Tolu Agoro

Curls Awards winner Tolu Agoro talks us through her career, from being a self-taught natural hairstylist to winning a prestigious ambassadorship

How long have you been styling hair?

I have been hairstyling since age 11. I learnt how to do basic braids and cornrows at age 10 with my aunt, as I was fascinated with the V shaped pattern she created with braids and I desperately wanted to learn. During my younger years, I used every doll and cousin to practice on. I then started braiding during lunch breaks at school, creating shapes and letters with braiding techniques. My first break occurred when I was recommended to a be bride-to-be in 2014. She wanted to achieve a style that most stylists she reached out to were unable to do or advised her to chemically process her tight curls. She cried with joy and amazement with her finished style on her big day, and that marked the beginning of bigger opportunities for me.

Why did you decide to specialise in natural hair?

I decided to specialise in natural hair because I noticed that natural hair was not being represented enough and I wanted to change that. So, I began by practising staple styles on myself and others to master my techniques until I became confident in my abilities. I also identified a gap in the market for stylists who solely specialised in natural hair, so I invested in myself and purchased many biology books to better understand the roots and science of natural hair.

Tolu Agoro at the Cantu Curl Awards
Tolu at the Cantu Curl Awards

Last year you were crowned the winner of Cantu Curl Awards, how has that experience been?

Being crowned the first winner of the Cantu Curl Awards was a huge achievement for me. I had to really dig deep to find the courage to enter and so to win was simply amazing. Becoming a Brand Ambassador for Cantu Beauty has been incredible. Since winning, I have been given countless opportunities to increase my visibility and gain confidence. My personal highlights include being a panellist on an event organised by Hair Crush as well as on a panel for an event by Superdrug Shades of Beauty. I’ve also worked on really exciting content for Cantu Beauty including video tutorials, and a forthcoming campaign.

Name three essential items for your hair kit?

My essential items are Cantu Coil Calm Detangler, my scissors and my Cantu wide tooth comb.

What are your long-term goals in terms of your hairstyling career?

My long-term goals for my hairstyling career is to be able to grow Lu's Curls to become a global franchise, offering initiatives like courses to better equip stylists to become both adept at styling natural hair and the educational aspect.

Follow Tolu on Instagram.

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