Beauty seekers have been pounding Yelp’s online directory looking for Black businesses to support, the company revealed Thursday in its latest Yelp Economic Average report.
Searches for “Black-owned beauty salons” and “Black skin care” jumped 163 percent and 133 percent, respectively. Yelp notes that the recent spike coincides with the introduction of its partnership with MyBlackReceipt to support Black-owned businesses.
When it comes to “Black skin care,” the search term’s popularity over time looks even more impressive, surging as much as 261 percent since 2019 and 554 percent in the last two years.
Other beauty trends highlighted in the report look like a snapshot of the human experience during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s no secret that almost everything about our beauty and grooming routines has likely changed since COVID-19 shutdowns in March,” wrote Tara Lewis, director of community expansion and trend expert at Yelp, in a blog post covering the report. As the beauty industry often relies on in-person appointments and close contact, the sector has been especially hard hit by the waves of business closures.
Some operations have scrambled to offer virtual consultations and mobile mani-pedis, among other treatments, including curbside color. Others leaned into the at-home hair color kit trend, which is experiencing a boom during the pandemic. Madison Reed, for instance, has seen sales explode 12-fold since the pandemic struck.
Yelp has seen roughly 4,000 beauty businesses add virtual consultations to their profiles, while others emphasize their health and safety measures, with more than 15,500 beauty businesses updating their information to include them.
Beauty businesses in California were surprised when, in May, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called out the sector: “This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon,” he said at the time. ”I just want to remind everyone of that. I’m very worried about that.”
California’s resurgent rates of infections have thrown a wrench into the state’s reopening plans, which have had to shift in recent weeks. But this week, Newsom allowed for outdoor hair and nail salon services. And across the country, the level of openings still varies by state and even by county.
Even so, some of the search trends look like a definitive sign of the times: Compared to last year, mobile waxing and mobile nail salons are up a whopping 453 percent and 359 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, interest in acne treatment saw an uptick of 37 percent, as people deal with stress-related breakouts.
Lewis also noted that, “as salons reopen, we’re seeing Yelpers eager to rebook services best left to a professional, like eyelash extensions, up 55 percent; cheek filler, up 71 percent, and Clear and Brilliant lasers, up 227 percent.”