EYOKO – Dami Gbadamosi

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I’ve been natural for 3 years now, I have very thick hair which initially grew very fast but has since slowed down. For me hair-care is a long task achieved only when my hair is wet and quartered, my arms are sore and there has been crying. This lead me on a search for a product that would make my hair manageable without having to put chemicals or relaxers in my hair. Fortunately I was recently asked to test out a new brand Eyoko and feedback on their latest product. The postman delivered me a beautifully presented box which contained a hair butter and contact details for help with the product at any point (this was heaven sent, and the Eyoko website gave me lots of helpful tips for use too), and finally a declaration that “this isn’t just a hairline, this is a revolution.”

Little did I know all the things I was looking for had just arrived in the box in front of me.  Eyoko hair butter is made entirely of a natural oil based ingredient, so it smells great, and has no chemicals. Better still for me, the oils did not send my sensitive skin into frenzy like most oil based products do, and finally no petroleum was in sight to block your hair and scalp from taking in all the nutrients you are trying put in (something I later learnt was 100% intentional). After four weeks to say I was impressed is an understatement. I was telling everyone and living to regret it a little because it then meant hiding my Eyoko stash from any afro haired woman who entered my house. The people I didn’t tell noticed anyway. My hair was glowing, growing, and so much softer. My stylist talked about it for at the first hour she spent handling my hair, and I will even have to go back to working on my arms at the gym.

Now if I thought I was in love, I was hopelessly so by the time I was done speaking to Eyoko hair butter founder. The heart behind this product makes it all the more worthwhile. Paula Okoye started experimenting both to meet her own personal needs, and due to frustration at the lack of transparency about the content of available products. Today’s final product is the result of feedback from testing on clients at her cousin’s hairdressers and over a year of fine tuning. It means the butter really works for a range of different hair types and scalps, relaxed, natural, dry scalps, sensitive scalps, etc your money doesn’t just go towards getting you a great product.  Five percent of profits go to the Sickle Cell Society, in memory of Paula sister. Sickle Cell and its effects on the Afro-Caribbean community is something that Paula speaks of knowledgeably and passionately, and is a cause at the core of Eyoko’s ethos.

The ethos of Eyoko centre on education, and awareness on the issues that affect black communities (such as sickle cell), empowerment of black owned businesses and Afro-Caribbean communities as consumers, and finally access and visibility of Afro-Caribbean hair products. The Eyoko revolution is about supporting black owned businesses, and making the market power Afro-Caribbean community clear. So that black women can buy their hair products where they grocery shop.  So Afro-Caribbean hair products are not just affordable in some areas in London and cost a fortune or are completely unavailable elsewhere. So that when these products are stocked in mainstream shops they are not on separate aisles labelled “ethnic” like they somehow do not qualify to be on the aisle labelled hair-care with the products used by our Euro-Asian haired counterparts.

So you see “this is not a hairline this is a revolution”, and I’m here for it! It’s so easy to be when the revolution makes my hair feel good. You can find out more about Eyoko, the Revolution and their fantastic Corporate Social Responsibility at http://www.eyoko.co.uk/ and of course before you leave the site you can also buy your first jar.

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