Hairstylists are frustrated as prices fluctuate

Hair factory in China. Photo courtesy

COVID-19 has impacted many business owners across the world, but the beauty industry took a hard hit when China announced it was stopping lace production for the rest of the year. Many hairstylists and women with hair companies primarily get their hair from vendors in China. This halt on lace products resulted in a smaller amount of hair supply and a rise in prices.

Kendall Simonds, a junior pre-physical therapy major at Florida A&M and owner of Dolly Bundles, decided to start her business during the pandemic. Though COVID-19 allowed her to be an entrepreneur, business didn’t exactly go as planned.

“I wanted my laces to be affordable for customers,” Simmonds said. “But now it is hard finding laces with reasonable prices. The factory decided to raise wholesale prices since there is a minimal amount.”

Since Simmonds is just starting out, she hasn’t switched vendors just yet but she plans to test out the hair on herself first before she sells it to any of her customers.

Sophomore biology major Kearra Williams started her hair business, The Real Mink Junkie,  in March of 2019 and has never had to stop selling hair until COVID-19 hit almost six months ago.

“Unfortunately due to the lace shortage I have been unable to get hair on hand like I usually would,” Williams said. “I actually had to stop selling hair for a few months. Processing times were taking longer and I didn’t want to keep customers waiting.”

Williams took this time off to search for better hair and adjust her business to ensure her customers would be satisfied.

“I decided it was time to rebrand,” Williams said. “The whole point of my rebrand was to switch vendors. The months I stopped selling was worth it. I have better hair now and i’m able to depend on my new vendor.”

Juniorhealth science major Ashelyne Noel has experienced numerous problems with her business, The Hair Treasure Box, since China announced the stoppage.

“This shortage has caused hair prices to fluctuate up and down,” Noel said. “I was unable to have stable pricing for my customers which resulted in me missing out on sales.”

Noel also described her frustration when it came to shipping out hair.

“Another inconvenience that has happened is delayed shipment of my inventory,” Noel said. “I am unable to provide my customers an accurate timeframe of when they will receive their hair.”

Hair businesses are still flourishing despite the many inconveniences they may face due to the pandemic. There are only three months left in the year so an abundance of lace is expected to be back on the market soon.