We Are Unruly: A Place For Black Hair

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It’s so fun to build things!

A little over ten years ago I started building Unruly. I just wanted a beeeautiful place online where I could find hairstyle ideas because I changed my hair monthly, and at the time, blogs were the thing. I loved going on sites like The Satorialist and Garance Doré to get fashion ideas, but I wanted a place for beauty and for us. So I started building. 

I built a blog and soon that blog became an instigator of national debate. Quickly, I realized that Black hair was waaaay more than just hair. So I built more.

My sister, Abigail then joined me and together we built even more. We created an on-demand hairstyling service so women (like me) could get their braids, weaves and crochets done in the comfort of their home. 

Our build has been a steady and intentional one. It’s been personal and hands-on. We’ve built things we know we and our readers need.  Every step we’ve taken, and every brick laid has had a raison d’être. Now ten years in, we’re ready for things to really get juicy! 😃

This year we’ve done a lot to lay the foundation for the next level of Unruly. A lot of those things have been happening behind the scenes, like expanding our team and strengthening our infrastructure. This relaunch is both a culmination of what we’ve been working on and a stepping off point to what’s coming next and Abigail—my partner in crime, is the perfect person to tell everyone about it! 

(Secretly: she was supposed to write this post but got stuck. 😅 Then I got the idea that this would be more fun as an interview.)

So! Abigail… what’s new in this relaunch?

Well, the biggest thing about our relaunch is the fact that we’ve combined our three platforms (media, services and shop) into one beautifully designed site. So now users can browse articles for hair inspo, book a licensed stylist, or shop for hair all in one place. It literally is a one-stop-shop for all things Black hair. We also have a new logo! (I LOVE our new logo).

And a huge thing is that our at-home hair styling service is no longer called Yeluchi by Unruly, right? We would often get asked “are you guys Yeluchi or Unruly?”.

Right! So now we’re only known by ONE name!

What excites you most about our relaunch?

I really just love the fact that we’re charting new territory, and creating a blueprint of how to really bring content and commerce together for a Black beauty brand. Because for a long time, I’ve felt that a lot of people just didn’t quite get what we’ve been up to over here. Between inciting that controversy you previously mentioned, winning awards for work we’ve done on the Black maternity crisis, or our work to combat the rise of traction alopecia, I don’t think folks really have a grasp of how what we’re doing all works together.  

And why does this excite you?

Well, because what we’re building doesn’t really exist and I’m glad we’re creating it; all while becoming a category-defining brand in the process. 

Hitting certain milestones naturally makes you reflective. What’s one thing you’re most proud of that we’ve done so far?

Making it this far! We’re one of the last ones standing coming out of the height of the natural hair movement of 2013. We also haven’t swayed from our original vision which means we had good foresight, which is proof that what we’re building is needed. I’m also really proud of US and the fact that we pulled off this relaunch. We wore MANY hats and took on this gargantuan task, that a whole team of people would typically work on over the course of several months. I mean, you can’t get more dedicated and hardworking than that. (Thank God we’re durable! 😅)

And we survived having different aesthetic tastes! 😩😆

Okay, so what’s one thing you’re really looking forward to doing next with Unruly? 

I’m really looking forward to stepping out from behind my laptop and showing up in some of the bigger content pieces we have planned in the very near future. I also think it’s high time people really get to see what we’re like as sisters and co-Founders and how we’ve managed to work together over the past 10 years, living an entire ocean apart. I’m also really excited to grow our community of amazing stylists, and to scale our shop to become a product marketplace.  

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An entrepreneur at heart, I founded Unruly in 2013 after spending six great years in advertising. I’m über lazy when it comes to doing my hair so I’m always looking for easy and quick ways to care and style my hair.

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  1. As a non-black person, this website is MASSIVELY educational and it should be required reading for EVERYONE. Thank you so much to both of you for all of your hard work putting the blog and these resources together and congrats on 10 years of pioneering!!!

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