How The Coronavirus Is Impacting The Hair & Beauty Industry

woman with mask
Photo Credit: PeopleImages

The coronavirus has now officially reached pandemic status, the World Health Organization announced today. As of today, there are 118,000 cases with more than 4,000 deaths. But for many of us in the U.S., the respiratory infection may not seem that bad.

[SEE ALSO: Do This Before You Install Your Next Weave]

However, the growing panic around infections is affecting more than just health — including a tanking stock market, businesses and, yes, our beauty needs.


From back-ordered beauty buys to canceled expos and live events, beauty aficionados are feeling the burn. News reports show that hair retailers are getting hit with higher wholesale prices and backorders from suppliers in China.

“It’s also causing a delay in shipping,” Tonya Jackson, owner of Edgy Tresses, told FOX13. The extra delay, which was due to added safety precautions.

Higher wholesale costs also mean higher purchase prices for customers. Jackson said she is looking at a 15% price increase.

On the bright side, concerns about product contamination or weave shortages are minimal. “They don’t have to worry about that because it was never affected in the beginning,” said Jackson. “The actual products are in great standing.”

And, according to WWD, any impacts related to accessing products should fade by the end of the month. The publication reports that beauty spending is back up in China, and across Asia — where most of our beauty products are manufactured — most factories are back up and running. Their analysts also forecast full capacity in the next two months.

While the manufacturing side recovers in China, however, cities in New York and Texas are declaring states of emergency due to increased infection rates. This is forcing larger events to be canceled due to the high number of people expected to attend.

One of New York City’s largest beauty expos, the Beauty Experience (formerly IBS Show) was canceled less than 24 hours prior to kick-off. The Makeup Show Houston has pushed its originally scheduled March show to August. Other events around the country have been canceled, as well, including Tokyo Fashion Week. Smaller-scale events continue to run as planned.

Local beauty industries are already keen on sanitary rules and regulations, so your salon visit might just rank higher on the safety list than your next grocery shopping trip.

Licensed hairstylists, barbers, and certified makeup artists are trained in the basics of washing hands with soap and warm water, regularly wiping down and sanitizing their work stations with high-grade alcohol and disinfectants that consumers can’t easily access. (Another reason to stick with the pros.)

For those of us at home, if you are worried about your beauty buys, there is limited evidence that the virus lives for extended periods on surfaces.

But, if you are concerned with your hair purchases, take note of our previous expert advice to simply wash the hair before installing — and your hands after touching. That goes for both human hair (click here for this must-do) and for synthetic hair (click here for how to do the vinegar wash).

Are you facing any beauty bumps related to the coronavirus scare? Share your story below.

About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is digital media director for Hype Hair and founder/Black beauty director for Sadiaa Black Beauty guide, the top hair and beauty directory for women of color.