February is here, signaling several exciting things. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, there’s a glimmer of Spring to get you through the last few months of Winter, and it’s Black History Month.
It is a month packed with historical significance, including the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Not only is it a time to reflect on the pioneers of equal rights, such as Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr., but it is also an opportunity to celebrate culture and community.
The Significance of Barber Shops
Barber shops have long been a cultural cornerstone of the Black community. They are known as a place to come together, enjoy the company of like-minded people, and engage in meaningful conversations. At the same time, they are a place to embrace and express identity.
Throughout modern history, Black hairstyles have been an outward expression of personality while often protesting cultural norms and expectations. If you are unfamiliar with the role of hair in Black history and the Civil Rights Movement, it is well worth your time to research and learn about it.
It suffices to say that hair and Black culture go hand-in-hand. In many ways, it is more than a style; it is a statement and an integral part of the community. So, how can you discover and support Black-owned barber shops this month? We’re glad you asked.
How to Find and Support Black-Owned Barber Shops
If you view your barbershop as more than a place to get a haircut, you probably have the history and tradition of Black barbershops to thank. Much of barbershop culture today–community, comradery, and conversation–can be traced back to them.
The impact they have had on barbering as a whole cannot be overstated, and supporting those within your community ensures that this legacy can continue to grow and thrive.
Look for Badges on Yelp
To assist people in finding Black-owned businesses, Yelp recently implemented a tool that allows businesses, including barber shops, to identify as Black-owned. When using Yelp, a designation of “Black-owned” will appear beneath the name of the shop. You can even search for Black-owned barber shops (or any other type of business) to easily find one to support.
Several other companies have adopted similar methods to identifying Black-owned businesses, often making it as simple as typing your query into the search bar.
Use Dedicated Resources
There are now numerous resources dedicated to making Black-owned businesses more visible and accessible. From We Buy Black, an online marketplace for Black business owners, to the Official Black Wall Street app, the online directories available today make it easier than ever before to find and support Black-owned barber shops.
Spend Money at Black-Owned Shops
Whether you’re getting a haircut or purchasing beard and hair products, the best way to support Black-owned barber shops is to put your money where your mouth is and support them financially. While this doesn’t mean you have to opt exclusively for products and services from shops that fit this designation, we encourage you to find Black-owned barber shops this month and support them by making a purchase.
Do Business with Black Suppliers
If you own and operate a barbershop of your own, you can uplift Black businesses in the industry by working with them as suppliers. Whether it’s using the products they create and sell in your daily barbering practices or acting as a retailer for their consumer goods, you can create awareness and contribute to commercial success by forming partnerships and utilizing your platform.
February is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and look toward an even brighter future. It is also a time to support the community around you and take actionable steps to make that future a reality.
For more barbering news and guidance, be sure to check out our blog and subscribe for updates. You can even take a moment to explore the liability insurance the National Association of Barbers offers to any shop seeking success and security.