QUDUS Ayoola Etiko, is the owner of Ayo’s Place, a celebrity hair stylist and make-up parlour. He is a one-time Glo ambassador, hair and make-up stylist. He has also worked with Bobby Signature before he started his business in 2006.
In an exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly at his office on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, he told us how the journey has been, his relationship with Bobby Signature and more…
What has been happening to you in recent times?
Life has been fun, I am okay. Business is doing good, though the economic situation has not been funny, we thank God for His mercies and loving kindness.
Tell us the success story of Ayo’s Place.
Ayo’s Place has been here for a while now, and for every successful man, there must always be a success story to tell. And I will always appreciate my clients because they have always been giving me support and encouragement, asking me to go, I can do it. They’ve been helping me. So, right now I can say Ayo’s Place is the best on the Mainland.
How were you able to build your brand from nothing to where it is today?
Building my brand was a very good thing for me. Once you have a very good picture of how to treat your clients’ right, that will keep them to come back. What is very important in any business are referrals. Any job you are doing, do it well. Your good client will always recommend you to people. And the good relationship you have with them will sell you to the whole world. What has kept my business going are referrals and the good relationship I have with my clients.
What is the high point of your career?
I have worked with different kinds of people. The job I will always talk about is the IGI Security firm daughter’s wedding years back. Bobby was meant to do the job, but that was when Bobby was ill, then someone recommended Just Wedded’s Lara. I went for trial and I passed. I did the job, everybody liked it and I have gotten six to seven jobs from that particular one.
What about the low point of your career?
Low point is when you try to satisfy a client and still she does not appreciate it. I did make-up for a bride, she looked at the mirror and was almost wiping the whole job off her face. Naturally, I don’t expect to get any job from that quarters. I think that was the major low point of my career. When we have epileptic power supply, the business shakes because you spend more on fuel and the turnover at the end of the day is low.
What is the interesting thing about this profession?
The best thing about this profession is just being yourself. Anything you know how to do, do it well and better. Anybody you are rendering service to, do it well because you don’t know where they are taking you to. For instance today, a member of a bridal train I did two years ago called me that she has been looking for my number, I should get ready for her wedding next January.
Tell us the tips of hair maintenance for women.
If you are talking of extension, don’t use too much oil, blow drying has to be reduced because those things are fibre. They tell you, they are 100 per cent human hair, they still mix them with fibre. There is this new method of maintaining the hair, condition it, dry it naturally and brush it with a padded brush. But for natural hair, blow drying, entering dryer, using too much of flat thong breaks your hair. Relaxing your hair should be twice or thrice in a year. If you have very full hair you can relax thrice in a year. If your hair is light and scanty, twice in a year is better. When it gets to a point where you know your hair is getting tangled, there are lots of conditioners you can use, such as organic living conditioner, Dark and Lovely Conditioner. Condition your hair, wear shower cap, carry it for a day. For those that retouch every two months, get a hair mayonnaise, put enough on your hair and cover it, rinse it and it will work for you. People always want this silk hair, you won’t see the beauty of the hair when it is silk. There are some bulky hair that come out well, try and play with natural things like cucumber, grand it to condition your hair, avocado pear, you can always use it to steam your hair, honey, shea butter and raw palm oil are also good. If you have light hair and you want full hair, you can always use it. And the best way to have full hair, if your hair is scanty is to avoid retouching often.
As a celebrity hairstylist and make-up artist, are there celebrities you would still like to work for?
Yes, home and abroad. I know Funke Akindele so much, I don’t know where she is right now, but I really want to work with her again. Rita Dominic, Omotola. I have not worked on Omotola and Genevieve. But most people I have really worked on are Ini Edo, Rita Dominic, Monalisa Chinda, Chioma Chukwuka, Jackie Appiah, Ego Ogbaro and so on. But my new set of people I am targeting if I have my way are Omotola, Genevieve and the Ebony woman, Mo Abudu. Internationally, Beyonce, Kelly Rowlands. If I have my way I want to do a Ghana weaving on Beyonce. Imagine how the weave will look on her.
You once worked with Bobby Signature, what is the relationship like now?
Bobby has always been my role model. Though it’s been a while I saw Uncle Bobby, I have his number. I call him to check on him. He’s my brother and father in this business. For now, we have a very good relationship.
What is the hairstyle in vogue now?
People are really going natural, rocking their natural hair, twist the natural hair called Junky Twist. Even bridals add little hair extension and pack their natural hair with it. But the real hair in vogue now is that Rihanna boyish short hair, centre parting, long hair like 20 to 30 inches weave-on. People are really going so long maybe because the weather is friendly.
A lot of people believe that the shape of the head determines the style that will suit the face, what’s your take on it?
The answer is a yes and no. For some particular people, the type of weave-on brought to the salon determines the look it will give you. For instance, someone that has a very round face, a chubby person brought eight inches weave-on to the salon and expects to do centre parting, it’s a no, no! But if you have a round face come with 18 inches of weave-on upward, to do centre parting, you will look like a doll, it will make you look very small. If you have a slim face bring an Afro weave-on, you will look nice on Bohemian hair. With that small face, it will come out better. I don’t really agree with this face is actually for this.
What are the common mistakes people make in applying make-up?
My advice for people in Nigeria is if they don’t know how to apply make-up, it is better they don’t do it. The best thing that transform your make-up are your eyebrows. Even if you are not wearing shadows and your eyebrows are well shaped, you are good to go. In this part of the world, some people do their brows very well, while some don’t even know how to do it. The mistake is they are not well sharpened and not applying the right colour pencil on their brows. Three things people need to know about their make-up are don’t ever use a black or red pencil on your eyebrow. The best pencil is brown and we have two shades of brown, dark and light brown. Light brown is for fair and chocolate skin people, those that are dark should go for the dark brown pencil. Always look for make-up artist to shape your brows and always shade, don’t draw.
– AJOKE ONITOLO