For women of color in New York, getting braids, weaves or a host of other protective styles has often included a prolonged subway sojourn, a DIY date with YouTube or another option that requires either too much effort or money. If this is your dilemma, Yeluchi by Un-ruly, a new at-home hairstyling service for Black women might be exactly what you need.
Created by the founders behind Un-ruly, a website for Black women and hair, Yeluchi, takes the hassle out of hairstyling by providing customers with professional hairstyling services in the comfort of their own home. Interested customers can choose their desired protective style, an appointment time that works for them, and even provide their potential hairstylist with an image of their desired style for reference. Service costs range anywhere from $50 - $225.
Like any good business model, Yeluchi speaks to a real need for an affordable service that caters to a large demographic in a growing industry. According to Mintel’s 2015 Black Haircare and Consumer report, over 80% of Black women prefer an effective, no-fuss beauty/grooming routine when it comes to their hair, and Yeluchi co-founder, Antonia Opiah is one of them.
“I know my target audience because I'm part of my target audience,” Opiah tells ESSENCE.
“[Women of color] want healthy hair, we like to protect our hair, and we like to switch our hairstyles up a lot. Some of the styles we choose can take hours to do, and because we're more than just our hair, we've got other things going on; other things we can be doing while we do our hair, and that's why Yeluchi exists.”
For potential customers and hairstylists in the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens boroughs, where the site is currently beta-testing, Yeluchi bridges a gap in what has long been a neglected part of the mainstream beauty industry. Opiah indicates the heightened visibility of stylists on social media platforms, like Instagram, as another reason why Yeluchi is a necessary service in the ever-changing beauty industry.
“Most stylists seem to be online these days,” she explains. “I'm always seeing stylists posting their work on Instagram. Or someone tagging their stylist in photos. It seems having an online presence has become an unspoken requirement in the industry.”
By connecting Black women with talented hairstylists they may not have found them otherwise, Yeluchi is doing more than providing a service, it is democratizing the beauty of Black hair, again, through the power of the Internet.
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