The coronavirus is still spreading, and its viral nature is affecting many businesses across the globe including the Black hair care industry.
China – the epicenter of the disease – is the hub where many companies import their goods.
The black hair care industry is feeling the effects of the virus also known as COVID-19 because hair importers’ orders cannot be met due to restrictions meant to contain the virus.
These restrictions will incapacitate the black hair care business as they may soon struggle to meet all their orders from customers, particularly on orders for weaves, wigs and hair extensions from factories that are primarily based in China.
COVID-19 has already claimed six lives in the United States and more than 3,000 lives the world over.
Hair importer Shannle Wallace, the overseer of District Cheveux in Bowie, Maryland, told WUSA 9 that orders made from her supplier in China, dating back to January is hanging in the balance. The order has still not arrived, and she says it is due to the virus.
“I just never imagined coronavirus would affect me, being in the states,” Wallace told the station. “Not directly as far as being sick, but my business.”
For Wallace the fear of the virus is not affecting her new orders, except customers are worried the hair they buy might be contaminated with the virus.
“When they get their hair, (they ask), ‘Is it going to be contaminated?’” she added.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the virus dies on the surface. “There is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” the agency wrote on its website. “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets.”
A beauty entrepreneur and owner of XOXO Virgin Hair based in Prince George’s Country, Maryland, Stephanie Nolan also expressed concerns about the toll the virus is taking on her business.
“Due to the coronavirus, and the measures taken to cut down on the virus in China, people aren’t allowed to go to, or really return to, work,” Nolan told WUSA9.
Vendors outside China are also taking advantage of the temporary ban on importation from China to drive up their prices. Although the hair care products from these other vendors are of the same quality as those from China, they fail when it comes to the quantity they can supply.
Some may not see how this affects the bigger picture in terms of the world markets but the Black hair care business fetches the United States huge sums of money as the hair industry is worth over $1.5 billion.