After experiencing hair loss due to her sickle cell anemia treatments, a teen named Eleora Ogundare set out to help other people facing similar predicaments. Now, the 15-year-old is accomplishing this mission through her and her mother’s booming business: Eleora Beauty.
During a chat with CBC News, Eleora looked back on the journey that led her to this point, which began when she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at just 8 years old. As a result of her chemotherapy treatments, Eleora began to experience hair loss, which took quite a toll.
“My hair was my confidence because the kids I was around, they had like the long, nice long hair.”
Eleora and her mother, Eugenia Ogundare, ultimately decided to shave her head in order to get the process over with.
“The thing that was like giving me confidence, I didn’t have it anymore. I had to cut it all off.”
Her Mom Sought To Help However She Could
In response to her daughter’s situation, Eugenia wanted to help boost Eleora’s confidence, as she recognized that the hair loss could have an impact on her sense of “identity.”
“The struggle for them is identity, you know, trying to understand why their hair is not as silky as the next person in her class.”
Eugenia also noted that, while a Black woman’s hair is her “crown,” it’s “a whole different ball game altogether” when one loses her beloved tresses.
As a result, Eugenia dedicated time to experimenting with different hair oils and creams until she developed her very own formula to help Eleora’s hair grow back. Notably, she says that users’ edges are proof that her product can work wonders.
“One of the problems Black women actually face would be the edges, so that’s the first thing we get, that, ‘Oh, it actually works for my edges. And then we get the mothers who say, ‘Oh, my daughter’s hair was hard to manage. It’s more manageable [now].’”
Teen entrepreneur uses childhood illness as launchpad to help other Black girls and women https://t.co/52j1TMsaUA
— calgarynews (@calgarynews) January 10, 2023
Bringing In Self-Love, Awareness, & Confidence
Adedoyin Omotara—a salon owner in Calgary, Alberta—sells Eleora Beauty at her shop, and she notes the importance of Black girls finding products that “can actually work for [their] hair.”
“It’s a huge part of what makes us us, especially physically, but we need to understand the impact it has on us inside..For younger people, they need to understand that there are products that can actually work for our hair so that they don’t start to put toxic product in their hair just to want to look like another Sharon on the street.”
The salon owner added, “Whatever problems we have in our community, we remain the solution to those problems.”
Regarding this point, Eleora notes that she thinks she’s “making a difference in young girls’ lives.”
“When I was younger, I kinda wish I had something like this too, to make me feel more confident. But I’m happy that I’m doing it now to help other people.”
Shoutout to Eleora and Eugenia Ogundare, and we wish them well on their journey to help other Black girls who are experiencing hair loss!