The cash in hand policies of some independent hairdressers may mean that the overall value of the afro hair care industry, already worth millions of pounds, could be underestimated.
The industry may be considered as one of the few multi million pound industries that can thrive behind seemingly minimal advertising, and what appears to be the immense power of the word of mouth.
Some independent hairdressers set up as a “one-man-business” from home, receiving clients in their residence or travelling to their clients’ homes.
An independent hairdresser said: “I don’t work in the salon. I’m more independent and more flexible with my time. I do someone’s hair and then somebody else sees that hair and they pass on my phone number.”
With advertising looking scarce Afro Caribbeans provide additional support to the hair industry by sharing information on products and salons through family and friends.
It is not unusual for the African Caribbean Diaspora to acquire the majority of their hair information this way rather than through the businesses themselves, as many do not run websites for their services.
Founder of the Afro Hair Directory, Mr Eric Broug said: “There are many people who offer these hair care services and might visit you at home or you go to their house.”
“Quite often the only information that they have is their name, the place they live, and a mobile phone number. There is a few that have a bit more than that, but I thought it would be a good service to provide for all these individuals who try to make money by offering hair care services. That is enough information if they want to put that information in my directory.
With the increase of affordable resources, like the Afro Hair Directory, available to the independent hairdressing business industry the overall value of the afro hair care industry may become easier to monitor.