Eleora Ogundare, at just age 15, is making waves for Black girls across the country. Diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was eight and suffering from hair loss due to her chemotherapy treatment, Ogundare created a line of hair care for girls to feel more confident in themselves.
According to CBC, Eleora felt insecure about her own hair amid the sickle cell treatments, “My hair was my confidence because the kids I was around, they had like the long, nice long hair. I felt, like, naked almost because the thing that was like giving me confidence, I didn’t have it anymore. I had to cut it all off.”
The experience of searching restlessly for hair oils and creams that worked for her led her to nail her own hair care formula and launch her own line of products. The Adoniaa Collective, a store for Black businesses to sell their things, houses the Eleora Beauty line.
Ogundare told the outlet, “Our hair is beautiful the way it is, and it’s different in a good way. It just expands our culture and really shows who we are. It wasn’t as bad this time. Like, I’m more confident in it, and I also just want to teach others, like young Black girls, that, you know, like short hair or like long hair. You can rock it either way.”
Ogundare’s mother, Eugenia, expressed how proud of her daughter she was for taking steps to help other girls embrace their “crowns.”
She began, “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 explained the positive impact after the release of Eleora Beauty was immediate.
“And then we get the mothers who say, ‘Oh, my daughter’s hair was hard to manage. It’s more manageable [now]’.”
Eleora finished by saying how happy she was to make a difference in people’s lives, especially girls who felt how she felt when she was younger.
“I think we’re making a difference in, like, 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.”