with a better life, so you'll take it. Well sorry, I know what I deserve, and it ain't Crumbs!

    I don't want to give up on us. 🙂 All we need is a revolution. Hariett Tubman says that she could've freed more slaves if she could convince them that they weren't slaves….and one day, more of us will realize that we aren't painted, falsely portrayed ignorant people, but competent brilliant beautiful people. Educate each other. I need you too!! 🙂 I love you guys!!!

  • Wanda

    Madam CJ Walker called and said for all black women to once again embrace our natural hair. Yes, weaves are easier to deal with but why give your money to someone that is not interested in helping your community. The one thing I can't stand is to see black's in these Korean shops buying hair care products that you can get much cheaper at Wal-Mart or Sally's. Why pay more for the same thing?

  • Penni Brown

    This issue bugs me. But, how we got here bugs me more. The way to solve it though isn't complex.

    Stop supporting businesses that don't support our community.
    Start supplying products made by African Americans ONLY.
    Decrease our dependence on fake hair.

    I don't know if I can really blame Korean Beauty Supply store owners for exploiting our weakness. Its our fault for exposing (then nurturing) that weakness in the first place.

  • Eilene Jones

    Interesting conversation, everyone. I notice a lot of talk about "the community", and the need for the community to unite for blacks to be able to succeed. What I've noticed in the successful immigrant businesses is that they aren't thinking about "the community", and they are not exactly following the American Dream of "making it on their own" either. They have chosen a middle road that makes a lot of sense. They run businesses as families, with the whole family working together. It is tough for an individual to make it alone, and even tougher to get a "community" to unite about anything. The Asians have found a way to succeed. The worst thing that the US government has done to blacks is to facilitate the breakup of our families. They bought us off with some damn cheese and now we are so addicted to the government that we can't figure out how to pull together and take care of our own.

    • Leahlizyo

      Interesting take on this.

    • Lena

      Great point! what you say is true no doubt about it.
      Thanks for the comment.

  • Rodnil

    I am black, raising my black children, and NEVER purchase any of the junk that is marketed for black hair care. I do not set foot in Korean owned beauty supply stores, period. Many commercially available products can work just fine in our textured hair, or we can buy raw ingredients from a variety of sources and make wonderful, nourishing products for our hair, instead of the mineral oil and petroleum garbage the Koreans want us to buy. And we don't need their fake hair either; with just a little bit of care and knowledge, my hair is past my hips. Many black women are learning to care for their hair properly, allowing it to grow much longer, by sharing knowledge on hair forums and websites. Koreans won't be sending their children to university on my dollar, that is certain!

    • JEN

      Koreans don't need your dollar to send their kids to universities. Since most of them are smart enough to get academic scholarships. 🙂

      • Leahlizyo

        That's not entirely true. The smart Asian is a myth created by White people to make other minorities feel inferior. They went to Asia and recruited the smartest people there and brought them here so that everyone else would feel incompetent. Divide and conquer. No one is smart because of their race, its becuase of early education and preparation, which I'm sure you're aware of. 🙂

  • Xiha'

    Black people are being brainwashed, and most don't even realize it …….

  • Xiha'

    To be honest, I think the powers to be planned it this way, to destroy the race (look at the Native Americans) and keep us depended on them. Also they use the divide and conquer strategy, always trying to drive a wedge between black men and black women.

  • Xiha'


  • Xiha'

    Most of the time, the things that I want to buy cannot be bought within the black community. You have no other choice than to go outside the black community to buy what you need. This might sound crazy, but during Jim Crow the black race was during a lot better in some ways because there were more black owned businesses, and the race as a whole was more united. Now a lot of blacks under false notions think complete european assimililation is the anwser to the woes of the black community.

  • steven Haskins

    The claims in this article does not surprise me. The Koreans started the big move to pimp… I mean run the black hair industry in the late 60's and 70's. I would love to see black people take this industry back, but lets be real. It will take sacrifice to do this. I do not see this movement happening anytime soon. It seems like no matter where I go in the black community there is always a non-black peddling to us. Black people are one of the biggest consumers on the planet and we own NOTHING. What would the Asians do if they could not pimp the black woman?? It would be nice to see the sistas get together and try to orchestrate a boycott to take back this multi-billion dollar business. Again, it will take sacrifice and I do not se a movement anytime soon. Black women are too worried about loking good. The Asians can't prosper without you. It is amazing to me. The first thing the Asians do when they come to this country is move to the black neighborhood, why you ask? It is easier for them to come-up in this country if they pimp the blacks. There is a reason why you see so many rice shops and beauty supply stores in black neighborhoods. Their kids go to private schools and big colleges and they buy big houses away from the ghetto and we go to the worst public schools and and lesser colleges and love the ghetto. It is amazing what a billion dollar industry can do for those who control it.

  • I have a mobile app (iphone, blackberry, and android) dedicated to black owned beauty salons (full service and natural hair) as well as a comprehensive listing of black owned beauty supply stores. This app will locate those closest to you and up to 100 mile radius. If you know of a black owned beauty supply PLEASE email us their info to be added to the app/database. It is imperative that we support black owned beauty supply stores so that they can prosper and eventually move the korean BS out.

  • msblackvoices

    We ate dogs back in the day, because we were poor and the other meats were too expensive

    WRONG!!! CHECK OUT "DISCOVERY CHANNEL" documentaries, still eating it honey. Get ya facts straight, like your hair weaves.

  • joed

    jen, whose a liberal? and, why are you here, on this site, asking questions? now, it's really not about koreans are any other outside entity. it's about blacks reversing this Forced Intergration. that's what's our down-fall. that's what have sisters buying fake hair. that's what have us hating one another. that's what have others(non-blacks) taking advantage of our communities. that's what have others(non-blacks) disrespecting our people. i hope we are getting the point. as one of the posters stated we are only forty-five years old; in this country. that's when we got our full rights to exist without threat. now, the recent immigrants, like koreans, only twenty plus years in this country. are benefitting from our forced intergration. because of us being forced to intergrate. then all of these new people doesn't have to. once again benefitting from our holocaust. but, that's ok. because now that we are aware then nows the time to change our ways. sisters stop buying that fake hair. brothers stop buying that liquor from the corner store. and, try you best to buy from black owned businesses at every opportunity. because that's what korean, whites, mexicans etc. do at every opportunity. good luck and resiliency.



    • Ana

      they must be right cuz have u seen what kind of houses they live in? there must be someone paying their mortgage

  • ProBusiness

    Gee Pat, what did a Korean person ever do to you that made you so full of hate? Why in the world would you want to shut down the store of someone that works hard and, obviously, serves a need in a particular community?

    You are really just projecting your own inadequacies when you attack your black sisters that happen to like straight hair. There are many white women that get perms and curl their hair, and I promise you it is not because they want to look like black women. Just because someone doesn't love their nappy hair as you do, you want to project some hate on them.

    I happen to agree with you that black women look pretty darn stupid with all of that obviously fake hair … but that is their choice and their right. Why not go about your life and try being happy with what you have and stop attacking others?

    Your comments are an excellent example of why the black community is stuck in a ditch.

    • Marcia Kia Simpson-J

      Koreans, asians, muslims, arabs, half-caste, whites, have all anti-Black – Fact!

      That is why Black people are justified in objecting to these people being in our communities. As for hate – these Koreans, asians, muslims, half-caste, and whites are the kings and queens of the art.
      even if Black people tried, we could never hate, or influence your downfall, the way you people collude to get rid or Black people. Don't call us kettle!

  • jen

    Why are liberals so obsessed with race?

    • Leahlizyo

      Why are consrvatives and others so racist?

  • Stan

    Koreans are doing what other ethnic groups have done and are doing in the "black community." To get rich, they know that they can setup shop in the black community and provide a product. In this case it's hair products.

    We (black people) don't see the science of setting up and running our own businessess.

    The root word in business is "busy" and to be busy is good.

    We don't won't the headache of doing busy because we are either: afraid of failure or don't want to deal with the headache. We don't grow our own foods, make our own clothes or fake hair.

    If other people stop feeding our people would perish.

    Though Koreans have setup shop in our communities and some shop owners treat black people with disrespect, can blame them for "doing for self."

    My suggestion to black people, let us do for self now or perish as fools with a trillion dollars worth of spending power.

  • Lisa

    This is a good article. Even though we may not like the fact that Koreans are getting rich off of us, but can we REALLY blame them? They have created a niche market, exploited it to their benefit, and it works for them. Instead of "boycotting" and getting pissed about it, we should learn from them. Black folks will not unite to do something as massive as to take over a market share of anything and it's sad.

  • Michelle Beauty Supp

    I have a beauty supply store in FL if anyone is looking to order some products that they will not give to you I am willing to order them for you. I am willing to start a distribution center for black owned beauty supply stores that cannot get a accounts with the major distributor. Please call me at 407-637-1967.

  • Gibbsy

    They OWN them because we BUY them…..DUH! Want it to stop? Then let's start being proud of our nappy hair and keep our money, instead of paying their son Jimmy Kwon's college tuition.

  • star

    i think the word is undocumented workers ( or even out of status) not illegal workers. you wouldn't call someone who drives above the speed limit an illegal driver. Label the act, not the person.

  • Maru-chan

    Sista. For real? We aren't smart enough? History tells us that we were building empires, CREATING math and science, mastering the arts, creating languages and writing systems while white folks where crawling in the caves of Northern Europe. We only got our civil rights here in America less than 50 short years ago. Its taking a a minute but we are resilient. We ALWAYS bounce back. We dominate the sports industry. We dominate popular music industries. Slowly but surely we are coming back to our place in the sunlight, and I believe the same goes for the hair care industry.

    Sisterlocks, tradition locks, braids, cornrows, twists, braid outs, twist outs, afros, TWA, natural hair styles and nappy hair is something to be proud of. We can do ANYTHING with our hair, its time for us to take our place.

    • The Kettle

      @ probusiness, CLAP CLAP CLAP the crowd goes wild. You certainly do have a very vivid opinion of African Americans and remarkably it resembles just the type of racism we have all come to know and love from the media. Unfortunately, I have to agree with a lot of what you have to say but dig deep before you speak for surely history repeats itself. Also watch yourself pointing fingers because three point back at you.

      Thugs and thieves, huh. Answer me this cave dweller how did the white man come so far? By recollection it seems everything you have you killed maimed raped and stole to get it. Then of course quickly changed the rules so others could be prosecuted for doing as you do and not as you say. Therefore making you the race with all of the power.

      Africans as you well know along with most ethnic groups have historically been people of peace. Sure everyone has their quarrels but community oriented peaceful people overall.

      Is Socrates a hero of yours? HE STOLE THE BOOKS OF KNOWLEDGE FROM THE PHOENICIANS AND MOORS and claimed them for the greeks.

      How about that good ole chap Columbus, you know the lost boy (and by boy I mean monster that lead the blood filled campaign to steal America.)?

      Ouh I know Blackbeard you had to love him. We all know how y'all love to glorify murderers and let's not forget Jim Crow, HIP HIP HOORAY!! You must stand in awe every time you think about those beautiful laws that protected white folks from lewd acts like lynching, rape castration and all kinds of great little white things.

      Africa is desolate in a lot of areas due to the ravaging greed of whites. Hey I will give it to you though you guys made good use of all that you have stolen and have become quite smart at oppressing and branding people.

      No I don't think sports figures should be role models today or yesterday after all nothing has changed except the color of their skin and the fact that (surprise, surprise) the rules of secrecy have changed.

      When you speak of the condition of the inner cities first speak of the real reasons they are that way. Talk about how when white took flight they also took the tax dollars jobs and the interest of the city politicians to maintain those ares.

      Before you talk about rappers and the things they say first talk about how music executives would and will not allow positive music to penetrate the "black" demographic by shutting out or shelving great and talented musicians that have fun and positive things to say. (Boy did that bite them in the a#$)

      Well, I'll give you this you guys will allow us to read and write these days without killing or maiming us even if we do get inferior books and supplies in or schools but you may want to speak on that before you talk about how smart some body is.

      Through it all we are so resilient and smart that we do have plenty of people that have excelled in math, sciences and language whether you choose to recognize us or not.

      Alas, todays reality does look bleak to the untrained eye but we will and are rising again. Oh, but would you look at that this is not even the topic…. your bad 🙁

      • Leahlizyo

        Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish I could speak to you more about your comment. Brilliant and true, we will be rising again soon!!! 🙂 🙂

    • pook

      Looks like you've been reading black revisionist history nonsence.

    • Leahlizyo

      What a cowardly way to express the things you feel about Blacks daily but never have the courage to say. Blogs give so many people so much courage. Not. You're a racist. What a sad lifestyle to live. I hope you grow out of it one day…or keep it to you self!!! Love ya!!! Racists need love too!! 🙂

  • PMN

    All the griping here is puzzling. Nothing succeeds like success and the Koreans should be congratulated. If one does not like it, don't buy from Korean businesses- no one is compelled to do so. Better yet, start your own businesses. But with so many blacks in perpetual custodial care, one can be legitimately skeptical this can be done in great numbers. Nonetheless, it can create both wealth and capital in ways affirmative action and EEOC hiring will not. At any rate, these Korean shop owners provide goods and services that would otherwise be unavailable to the neighborhoods which they serve. They raise the quality of life and should be given our thanks.

  • Andrew Pumphrey

    Never seen a Black person working in a Chinese or Japanese or Mexcian or German Restaurant for that matter outside of fast food establishments you can't find Blacks in most ethnic establishments

  • Steve

    The black customers are SOME of the WORST people on earth. They are rude, CHEAP and ignorant. The will drive 5 miles to a Korean owned store to save 50 cents on an item. The want to try and talk you down on an already inexpensive item, they act like good slaves when they are in Asian stores but the minute they know its black owned they lose all of their senses and gain an attitude

  • AL

    I'm black and have a store in metro Atlanta. We carry stuff for relaxedf hair and NATURAl hair also.

    We carry wigs, remy weave, etc ALL at GREAT prices.

    7490 Old National Hwy Suite 1200 Riverdale GA 30296


  • I actually have begun to purchase directly from factories overseas and develop my own business. Recently I purchased a report called the Indian Hair Report. I would defiantly suggest it for any black business who is interested in actually learning where and how to purchase hair. Just search for it on google.

    As for the Koreans doing business in the African American community, I think African Americans need to learn how to develop their own networks and make contacts globally.

  • Beauty Supplier

    You all are absolutely WRONG…the Koreans have the market because they have done their homework PERIOD. When was the last time you sat in a parking lot and counted the number of people coming and going or asked customers about a new product you are looking to stock or gone store to store and sold products.

  • FAY

    I use to work at a asian nail salon chain located inside WALMART.The owner thought she was going to use me just to get more black business,which she did,they are backstabbers like no other PLEASE BELIEVE,she even tried use me on the slick to be security when they would mess up clients nail using the inexperienced asian nail tech all while trying to keep from growing my clientel since everyone was trying to get me to do their nails like the earlier post that said they're trying to use black people to work for them to get more business.

    • loopholesRalwaysNfx

      it would have been great if you could have started your own buisness as a spinoff from their salon.

    • Marcia Kia Simpson-J

      What are you telling us sister? Are you telling us that their products are knock-offs and that they use Black people as slaves? My God!

  • Lorraine

    It's hard to compete with the Koreans with the price they buy with one another from one another in bulk. We as African Americans can't seem to work together for the better of one another other races can work and live togeter and help one another but we don't want to see our brother and sisters get ahead especially if it means their doing better than us. We have to bite the bullet and pay a little more to patronize one another. It's not that black businesses want to charge more but they have to because they pay so much more for the product. So to make a profit they have to charge more. So when you can buy from our own.

  • Ashley

    One last thing: just because a black woman wears a weave does not mean she's insecure or wants to look like a Caucasian female. The fact is that everyone in the world (except most Black people) has that same kind of silky-textured hair, not just Caucasians. How about you all stop judging and worry about how to improve upon yourselves for a change *wishful thinking*

    • I Know, Right?!

      I agree! It annoys me to no end how black women with natural hair love to make assumptions about the mentalities of black women with chemically straightened hair. Please, consider that perhaps we don't hate ourselves or our hair…maybe we just appreciate and find comfort in the simplicity, versatility, and manageability of straight hair. It's funny how when a woman with natural hair chooses to wear it straight sometimes, she's just working a style or a look but when a woman has chemically straightened hair she's brainwashed. Anyone who finds her self worth in the way she wears her hair, be it chemically straightened or natural, is misguided.

      • Penni Brown

        What could be more simple, versatile and manageable than the hair that naturally grows out of your scalp.

        Claiming that straight hair has all of these magic properties is silly. I'd respect folks more if they just came out and said, "I hate my hair and I wish I had straight hair."

        Stop trying to rationalize it.

        • Ashley

          There's no need to rationalize anything. People will wear their hair how they choose. If you don't like weaves, then that's cool to. All I'm saying is don't judge people so harshly just because YOU don't agree with it. Lastly, when I used to wear weaves they'd always be CURLY not straight, just wanted to point that out.

    • Ama B

      How sad!! You need to travel more. Blacks are not the only people with nappy hair – OMG – so sad – Go to Israel, go to vietnam, go to Mexico, go to Hawaii,, just to name a few – OMG- Even if it was true – I would think that would give you a clue of how truly unique and fabulous you really are – not a reason to try to emulate others – OMG!!!! Tragic

      • Ashley

        Ama B., you say "OMG!" a bit too much for me. Secondly, I have been to Mexico. Would you like to pay for my round-trip fare in order for me to go to the rest of those places you mentioned? Lastly, I never mentioned anything about trying to emulate someone else. You missed the point, sweetheart. Also, I noticed that you said in another post that natural or pressed hair is the way to go. In all honestly, pressed hair is no better than a straight weave because that's not the hair's natural texture anyway. I notice that a lot of black women who wear their hair supposedly "natural" usually end up straightening it every day and putting damaging heat on it, but somehow that's still better than a weave? Makes perfect sense. *sarcasm*

  • Ashley

    This article has shed light on a prominent issue and it is unfortunate that African-Americans are discriminated against in that area of business. However, I'm tired of the comments saying that we need to do this and that to fix it…no, what we NEED to do is focus on problems that actually matter like the economy, perhaps. Then, y'all can get back to being mad about things such as this.

    • curve adams

      News flash Ashley, this focusing on the economy.

  • vandetta

    Interesting article, I actually learned something I didn't know. However, I agree with some posters. If we want to own the businesses in our neighborhoods we need to support one another. Stop shopping at non black stores. It's just that simple. In the beginning, it may be more expensive but will pay off in the end. Because to be honest, most foreigners DON'T want us in their stores, but they want our money. SHUT EM DOWN!

  • Ahmad

    OH PLEASE!!!!!! grow your own hair . its not thier falut you lazy nappy headed fools wont take care of your own hair they need to get rich off of your dumb asses.TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN HAIR. p.s. im black too!

    • Lonnie Love

      Such harsh words from a fellow afican american.

      • ProBusiness

        Not harsh at all … sometimes the truth hurts.

    • ProBusiness

      I appreciate your comments! Why hate over hair????

  • Jay

    I actually think this was great article. The problem itself is bigger than Koreans or distributors. The problem in a nutshell is us. If we came together as a community and stopped the "me against the next brother" mentality we could dominate any so industry we choose. I think both Asians and Hispanics should be admired for this. It's a collective greater good for the community as a whole (economically speaking). How many Hispanic grocery stores do you see open now and you see as much of our people in there as you do Hispanics. We'll show our patronage to anyone but our own! Mentalities really need to change from business owners and how we serve our communities down to the general public realizing it better serves us as a whole if we give that patronage. Just my two cents 🙂

  • This is a very pertinent topic. I have created the first free app where you can locate black owned beauty supply stores in your state (if they are established there).


  • You know what's crazy… I don't know if any of you are familiar with the Camp Creek area here in Atlanta. But go to Camp Creek marketplace…The hair supply stores here are owned by Asians (unfortunately), but they have black female employees in there! The Asians know we are on to their little bullsh*t so they use the black female employees so people can feel better about shopping there…It's so sickening. I really wish I could just burn every asian hair supply store in a black neighborhoods into smithereens. But that would be foolish. The smart thing to do is encourage entrepreneurship amongst our Black people! I say we go into Asian neighborhoods and start business! Asians own hair supply stores & nail salons because it caters to our needs as people..Our sisters NEED that fresh pack of weave (let's be real), and they NEED that french manicure on they toe nails.. Well then, we need to start Dog Meat & Cat Meat butchery's in Asian neighborhoods… Cater to the needs of their people!!



      • coldt7

        @Crystal you're right ,koreans are racist.

        • Jung Re

          Woww! I'm Korean and i'm not racist. You guys can't say all Koreans are racist. That's like saying all black don't like white people and so on and so on. Go ahead and open up your dog and cat shops. We all don't eat dogs and cats. We ate dogs back in the day, because we were poor and the other meats were too expensive You guys eat that stuff in the burritos @ the mexican shops. I said you guys step your game up and stop complaining at this. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT INSTEAD OF COMPLETING AND TALKING $%#@ BOUT US!!!

        • Jung Re

          You guys taking things all out of proportion. What's sickening? That we provides you guys with jobs?! Step it up, and stop being racist!Go ahead and start your business selling cat and dog meat. I can promise you it ain't gonna work ladies. You guys eating cat and dogs already at the mexican shops.

    • Mellyanne

      First of all, our sisters don't actually "NEED" that fresh pack of weave. But thats a topic that would take forever and a day, and leave many people hurt and defensive.

      As for Blacks going into Asian neighborhoods and starting their own businesses…it would never work because Asians tend to have a much more closed culture. They wouldn't patronize you, especially if the person doesn't speak the language.


      dog and cat butchery? for real g? GTFOH.. since wen is hustlin to feed our families and give our children a better future perceived as something so negative.. amazing.. yall kno sum jew wrote dis rite? not ur own brothas and sistas. dis exactly wut happened wit the la riots, asians and blacks hate on each other while white folk still chillin deflectin blame on others

    • BLACK

      Good day, we need to be more savvy with politics, our votes need to be respected and we should use that political capital to boost us instead of doing small things to keep us quiet, do what Velma Hart did question these so called politicians who are for Blacks,only when its time to vote and then they take everyones cause except ours , places like Harlem should be a must for any so called politician that wants our support on a national level we are led by preachers and thats not a good thing.

    • ProBusiness

      On come on Shawn Carter … why don't you go ahead and foolishly burn down the Asian-owned businesses. Isn't that they way that blacks generally deal with a race that they envy and hate? Come on girl !!!!!!!!!!!!

      Yes, the smart thing to do is encourage and support black businesses. But with your expressed attitude of going into Asian neighborhoods and starting dog and cat meat businesses, you will continue to fail as a people. What blacks should be doing is soaking up the education that the working Asians are helping subsidize, and then opening a business that fulfills their lives and makes them happy to get up every morning. But nooooooooo, lets go into business with the express goal of being hateful.

      Cater to the needs of whatever people you choose, that is the American way. Thanks for shining some light on how you think … it was very educational.

      • Chickie

        Thank you for being one of the few people commenting from a place of logic and calling out the hate. Just wanted to give you a thumbs up.

    • Marcia Kia Simpson-J

      Shawn, I hear you!

  • This story line is tired & old. If you want to complain, do so with your money & stop supporting the businesses. It's that simple.

    If Black people generally speaking were not so addicted to the artificial & economically savvy we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

    • Reta

      I think African American women should leave all those harsh chemicals off their hair. Go natural. You are letting white society dictate how we are to wear our hair.We are a beautiful people without all the fake hair. You will not have to shop at a Korean Owned Beauty Supply store. Fake hair and nails like Europeans. It's insane.

      • Luv07

        I am black and I wear weave. I am proud of it. It is not because I am trying to be like another race or not proud of who I am..It is because I AM PROUD OF WHO I AM, an individual and an American who exercises their freedom of choice.

        The black owned businesses don’t have the variety on their shelves because the distribution companies don’t want to sell to them as the article stated. That is the issue. If you don’t want to wear weave, that’s a personal choice. But that is the not the issue at hand.

  • WaitAMinute

    Kizure's irons are mostly STOVE TOP heated products….you're pushing an outdated product in 2010 wondering why companies that have moved on to electric are winning (AND at comparable/cheaper) costs? Nuh uh.

    The laws that make Korean hair a monopoly ARE an issue. I believe it should be the work of black officials to rework this law in benefit of black entrepreneurs, but NOT to force another group to buy our products. That's going about it the wrong way and will backfire since we still have to import many products to fill these beauty supply stores, black and Korean owned alike. It's costly to support our black community…we have to make it worth the expense in more than one or two ways to get people on board.

  • crystal white

    Being half black and half korean i cant really say which 'side' I choose. And which really is 'deserves' business over the other. But as indviduals, korean, black, or white, everyone has the right to run a business if they desire. And they can run the business how they want because after all it is their business, whether they are right or wrong in their business practices. We are so critical as a people and when it comes to operating a business they are like crabs in a barrel. SMH. I mean if you read the article you can read about the history on how Koreans became so involved with the hair industry. anyway, This dude Aron Ranen is a White Jewish guy….can he really relate to this situation??

    • crystal white

      Being half black and half korean i cant really say which ‘side’ I choose, and which really ‘deserves’ more business over the other.

      • ishaq "isacc&qu

        i am a proud Palestinian Beauty Supply owner, and i'v been in this business for more than 15years and my neighborhood has been nothing but great to me. i give back to my community and the schools, my customers love and enjoy coming to my store, theirs a lot of competition around but you have to be smart..this business is beautiful and you have to know how to run it, it don't matter if your Asian, Black, Arab, you have to know how to treat your customers and make sure your store has everything to where your customer will always smile on the way out…and if your complaining and hating on these smart money making people will go ahead because at the end of the day your not doing nothing with your life and your broke!!!!

        • Marcia Kia Simpson-J

          So here we have it. A starving refugee no-nation Palestinian out-trumps Black Americans. He also has the cheek to jeer at Black people knowing that America, Britain, etc, are geared up to support them, by instructing backs to support them 100%, the council is primed to promote them, and the politicians are groomed to back them, and visa versa.
          I was once told that these things are arranged in private, all red-skin, half-caste, arab, asian and white meanings. Blacks are banned!
          In the uk the arrangement was for the south and east asians, who was it for in the us?

          • Marcia Kia Simpson-J

            Correction, I meant "meeting(s)"

    • bayareachick

      @Crystal White…since you dont know which side to choose or who deverves the business ( BLACK hair care whose customers are 100% african american)…can YOU really relate to this situation?

      • CC

        yeah. she can relate to it from BOTH sides.

      • Ms. Nikki

        seeing how i'm African American, i feel the same way. why is it such a big deal about race all the time. i'm from the south (Texas) and i still feel that does it really matter??? keeping money in the community, the city, the state, the country is what matters to me. a community that does good is great for the people that live there and others on the outskirts. for the ones who think of blacks sooo negatively, please read up. please google black organizations. please stop with the stereotyping of your own people. if you can't see beyond that, please travel. travel outside of new york. while you're at it, look up the countries in Africa. you'll see that media only shows you the poor sick babies running around with no shirts on. there are REAL cities there and they have money and power and make something of themselves. lastly, every race has it bad. everyone has it's sour apples. immigrants come over here for better opportunities and are doing what they're doing for survival. us in the black community don't have to fight as hard as they have to because we're "legal."

    • Leahlizyo

      I'd prefer a White Jewish person that attempts to enlighten people in issues that involve the community than to listen to a minority that questions sides to take….first you shouldn't have to choose. Second if you read the comments, this is obviously an issue for so many people in the Black community, some are infuriated, some reflecting on experiences and come just learning all together. Koreans and other Asians aren't particularly nice to Blacks or have strong communal relationships with us. And if you have to validate whether or not this is an important issue for us or not, perhaps you've already chosen a side. Enlighten yourself on the structures and systems of this country…then perhaps you'll understand who invented and implanted the crab in the barrel ideology. We didn't come to it on our own. They're exploiting our community-not just owning a business.






    • Mellyanne

      Its funny you talk about a chip on the shoulder syndrome, because many people will tell you that there's nothing like going into a store with owners that don't speak your language, are distrustful of your people, and really disrespectful of you because of it.

      Ive seen MANY an Asian businessperson in the Black community with their own chip on the shoulder.

      • Jenny

        Please, And the Asians treat you with more respect!! Ya right, LOL thats no good reason to not support black owned Bizz

      • Ana

        Maybe they have a chip on their shoulder beacuz of the way they are treated. They are mocked and called chinaman. They are NOT Chinese they are Korean. When people mock them they use a strong accent that no one understands and some of these people grew up here. So of course, they are going to have a chip on their shoulder. When the angry woman comes in yelling about hair or hair products. Ive seen in at the Korean owned stores I go to and I see on television.

        BOTTOM line is if you dont want them there. Dont go there!!

      • Ana

        They follow everyone not just blacks everyone!! even the white trash. Of course if Donald Trump walks up in there they will be trying to give him a some coffee. But they would do that to Oprah too, and shes black

        Read some of these comments you say about asians and maybe then u will understand why u get the shift eye. U are stereotyping them too.

        • LifeOnMars

          The problem is our folks are so full of self-hate!! Integration was all about money. When we were segregated, we had stronger black communities. As a child growing up in the south, you were forced to use your own and start your own and patronize your own, you had no other choice. I guess we will have to get back to those times. Hopefully, by then, some of these stupid NEGROES will wake up and work together in unity for the benefit of the entire community and not just for their small group of FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES.

    • desiB

      Stop being expensive and rude…and they will come…would rather be served by someone that has an accent than someone rude and ignorant and expensive…money talks!

    • rene

      I do not agree with this statement. I have been to several black owned beauty supply stores and I did not have a problem with them at all. That may be your experience , but do not blanket statement all black owned business. On the same note, I have been to Asian beauty supply and nail shops where the workers were extremely rude becase they knew that they could get away with it because black people take crap from everyone except themselves . That is why we cannot get any further because of so much self hatred.

    • H

      I agree with you with the chip on their shoulder and not only that they talk about people who they know you know. A lot has to and should change when they become business owner, but what they do not know is they are the destruction to their own business.

    • JAson

      I don't much about the "girl" you encountered, but I'm sure she doesn't work at every black beauty supply you go to. And as far as the lack of product selection, clearly you're not reading the article. How they stock the shleves if the ones in control give them little or nothing. Black people need to help themselves this is true. But I imagine we aren't the only ones with "chips on our shoulders". Maybe you should knock the chip off your own shoulder and visit a different black owned beauty supply store.

      Peace & Love

    • Wend

      Also the comment on the variety; well if the distributors aren't selling to us as a people how can you expect the African American retailers to have a variety??? Also I don't even frequent a beauty supply house or nail shop because the attitude and customer service was horrible, note they were asians because in my community there is no black owned business in this perticular industry. And reading the articles I clearly understand I wish we as a people had the unity of back in the day when we would boycott, but unfortunately a lot of us can't do with out our manucures and pedicures.

  • g

    Im very offended by them owning these shops its just like carry outs it seems they pry on us and make all the money they cant although i cant blame them i want to blame black people 1st for using all these darn products and secondly for not sticking together they know how to divide us dont they

  • I think this phenomenon speaks to weaknesses that we as African-Americans fight often. The asian culture celebrates co-accomplishment and nepotism in a way that we don't yet. Many African-Americans feel the need to compete with one another before assisting each other due to our "experience". In addition, I think Asian hair products are chosen because of the image of quality that is perceieved to be "better" than our own. We're making progress but longstanding ideals often take centuries of consistent reinforcement to change.

    • Mwelwa Bwalya

      I agree with this article, I am black business owner in Syracuse New York (Green Family Closet) specializing in the hair market. I found these same discriminating factors, when I decided to open my store. There are distributors who refuse to sell hair products to owners who are not of Korean decent.( Specifically Janet Collection) They claim that they cannot supply people in a radius of 10-15 miles near each other,yet there are two stores run by Koreans that are supplied by them. I think this kind of treatment creates a monopoly in the hair industry for Korean owners and displaces African Americans, the leading consumers of these products. I have to note that these distributors are a contributing factor, but I believe that the change can only be made if African Americans are willing to call for the change as well. The fight cannot be reached if we continue to be complacent and accept this as our FATE!

      • Michelle Woods

        I have a Janet Collection account if you need any products please let me know.

        • AJAMU


      • Michelle Woods

        Sorry my Store number is 407-265-2099

      • Marcia Kia Simpson-J

        Its a colour and complexion thing. In the UK the same phenomenon has happened, only with the indians and muslims. there is no getting away from the fact, that it can also be because we are either lazy, or perceived to be.

        I would love to buy my yam and banana from a Black person in Brixton, but they are few in number, if they exist at all. The hair thing is even worst. Totally dominated by Asians, or anything light-skinned.

        I want to know, what we gonna do about it?

    • Jason

      In Los Angeles, every beauty supply store seems to be run by non blacks….. just about every Liquor store, Bodega, 7-11, and mostly all gas stations are run by non Blacks! Whats going on? All the nail shops are owned and run by non blacks!

      • JACKIE


        • tasha

          I love you Jackie!! that is exactly what i am thinking! excuses excuses.smh..black folks quit making excuses!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Jovan

          You taking the words right out of my mouth. I really think the marketable thing to do right now is study and research which race of people profit off the african-american community as business owner. We need to find a way to reverse the market and target what interest other race of people and profit, instead all of us doing the same thing or follow the crowd. This is the only way african-american can be successful. We are the only race of people that is probably still in the recession, because we cant accept the fact that money market or the way of living has changed. Yes we are behind and need to start making some changes before 2012 election.

        • Patricia Oxley

          You are so on the money! I have felt this way for so long! When we ALL pull together, take life seriously, become educated, and stop spending our hard earned money where we are not represented or respected we will make a strong finanical statement. WE DO HAVE THE POWER.


        I understand your frustration but your comments are narrow and quit reckless. Do not talk against what you yourself don't have the solution to change and dont be so bold as to express these type of emotional statements for other ethnicities to look at. What we need to do or going to do for change should be addressed amongst us, not for everyone eles for their entertainment. This is not to cause division between you and I, but I know its surely designed to seperate us. We will have our day and we will come together in this lifetime.

    • Julia

      You are SO RIGHT (my co-worker) went into one of the stores smack dab in a black neighborhood and was berated by the owner when he spoke to her and she didn't understand him. He then said in a flip tone.Wat's the problem you don't understand my (educated) english? Being a college student she replied I understood you completely and then called her parients and relatives to give this man a lesson in Black Education. After this lecture in Black History the man apologized.I couldn't believe they could move in Black neighborhoods and look down on the very customers who buy their supplies. Or acsuse them of stealing. My 20 Year old daughter doesn't understand my anger.

    • marsha

      I agree 100%

    • LifeOnMars

      It is self-hate.

    • FarFromIt

      Bravo ……bravo