Ada Ogunkeye and Nicole Chukwueke are the new organic beauty product queens in Nigeria. They met whilst they were doing their A-Levels at St Leonards Mayfield School in East Sussex. On their return back to Nigeria after university degrees their creative and entrepreneurial sides kicked in and the brand Ours by juliada was born. One Nigerian Boy speaks to these organic girls.
Ada.O: My awareness of hair issues began when I was very young and one of the only girls growing up to have natural or "virgin hair". The hair dressers constantly complained and asked me to relax or texturize my hair because it was "too stubborn". I would put my head down in shame, agreeing with them and bitterly blaming my Father who had Forbade my Mother from putting any chemicals in my hair, until I turned 18.
I then started researching and experimenting with household food Items, learning how to take care of my hair, I would research for hours and test a variety of combination of all natural products, staying away from chemicals as much as possible, and as a result of my successes, people began to request for little mixtures and suggested I make it a business. It was then I realized the true potential of my passion and how it could affect for the better the lives of my fellow African and Ethnic women.
Ada.O: Today the ingredients that Ours by Juliada uses are almost 100% Natural and most definitely Organic; and because we believe in being socially responsible, we source from small communities and struggling business women mostly who depend on their farming and local knowledge to survive. The Indigenous knowledge found in a number of smaller communities and particular to Nigeria is being lost because people are overlooking the value in our traditional knowledge and Customs. OurS by juliada believes that in terms of beauty and the African aesthetics, the Old ways are the best. Evidenced by the fact that several top notch beauty Brands reserve their highest prices for products that are mostly Natural, with Shea butter topping the list of " most valued natural ingredient" in skin creams worldwide.
I do not have any formal training ( although I am currently researching to be a Trichologist), but I have found that with natural products, what is required is experience and research, which I have acquired by years of trying out mixtures and ingredients on my own hair and skin, and by noting and testing base Natural ingredients that have had positive results for other women of Colour.
Nicole.C: I am currently researching a cosmetology diploma but I'm not formally trained, however years of research and personal study has been immensely useful to us. We do not put out products that have not been tried and tested, and things that we do not personally use.
How many different products do you guys produce now and what are their benefits to the user?
Ada.O:OurS by juliada believes in thorough testing and trial before we present a product to the public, we are currently have six products for sale, Virgin Coconut Oil, Gingerbread-cookie Body Scrub, Body Butter, Hair Butter, Brilliantly Soft Deed Conditioner and Hair Food Protein Treatment. We are currently in the Development and Testing Phases for a few other products.
The advantages of OurS by juliada products over commercialised store brands, is really all the nourishment and health benefits our ingredients bring to your hair and skin. Our Body Butter for example is Loaded with Unrefined Shea butter goodness and deeply moisturising Essential oils, giving not just a smooth feel to your skin, but fading scars and stretch marks and returning elasticity to the skin, eliminating wrinkles and nourishing you with vitamin E to give that glowing, Natural look I myself have been accused of having ;-).
Our Hair Food protein treatment, packed with botanicals puts back into your hair what the stress and harmful hair styling practices African women have adopted , have taken out of it! Just visit our Blog for more information!
Why is it essential for today's woman to use organic products?
Ada.O: It is so important for Today's African woman to make that move back to what is natural, because cosmetic companies and the industry in general do not care about the ingredients they put in their products, as long as production cost is low. So often the main ingredient in a number of allegedly beneficial products will be petroleum oil or Mineral oil. This is not acceptable as this oil merely coats the hair shaft and scalp, suffocating it, and hindering hair growth and progress. Going back to what is natural gives today's woman Power of what goes into and onto her person, and allows her to inform herself and know what ingredients work for her and what does not.
So Take control of your beauty and opt for Natural and Organic products today.