interview w/ jamyla bennu- co-founder of oyin handmade
The time is now 2023, and long gone are the days where we use products with harmful chemicals on our skin and hair. We want products for us, and we want to know exactly what our body is going to be absorbing (because you know anything surface level your body absorbs and it goes into your bloodstream…right?!) Look no further because Oyin Handmade is the solution to your problem. We had the chance to interview Jamyla Bennu, Co-Founder of Oyin Handmade, and you’re going to want to hear this!
The realization moment that brought Oyin Handmade into creation was in 2001 when Bennu discovered that many products available on the market at the time were made with non-nourishing fillers, harmful preservatives, or harsh chemicals. She was determined to find a better way to care for her natural, highly textured hair and dry skin. She began experimenting with new formulations using healthy and nourishing ingredients from her kitchen: olive and coconut oils, shea and coconut butters, and honey; which the line is named after. After testing her nutrient rich concoction amongst her close group of family and friends, the word began to spread and orders began to roll in.
With so much talk about ingredients, it is apparent that not just any ingredient makes the cut when choosing what goes into the products. We are curious what the selection process looks like. Starting with the basics, they search for ingredients that have multiple benefits, natural origins, and proven benefits for the hair and skin. Inspiration for choosing the right ingredients stems from nature, nutrition, and deliciously sweet, rich, and nutrient-dense foods. Bennu explains that she wants whatever she puts on her body to be as satisfying as what goes into her body, and she admits, “...everyone should indulge in their favorite hair and body care products as they would their favorite dessert– minus the guilt!”’
Besides creating a pretty awesome hair and body care brand,they coined their own term. “Nutritional Density.” It refers to the ingredients in the products being able to moisturize, cleanse, style, etc. The products contain food-grade ingredients, so they provide biodegradable nourishment and give back to the curls. The Oyin Handmade brand was built around the idea of the phrase “Nutritional Density.”
Passing our knowledge down through generations is what’s most important, and Bennu definitely seems to think so as well. She wants to start by teaching her children that their hair is awesome, and loving oneself and their hair leads to a healthy care regimen. Second and lastly, she wants to reinforce core requirements for caring for very textured hair: detangle gently (ends to roots), replenish moisture, take care of your scalp, and always use a leave-in conditioner.
All this clear skin and moisturized hair talk makes me crave a nice dewy bare face and hydrated scalp. Lucky for you, I picked Bennu’s brain for her top tips on keeping her skin and natural hair hydrated and healthy during the warmer seasons. Use these tips while the summer seasons last, and keep them in your pocket for when it starts to warm back up each year after. The golden rule, you have heard it any and everywhere, DRINK WATER. Apparently, highly textured hair enjoys and thrives off of hydration. Water will get you very far, however not all the way to the finish line. The product that she ensures will drive you all the way home is the Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding, a rich natural moisture cream that can be applied to the body AND hair to add the extra mile of moisture and pliability.
You have heard a little bit about Jamyla Bennu and behind the scenes of Oyin Handmade, and now you are probably wondering, “How in the world do I get my hands on their wonderful products?!” I am glad you asked. Their products are available on www.oyinhandmade.com, Amazon, and in select Whole Foods, and in the MidAtlantic Region.
You know a good amount of what there is to know about Oyin Handmade, but what is coming in the future? They just recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary, Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to them! They have also recently partnered with the University of Maryland Medical System to provide haircare products to patients with textured and curly hair. The goal with this initiative is addressing issues of diversity, equality, and inclusivity.
We want to thank Jamyla Bennu for taking the time to interview with The Divah Filez.