Since its launch in 2020, Ruka Hair has been shaking up the beauty industry by providing Black women with quality hair products that showcase the beauty of their natural hair texture. By celebrating Black women’s hair with affordable products in a range of textures and styles, the brand has fast become the go-to for customers trying to create fuss-free daily looks or head-turning party creations. Up until now, Ruka Hair has only been available online. But all that is changing with the launch of the Black-owned company’s first ever pop-up store in London’s Westfield Stratford.
From Mar. 21, the extensions brand will open its doors and provide shoppers with the chance to not only get their hands on products and take a look at all the brand has to offer. Customers will also have the opportunity to speak to trained hair experts and stylists to answer all their queries.
As the first Black hair extensions brand to open a store in Westfield (yes, really), CEO and co-founder Tendai Moyo and COO and co-founder Ugo Agbai are continuing their mission to bring joy to the hair shopping experience for Black women.
“Ruka was born out of wanting to put Black women at the centre and making them our insiders to creating innovative, high quality solutions for our hair needs,” Moyo tells Bustle UK: “We started with hair extensions. But see us forming the Apple of hair care, and a company encompassing the full hair and beauty needs of Black women globally.”
She continues: “We’ve always known how important it is for people to be able to touch and feel the hair textures. Also, even more than that, we recognise that the way that we interact with our hair is a vulnerable experience. Being able to see experts in person, being able to get support and education live and direct, is the next step in making sure we honour the vulnerability of that experience.”
If that all wasn’t exciting enough, Ruka will also provide a click and collect service that will help customers secure a look for even the most last-minute outing plans. “It was important to us to be able to offer the click and collect service and the convenience because what Ruka is about is removing compromise from Black women’s shopping experience,” Agbai explains. “It shouldn’t be so revolutionary that shoppers can click and collect the hair extensions that we actually want and will work for us, but as an industry that is the fact this is revolutionary, and it is new.
“For us, it’s a core part of our mission is making things convenient and easy and continuing to level the playing field with our products. I really hope we aren’t the first and last to be able to do that.”
The brand will also take time to educate shoppers about all things curls and coils by hosting a series of focused sessions to reveal more about the company and the hair they have on offer. Moyo explains: “We’ve previously run sessions to teach people everything from ‘How to cornrow your hair’ to ‘How to install a ponytail without heat’ and this all goes back to our ethos that education is one of the pillars of our brand.”
She continues: “We know as Black women, we are all starting from different places so being able to access that information without judgement is so very important to us.”
Agbai adds: “When you think about how integral our hair and our hairstyles are to both our culture and our experience of beauty, it’s bewildering that we still have to shop in corner stores with people who don’t necessarily understand what products we need.
“They don’t necessarily care about the products they advertise to us along with those hair extensions or the way it makes us feel about ourselves. For example, having to shop for hair products alongside skin lightening products.
“It feels ground-breaking to bring joy back to the shopping experience for hair. We wanted to bring it back to being about exploration, about protecting and celebrating your hair – whatever it is you want to do with your hair.”
With the pop-up open until May. 1, now is the perfect time to travel over to London’s Stratford to find out more about their Think Kink clip-ins, Press'd Headband Wig or even just have a sniff of the newly-launched hair perfume.
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