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Youma Wague
Youma Wague
Ulta Beauty x Her Campus

Youma Wague is Empowering and Helping Women of Color to Embrace Their Natural Hair

 

Ulta Beauty recently launched the MUSE 100, a celebration of 100 inspirational Black voices in and around beauty, from entrepreneurs and creators to visionary leaders, and more. These individuals are creating impact and driving change in the industry and beyond, to help make beauty in our world possible. Each MUSE honoree will be awarded a $10,000 grant to help accelerate their impact, totaling over a $1M commitment from Ulta Beauty.

The MUSE 100 honorees embody the commitment of Magnifying, Uplifting, Supporting, and Empowering Black voices – and, Youma Wague is someone who totally reflects this commitment. She has been named an honoree of the Next Gen category, “the emerging young Black leaders shaking up our world.”

At a young age, Youma founded the natural hair brand for women of color with curly and coily hair, “Youma’s Beauty.” From this venture, she realized that there was a lack of training that many stylists had with Black hair – so she was inspired to highlight this issue, and created the documentary, “The Natural Hair Struggle in Fashion.” 

We got the chance to sit down with Youma and learn about her thoughts on all things women’s empowerment, natural hair, and more. Read below to hear what she had to say, and help us celebrate her as an honoree of MUSE 100!


Her Campus: What does beauty mean to you?
Youma Wague: Beauty to me is the thing inside that makes me unique and feel most confident. Many people believe beauty to be a physical attribute; I however believe it is that thing from within that defines who I am and sets me apart from everyone else. 

Her Campus: How are you using your platform to educate and empower others through beauty?
Youma: Recently, I went to my parent’s home country of Mali, West Africa to star on a hit show named “Star Chef.” Star Chef is a Malian series where Gen Z artists, entrepreneurs, and personalities are invited to prepare West African meals and be interviewed by a famous Malian TV personality. 

[While I was there], I brought along Hair Bloom oil and was interviewed by a local celebrity about my natural hair journey, and how embracing my Afro-hair empowered me as a woman entrepreneur. I was shocked by the responses I got from viewers. Women in Africa and across the world [were] eager to purchase Hair Bloom and begin their own natural hair journey with Youma’s Beauty. What I now understand is that the interview spoke to the diaspora around the world, the diaspora of Black women living on this globe who damaged their natural hair to conform to society’s standards of straight hair and are afraid to wear their curl and coil textures publically due to negative judgment. That interview empowered them, and to this day I am humbled by that impact. 

Her Campus: How do you define success?
Youma: I feel blessed and extremely thankful for every opportunity sent my way including Muse 100, thanks to Her Campus and Windsor who I regard as a literal angel sent from above.

Success, however, I am not able to really define at the moment because I feel like I am still in the process of it. One thing I will say is I think [that] success happens in cycles. 

Her Campus: What goal are you currently chasing?
Youma: My dream right now is to open a luxury hair salon in Mali, West Africa that caters to ALL women – both rich and poor. You know the saying, “You can conquer all when your hair is done?” Well, creating a space where women in Africa can come together, get their hair done, feel beautiful, [and] share ideas and stories will have a major positive impact on women’s roles in African society and sprout empowerment amongst African women. 

Her Campus: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Youma: Keep dreaming regardless of your circumstances. When I was younger, I was surrounded by so many things out of my control but I realized [that] my dreams are in my control and my dreams are the fuel to the car that is my life and I am in the driver’s seat controlling the steering wheel of that car. 

Her Campus: The Muse 100 mission is to amplify and uplift Black voices and individuals. How are you personally aligned with this mission?
Youma: Youma’s Beauty is directly aligned with the MUSE 100 mission to amplify and uplift Black voices and individuals. We are amplifying the voices of Black models by releasing The Natural Hair Struggle in Fashion Documentary which is a film composed of personal accounts of natural hair discrimination told by Black models. Furthermore, we uplift Black individuals with our signature hair product Hair Bloom because the product is designed to repair hair damage caused by Black Women trying to conform to society’s standard of beauty. Hair Bloom repairs this hair damage and encourages Black Women to embrace their natural hair as part of their identity.


Here’s to Youma, and all of the other MUSE 100 Honorees! 

Click here to learn more about Youma and the other MUSE 100 honorees!

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

Emily Murphy has been with Her Campus Media since 2018, and is currently the Branded Content Associate. She was the Campus Correspondent and Editor/President at her chapter at Winthrop University for four years, but has had a passion for all things writing since she was young. When she's not scribbling ideas down for her next branded article, she's watching reruns of Seinfeld while scrolling Pinterest for apartment inspo. Follow her on Instagram at @emilysmurfy
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