Divinely Made is a new haircare brand set to transform curly locks
PUBLISHED: 14:36 04 November 2020
Winchester sisters Yasmine and Iman El Sheick share their secrets for beautifully curly hair
We have all been affected by Covid-19 in one way or another. From those who have suffered the loss of loved ones, contracted the virus themselves or found themselves isolated for weeks on end, the last seven months have been a trying time for us all. Others have suffered catastrophic financial hardship, losing livelihoods and finding themselves battling for job roles; the list of those worse off now than they were back in February is likely endless.
One particular social group however, I feel, have been hit harder than most. Cast your minds back to your teenage years, you have your whole life ahead of you, bountiful with opportunities and excitement. My late teens/early twenties were spent partying (I mean learning major life lessons) at University. Meeting new people, my now husband being one of them, and exploring career options by working in a variety of, now thinking about it, truly amazing roles. We were the lucky ones they will say in years to come. The phrase, “It wasn’t like that in my day” has taken on a whole new meaning to those students who have had their careers crushed by Covid. Aspirations left in tatters, and dreams turned to heartbreak. Morale is low among our teenage population and who can blame them? Ever increasing pressures to out-perform each other for ‘living their best life’ were high to say the least, even before the pandemic. But now what? Lockdown hit our young adults hard and as we adjust to this ‘new normal’, they are being scapegoated. Blamed for the rise in cases, invited back to University where many are being held against their will. Is this really how we want to treat the next generation?
I hope I’ve managed to paint a picture of the desperation I’ve felt for our teens, and so, it was with huge pleasure, that I had the chance to meet two wonderful sisters who give hope to those around them. 19-year-old and 21-year-old Yasmine and Iman El Sheik are two girls with bright futures. Admittedly, in their own words, “privileged”, rather than spend lockdown lounging around in their rather splendid Winchester home. Alongside studying for degrees in Philosophy at King’s College for Iman, and Engineering at Oxford for Yasmine, the sisters decided to launch a business together after realising their haircare regime could be something that others might want to hear about.
Iman explains, “As a teenager, I think I neglected looking after my hair and by the time I started my degree at King’s College, my hair was very dry and I had a lot of split ends. So, when Covid-19 arrived, I promised myself that I would do something about it.”
The sisters spent many weeks of isolation mixing together the different natural oils their mother, Sarah, had in the kitchen before coming up with the ‘perfect recipe’ for their naturally curly hair.
“After a lot of research, we stumbled across the perfect natural product that nourished our hair and in fact completely transformed it,” says Iman. “My mother initially shared her special ‘secret recipe’ with us and then, we added avocado and hemp oil.”
Sharing their results with friends, and seeing their positive reactions, Iman and Yasmine felt they had the start of a business idea. As well as completing course work, and in Iman’s case, sitting final exams, the sisters started looking online for affordable packaging, and sourcing more organic ingredients with the hope they could make a batch of products to sell.
When settling on a brand name Iman says, “We were brainstorming loads of different things and then we felt with Divinely Made it reflects the time we put in to make it, it’s natural and it’s designed to make your hair feel good.”
Although the product has been designed by the girls to put moisture back in to curly hair, Yasmine has shared with friends with straight hair, who have also seen good results, she shares, “Depending on your hair type you just have to adjust the amount that you put on. Thick, curly hair, can take more of the product without looking greasy, but for straight hair, just use less and it will still nourish the hair and scalp.”
Launching the business online, Iman and Yasmine are working hard to build a following on Instagram whilst fulfilling orders all from their kitchen table. Yasmine is set to return to Oxford, but is keen to continue to support Iman during the holidays, they both conclude, “More than anything else we want to create a community and safe space where people who have confidence issues about their hair can pick up tips and ask for advice. We want to encourage people to look after their hair from the scalp right to the ends.”
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