Nyuri is a free, easy to use search directory where you can find African, Caribbean and Mixed-Race hair and beauty services all over the UK. The website has approximately 400 listings from Aberdeen to Plymouth, featuring hairdressers, barbers, make-up artists and more.
Finding, or knowing where to find a hairdresser, has always been something that evaded me. You might assume, being born to a mother of Caribbean descent, I would have an advantage in this area…but tragically not. My mum didn’t know a thing about cornrowing, braiding, the best way to look after my hair, nor where to get my haircut. Yes, times were hard.
Much to my family’s amusement, I was always taken to a local college for hairdressers in Edmonton, where I was given a bob-cut by a trainee hairdresser costing my mum no more than a tenner. The rest of my hair-care journey is dotted with gelling my hair back in the tightest buns known to man, slicking down my baby-hairs, bouts of intensive straightening and then transitioning over to the curly girl method, which I only properly began during my time at university.
“And if they did have a competent hairdresser who could rescue my disastrous hair colouring, which was usually just the one, they were most certainly booked”
Attending universities far outside of London brought new challenges, especially when it came to hair maintenance. I was unable to find hairdressers in these new areas who could handle my curly type 3c hair, so I was always waiting to return to London and visit my Peckham based hairdresser. I once called nearly all the hairdressers in Cambridge out of sheer desperation and nearly everyone said they couldn’t confidently dye and blow-dry mixed-race curly hair. And if they did have a competent hairdresser who could rescue my disastrous hair colouring, which was usually just the one, they were most certainly booked.
I knew my experiences could not be unique. For the black and mixed-race communities in the UK, the hair care culture has mostly been word-of-mouth, or going to a friend’s to get your tresses maintained. This works well to a point, but moving to a new area with a small Afro-Caribbean community means finding a stylist is difficult, especially as hairdressers often work from home or are mobile.
“Black women make up 80% of total UK hair product sales but 70% of British women of colour still feel let down by high-street beauty retailers”
We all know that outside of major cities, those of us with curly or coily hair can’t just pop in to a high-street hairdresser for a trim or blow-dry, not to mention the added cost when we can—g the difference between a high-street European and Afro cut is suggested to be up to £20. The theme of under-representation and lack of inclusivity for people of colour in the UK stretches into all aspects of beauty, with 70 percent of British women of colour feeling let down by high-street beauty retailers. These figures are very disappointing considering black women make up 80 percent of the total hair product sales in the UK and spend six times more on cosmetics than any other group.
This was the inspiration behind the website Nyuri: creating one central hub where all the hair and beauty services we need can be found whilst also giving businesses, especially freelancers, a platform to promote their talent. The name ‘Nyuri’ is a play on a Swahili word ‘Uzuri’, meaning beauty. The website is unlike other directories with it being completely free for businesses to register, present their portfolio, receive reviews and link to their website or social media profiles.
All of the 400 listings are UK based and can be narrowed down using the services required, postcode and radius functions with European hairdressers who are trained in curly or coily hair also being listed in the directory. With so many of us spreading our wings and going to universities or working much farther afield, why shouldn’t we be able to find the services we want, exactly when we need them?