Market research company Mintel reports that “Nearly six out of 10 black consumers wear a wig, weave or extensions, which enables them to switch up their look.” African Americans spend an estimated 2.54 billion on black hair care in the beauty supply business.
Meet hairstylist Alonzo Arnold, the self taught stylist and wig maker that is setting trends, and building a highly successful business. In 2017 Arnold grossed sales in excess of $500,000 through a combination of retail, and online store sales. Well aware of the racial barriers within the industry, Alonzo is focused on using his business and influence to keep the black dollar in our community.
Behind the beauty supply store fronts that saturate our neighborhoods, there is a growing disconnect between the owners of beauty supply stores and purchasers, says Arnold. “When you walk into a beauty supply store in an urban neighborhood or a suburban strip mall most likely you will see a Korean owner.”
“Once I began to get serious about making custom wigs and weaves I realized that their was an opportunity much bigger than the celebrity endorsement of my creations. I felt empowered to create with the idea that I am a minority creating for us to keep our dollar in our community.”
“Beauty supply and accessories has been big business for a long time,” says Arnold. “Madam CJ Walker was the first female self-made millionaire in the late 19th century, and I want to continue in that legacy. We spend so much on our hair but we are not reaping any collective benefits from that revenue.”
Alonzo is educating aspiring entrepreneurs through various classes which teach not only weave and wig making but sourcing, supply chain, social media strategy, and business acumen.
“I do not want people to have to literally start from ground zero like I did. If I can help another person to achieve their creams faster, it is my obligation to do that.”