Hair and beauty industry faces double blow | Daily News

Hair and beauty industry faces double blow

Senior members of the Beauty Cluster at the press conference. Picture by Wimal Karunatilleke
Senior members of the Beauty Cluster at the press conference. Picture by Wimal Karunatilleke


The hair and beauty industry which was severely battered due to the C-19 pandemic and health restrictions has received another deadly blow due to the import restrictions. The Association of the Beauty Cluster says that their total import bill is less than USD 17 million per year and to this, there is also a huge 70% plus import duty. This is less than 1% of total imports.

Due to the temporary ban on cosmetic products by the government imported cosmetic equipment and items which are now either smuggled or hand carried have gone up by over 70% and it has also deprived the government of revenue from import tax of this segment.

President Hair and Beauty Cluster, Jacqui Aponso at a Press Conference in Colombo say that due to this there has been a marked decrease in consumers patronizing salons. The reason for that being most consumers are users of international brands of cosmetics, and due to such products not being available and the available products at very high rates the consumer is unable to use the services of the salon as in the past.

As the turnover of the salon is starting to reduce, the management of the respective organization has been compelled to reduce the staff thus creating unemployment. “Due to this livelihood of over 450,000 staff in the industry and over 1.5 million dependents are at stake.”

Sri Lanka also attracts and hosts many foreign and Sri Lankan expatriates’ weddings at the end of the year and they hire local beauticians in large numbers.

“They prefer using internationally known brands of cosmetics and due to the lack of internationally known brands Sri Lanka could also be losing this market as well creating a negative sentiment to the tourism market as well.”

With the impending Christmas and New Year season the salon/trade sector generally benefits from increased demand. “In the event, this ban is not lifted by end of September 2022, the season is bound to suffer with the ‘out of the stock situation’ due to importers needing two months’ periods (lead time of the manufacturer, shipping) to arrive,” says veteran beautician, Bernie Balasuriya.

“This will result in additional jobs that could have been created is lost. Sri Lanka has many regulated academies in the country producing international class beauticians out of their students, not having international brands that were available before could hamper their progress and also obtain employment overseas as most overseas employers look for students who are familiar with techniques and said brands.”

The cluster says they have also updated President Ranil Wickremesinghe in this regard and are awaiting a positive response from him.


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