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I Got My Hair Done At Home Like A Celebrity And I'm Never Going To The Braiding Salon Again

Yeluchi is the at-home hair styling service every black woman needs!

Hi world! Patrice, here, the culture and lifestyle writer for As/Is. I'm a lazy naturalista with mega Afro ambitions and swear by protective hair style preferences, especially wigs.

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Box braids used to be my jam, but as a full-time professional, I'd rather not spend half my weekend sitting in a hair salon. That's why I got so excited when I learned about Yeluchi, a company that provides professional black hairstyling services in the luxury of your own home.

UN-RULY/Youtube / Via youtube.com

Sisters Antonia and Abigail Opiah founded the NYC-based company in 2016 as an extension of our beauty platform Un-ruly.com. "I got the idea for it when I wanted to get box braids once but couldn’t pull myself away from my computer to spend 6 hours or more at a braiding shop," Antonia told BuzzFeed's As/Is. "I wished a stylist could come to me so I could get work done while I got my hair done. On top of that, after having spent years writing about and talking to other Black women about their hair, I knew I wasn’t the only woman that needed a service like this. So I validated my intuition with market research and we launched the service in a matter of months."

(Sidenote: I try to avoid new hairstylists and salons, unless they come highly recommended from a trustworthy source who knows their sh*t. Luckily for me, my homegirl Malikah had gotten some fly cornrows from Yeluchi earlier this year, so between her referral and the company's Instagram page, I was sold.)

Yeluchi makes their FUBU approach clear from the jump. The style page features 12 gorgeous models showcasing each of the available services, which includes cornrows, Fulani braids, Lemonade braids, box braids, full weaves, and blowouts. And the prices are competitive with most NYC hair salons.

I already knew I wanted some waist-length medium-width box braids, so I selected that option for $300 and added on a pre-style blowout for a sleek finish and longer-lasting braids. After I submitted where and how I'd like my hair done, I filled out an in-depth questionnaire that asked me to describe my hair texture and share whether I was tender-headed or allergic to anything. As someone who's had bad hair appointments in the past, I truly appreciated the thorough digital consultation.
Yeluchi

I already knew I wanted some waist-length medium-width box braids, so I selected that option for $300 and added on a pre-style blowout for a sleek finish and longer-lasting braids. After I submitted where and how I'd like my hair done, I filled out an in-depth questionnaire that asked me to describe my hair texture and share whether I was tender-headed or allergic to anything. As someone who's had bad hair appointments in the past, I truly appreciated the thorough digital consultation.

Once I completed the five-step booking request, Yeluchi informed me via text that they were matching me with a stylist. About three hours later, I received an email confirming my appointment details and my hairstylist's name.

Patrice Peck/BuzzFeed

And then finally the big day arrived. I didn't have any of my usual pre-salon worries about whether there'd be bad weather, delayed subways, or a double-booking. My stylist Ella was coming to me!

To prepare for the appointment, I cleared a small workspace for us in the living room, arranged all my ACV-rinsed Kanekalon bundles, and waited for my imaginary butler to announce the arrival of my one-person glam squad. Once Ella arrived, she confirmed the hair inspo pic I'd sent with my booking and got to work.
Patrice Peck/BuzzFeed

To prepare for the appointment, I cleared a small workspace for us in the living room, arranged all my ACV-rinsed Kanekalon bundles, and waited for my imaginary butler to announce the arrival of my one-person glam squad. Once Ella arrived, she confirmed the hair inspo pic I'd sent with my booking and got to work.

Not gonna lie, y'all I was nervous about my edges being irreversibly snatched out of their follicles. But Ella did no such thing. Her braid game was gentle, yet firm while her individual plaits were tight and uniform.

Patrice Peck/BuzzFeed / Via giphy.com

Ella even had me assess the width and length of the first braid before continuing. I noticed she hadn't left the ends out like I'd requested in my hair inspo pic, and when I told her she apologized, redid the braid, and asked me for my approval once more. No attitude, no passive-aggressive yanking. Nothing but professionalism!

About five fours and a bunch of Black Lighting episodes later, I had a head full of long, gorgeous box braids:

Patrice Peck/BuzzFeed

And the best part about the whole experience was that I was already home, no commute-required. This is definitely a luxury that I'll be budgeting for for my future braiding needs!

THE PROS:* I didn't have to worry about what I was wearing or how my appointment-prepped hair looked like. I also didn't have to worry about the weather. * I had control of the ambiance, including what TV show to watch and what music, if any, to play.*The prices weren't that much more expensive than a typical upscale black salon. Yes, I could have gotten my braids done for cheaper at a random braiding shop in Harlem or Brooklyn, but it wouldn't have been as convenient or specialized.THE CONS:* Be very clear and direct about how you'd like your hairstyle to look. I knew I wanted square sections, a defined middle part, and undone ends with a bohemian wave pattern. Ella did ask about the length and width of the braid, but I had to address the other details. But again, Ella was very receptive of my requests.* Make a note that you'd like your stylist to be on time, especially if your appointment is centered on a timely event. I'd been advised to schedule my 6-hour appointment for 7AM (long braids = long time), but Ella didn't arrive until 7:26AM (although she did send a text at 6:55 that she was on her way).* Also note whether your stylist should be in a certain dress code for your appointment. Ella was dressed very casually, which was fine with me, but her outfit might not have been appropriate for a professional shoot, for example.
Patrice Peck/BuzzFeed

THE PROS:

* I didn't have to worry about what I was wearing or how my appointment-prepped hair looked like. I also didn't have to worry about the weather.

* I had control of the ambiance, including what TV show to watch and what music, if any, to play.

*The prices weren't that much more expensive than a typical upscale black salon. Yes, I could have gotten my braids done for cheaper at a random braiding shop in Harlem or Brooklyn, but it wouldn't have been as convenient or specialized.

THE CONS:

* Be very clear and direct about how you'd like your hairstyle to look. I knew I wanted square sections, a defined middle part, and undone ends with a bohemian wave pattern. Ella did ask about the length and width of the braid, but I had to address the other details. But again, Ella was very receptive of my requests.

* Make a note that you'd like your stylist to be on time, especially if your appointment is centered on a timely event. I'd been advised to schedule my 6-hour appointment for 7AM (long braids = long time), but Ella didn't arrive until 7:26AM (although she did send a text at 6:55 that she was on her way).

* Also note whether your stylist should be in a certain dress code for your appointment. Ella was dressed very casually, which was fine with me, but her outfit might not have been appropriate for a professional shoot, for example.

PROPS TO ABIGAIL & ANTONIA FOR ANSWERING MY BLACK GIRL PRAYERS!!!

Patrice Peck/BuzzFeed

BTW, Yeluchi is only available in New York City for now. "We have plans to expand to other cities but we’re taking our time to do it right and to really see where the most demand is on both sides of the platform (clients and stylists)," Abigail told As/Is. "Some cities on our radar include Los Angeles, London, and Paris."

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