After a teenager named Eleora Ogundare suffered hair loss as a result of her sickle cell anemia treatments, she set out to help other people who were in similar predicaments. Now the 15-year-old is fulfilling that mission through her and her mom’s booming business: Eleora Beauty.
Speaking to CBC News, Eleora looked back on the journey that brought her to this point, which began when she was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was just 8 years old. As a result of her chemotherapy treatments, Eleora began suffering from hair loss that took quite a toll.
“My hair was my confidence because the kids I dated liked the long, beautiful long hair.”
Eleora and her mother Eugenia Ogundare eventually decided to shave their heads to get the process over with.
“I no longer had what gave me confidence. I had to cut everything.”
Her mother tried to help wherever she could
In response to her daughter’s situation, Eugenia wanted to help boost Eleora’s confidence, realizing that the hair loss could be affecting her “sense of identity”.
“The struggle for her is identity, you know, trying to understand why her hair isn’t 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” when you lose her beloved locks.
As a result, Eugenia devoted time experimenting with different hair oils and creams until she came up with her very own formula to regrow Eleora’s hair. Specifically, she says the user benefits are proof that her product can work wonders.
“One of the problems that black women actually face is edging, so the first thing we get is, ‘Oh, it’s actually working for my edging. And then we get the moms who are like, ‘Oh, my daughter’s hair was difficult to manage. It’s more manageable [now].'”
Teen entrepreneurs use childhood illnesses as a starting point to help other black girls and women https://t.co/52j1TMsaUA
— Calgarynews (@calgarynews) January 10, 2023
Bring self-love, awareness and self-confidence
Adedoyin Omotara — a salon owner in Calgary, Alberta — sells Eleora Beauty in her shop, and she notes the importance of black girls finding products that “actually work.” [their] Hair.”
“It’s a big part of who we are, especially physically, but we need to understand the impact it has on the inside. Younger people need to understand that there are products that can actually work for our hair so they don’t start putting toxic products in their hair just to look like another Sharon on the street.”
The salon owner added, “Whatever issues we face in our community, we remain the solution to those issues.”
On that point, Eleora notes that she believes she is “making a difference in young girls’ lives.”
“When I was younger, I kind of wished I had something like that to make me feel more confident. But I’m glad I’m doing it now to help other people.”
Greetings to Eleora and Eugenia Ogundare and we wish them all the best in their journey of helping other black girls suffering from hair loss!