After losing her hair due to treatment for sickle cell anemia, a teenager named Eleora Ogundare set out to help others who are facing the same predicament. Now, the 15-year-old is fulfilling this mission through her and her mother’s thriving business: Eleora Beauty.
In a conversation with CBC News, Eleora looked back on the journey that brought her to this point, which began when she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at the age of eight. As a result of chemotherapy treatment, Eleora began to lose her hair, which caused quite a bit of damage.
“My hair is my confidence because the kids around me like it long and pretty.”
Eleora and her mother, Eugenia Ogundare, ultimately decided to shave their heads to complete the process.
“The thing that once gave me confidence, I no longer have. I had to cut them all out.”
Her mother tried to help but she could
Given her daughter’s plight, Eugenia wanted to help boost Eleora’s confidence, as she realized that hair loss could affect her sense of “identity”.
“Their struggle is identity, you know, trying to understand why their hair isn’t as smooth as the next person in class.”
Eugenia also notes that, while a Black woman’s hair is her “crown,” it’s “a whole different ball game” when one loses her beloved hair.
As a result, Eugenia took the time to experiment with different oils and hair creams until she developed her own formula to help Eleora’s hair grow back. Notably, she says the user’s edges are proof that her product can magically work.
“One of the problems that Black women really have is the angles, so that’s the first thing we get, which is, ‘Oh, it really works with my angles. And then we get moms saying, ‘Oh, my daughter’s hair is so hard to take care of. It’s easier to manage [now].’”
Teen entrepreneur uses childhood illness as a launch pad to help other Black girls and women https://t.co/52j1TMsaUA
– calgarynews (@calgarynews) January 10, 2023
Brings self-love, awareness and confidence
Adedoyin Omotara—a salon owner in Calgary, Alberta—sells Eleora Beauty at her store, and she notes how important it is for Black girls to find products that “really work for women.” with [their] hair.”
“It’s an important part of who we are, especially physically, but we need to understand the impact it has on us inside. For young people, they need to understand that there are products that actually work on hair so they don’t start putting toxic products on their hair just to look like another Sharon on the street.”
The owner added: “No matter what problems we face in our community, we are the solution to them.”
On this point, Eleora notes that she thinks she’s “making a difference in young girls’ lives.”
“When I was younger, I wished I had something like this too to feel more confident. But I’m glad now that I’m doing it to help others.”
Many thanks to Eleora and Eugenia Ogundare, and we wish them every success in their journey to help other Black girls suffering from hair loss!