African American Hair Association Strikes Long Overdue Deal with Chinese Manufacturers

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BOBSA is creating a direct link to China to cut costs for Black hair care store owners and businesses

(BEIJING, CHINA) – Whether it’s natural or relaxed, the haircare industry amongst US Black consumers has a predominance in spending habits more than any other US consumer group. In fact, according to a consumer market analysis from Mintel Reports, 51% of Black consumers use styling products compared to 34% of US consumers overall.

Then, it is also no wonder that the sales of the overall Black haircare market in 2015 were an estimated $2.7 billion… and according to Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, (BOBSA) the Black haircare & cosmetics industry nationwide and internationally is a

$9 billion industry that serves millions of African-Americans.

So what is the biggest issue with high black consumerism in this market?

Unfortunately the Black haircare industry is predominately controlled by a conglomerate of Korean store owners and suppliers, who are able to drive down prices, collectively buy in bulk and be middlemen, and buy out non-Korean store owners.

BOBSA founder, Sam Ennon, who was invited to China this past October by the Chinese government and their hair manufacturers, has found a way to change the odds for Black haircare store owners. After making the first Black business agreement with the Chinese government and manufacturers of hair “We have created an alliance named Enterprise of Black Hair Alliance (EBHA) to change the distribution of hair in the U.S.” said Ennon.

Welcomed with banners, balloons, a singing choir, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the town’s mayor and the workers of the plant. “We experienced the greatest welcome and hospitality on behalf of BOBSA. However, it was not the nice hotels and fancy meals every day that impressed me; it was their determination that really moved me.”

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Ennon was given a tour of the factories to understand and witness the processing of the wigs and haircare products, also noting some of the challenges his store owners may have. “ I have been told many times by African-American store owners that they buy directly from the factories. After being there, myself I realize the logistics are not possible, which are a hindrance to the success of Black beauty supply stores and limits competition in this market.”

On the contrary, Ennon also understood the major struggles for the factories. “I learned that the factories have their struggles as well.” To bridge the challenges of both cultures in the Black haircare industry, Ennon was introduced to a new factory – Anhui Union Hair and Culture Co. Ltd.

The recently built factory was invested in by a number of hair factories coming together for this great accomplishment. The goal is to use this new company to sell direct to customers by collaborating with BOBSA. “It was a very exciting moment when I saw the 2,000 acre-lot and 250,000 square feet building that I realized what a great opportunity this is to finally be able to help Black-owned beauty supply stores to be able to compete with others.”

Ennon is committed to EBHA’s shared effort to create and develop a beauty industry that bridges with the Black community. “Our vision embraces the belief that our alliance will provide important opportunities for all parties to generate revenue and manifest premium products and brands. Our joint venture will enable the Black community to fully realize the potential opportunities in committing to the creation of industry brands that will bring pride and recognition to everyone involved in this joint venture.”

About the author / 

Toure Muhammad

Author Toure Muhammad is the head bean, publisher and chief strategist of Bean Soup Times. The Morehouse graduate has written front page cover stories for The Final Call and N’digo. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, Upscale magazine, rolling out newspaper, and N’Digo magapaper. He’s been featured on Tavis Smiley’s radio show on NPR, on Chicago’s WBEZ (Chicago public radio), and many other radio shows.

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