With the recent attack on an African-American beauty supply store patron by the Asian store owner, buying black has been on my mind now more than ever. The store, Missha Beauty, located on Wilkinson Blvd. in West Charlotte, is the latest eye of a racist storm against African Americans who look the part of a thief — an $11.00 false eyelash thief in this case, a case where no stolen products were found on the patron’s person.

Instead of waiting for apologies, Kumbaya moments, it’s time to buy Black. Or is it?

Or should I ask, is it possible?

As a consumer of color, I searched for three days (online mostly, for full disclosure) for a hair weaving product to purchase at a black-owned shop. I came up empty, so far. Perhaps three days are not enough to come to any conclusions, but when the product is easily found at other outlets (again, mostly online) I have to wonder how much buying black I have time for!

In all fairness, there were a few black-owned businesses who sort-of have what I am looking for, but the costs?! I get it, with very few vendors willing to work with black business, money has to be made from the prices of the few products that are available. If a vendor, for example, would rather work with ________ (rhymes with alley) Beauty Supply, that leaves black beauty supply stores faced with either not offering certain products or offering other brands at a higher cost. In other words, I can find weave at black beauty supply stores, but they cost way much more than what I’d find at several juggernauts online (names withheld — no free advertising here!).

So for now I will buy my discount hair at the discount spots, but will make an effort to shop black for other supplies, like combs, brushes, scarves, pins, gel, oil, conditioner, makeup…damn near everything else I need to get gorgeous. Here in Charlotte, I found almost everything I needed from Beaute Mark Beauty Supply, located at 8906 Bellhaven Blvd.

Looking to #buyblack (whenever possible)? Start with this list of black-owned beauty supply stores throughout the country. While there check out some other kick-ass black-owned businesses. There is something there for everyone. And I do mean everyone, regardless of race or gender.

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