With one easy stroll through any urban community in America, you can effortlessly spot nail salons from corner to corner. It’s no surprise to many of us that most of these nail salons are owned by individuals who live outside of urban communities. These owners are predominately Korean-Americans.
And we love them, don’t we? Most Black women can’t get enough of their cheap prices for manicures, pedicures, full-sets, fill-ins and maybe even an eyebrow arch.
But not so far down the block, there is that lone nail salon owned by a Black woman. Often just a few dollars more expensive, most Black-owned nail salons offer added services like massages, hand wraps, versatile nail polish selections and swanky digs. Most Korean-American owned hair salons aren’t interested in aesthetics by a long shot, it’s all about the monopolization of the community—quantity over quality. Perhaps Korean-American’s franchising of nail salons and beauty supply stores in urban communities can account for their inexpensive menu of services?
So what’s behind our love affair with Korean nail salons? Are we really interested in saving a few bucks or is there some mystical magic to their mani/pedis? Could it because their convenient—they’re everywhere with little to no waiting time for your O.P.I. fresh set?
Michelle Fonville, a woman from Georgia is likely to have lost her love for Korean-owned nail salons. Reports reveal Fonville was charged an additional $5 for her services because of her weight. The salon owner spoke to a local news station claiming her weight could have potentially ruined salon chairs, and that it takes more time to polish nails on a “overweight woman.”
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be shocking if, in just a few days, Michelle returns to yet another Korean-owned nail salon for a fill-in.
What do you think about Black women’s relationship with Korean-owned nail salons? It is trouble or harmony?