At a recent press briefing in Colombo, stakeholders in the hair and beauty sector presented their case to the media. Photographer: Pradeep Pathirana
The hair and beauty sector in Sri Lanka is rapidly losing viability due to limited access to hair and cosmetic products as a result of the government’s temporary ban on cosmetic items.
Customers opting for salon services have decreased as a result of the import prohibition, according to industry stakeholders. “Most consumers are users of international brands of cosmetics, and because such items are not available and the available products are excessively expensive, customers are unable to use the services of salons as in the past,” industry stakeholders said recently during a press event in Colombo.
The poor turnover at salons has also compelled the management of such establishments to reduce employees, putting many people out of work.
Due to the scarcity, a black market has emerged, resulting in extremely high costs that strain both the salon and the customers.
Furthermore, because Sri Lanka has numerous controlled academies creating international-class beauticians, students who do not have access to international brands that were previously available may hinder their advancement and employment chances abroad.
According to industry stakeholders, the opportunity of promoting Sri Lanka as a wedding hub for foreigners and Sri Lankan expats is also lost, as they, too, seek internationally known cosmetics brands for their wedding looks.
They also stated that if the restriction is not lifted by the end of September, the upcoming season will be plagued by an out-of-stock issue due to importers need two months advance time to send down the products.