My Natural Hair Journey

My first attempt to rock my natural hair was in the early 90's.  Unfortunately, this did turn out well nor last very long because in those days there were very limited products or solutions for black natural hair.  There were the standards (i.e., TCB, Dudley, and Care-Free Curl) that were accessible, but those products did not give me the results that I was looking for.  My natural hair appeared unkept, dry, and unhealthy. That was not a good look for corporate America as most black women did not wear their natural hair without straightening it in those days.  

Honestly, I really wasn't paying attention to the natural hair wave prior to my recent journey.  I went to the hairdresser regularly, I got my touch-ups every 6 weeks, and my hair grew to about shoulder length, if I wanted.  My hair routine worked for me for years, it was easy, and I was addicted to the convenience of the relaxer. I was like a junkie when it came close to 6 weeks and my touch-up was due, I saw those edges curling up and I was ready to reload.  

My current natural hair journey began in October of 2016 and it wasn't planned, it happened organically.  I started questioning if my relaxer was damaging my hair and maybe even causing harm to my body. I started wondering exactly what those chemicals were behind the mask of those big words on the labels that I didn't understand.  I started looking up some of those words and what I read was, quite frankly, scary! During this time, I was taking a more natural and wholistic look at what I was putting into my body and my overall health and wellness. I have always been “woke” with regards to foods that were not good for me but started considering some of the chemicals that were entering into my body via other means (i.e., my hair and my skin).

My hair problems began with excessive shedding and thinning.  I blamed everything except the relaxer, “I'm getting older”, “I must need a trim”, “I must need a deep conditioner”, anything but looking hard at what those relaxers were doing to my hair.  I tried milder relaxers, no lye relaxers, kiddie perms, and even limited my relaxers to 10 to 12 weeks for touch-ups but no luck, my hair continued to break and shed. I started cutting my hair to solve the problems, but it never looked thick and healthy anymore.

I started researching products that would straighten my hair without harsh chemicals and I couldn’t find any that met my needs.  I spoke to several

hairdressers and they told me that I wasn't going to find anything that permanently straightened my hair without chemicals.  I didn’t want to believe that there wasn't anything on the market, so I continued to search and as time passed the new growth became evident.  My hairdresser was able to manage straightening my hair with heat and it wasn't really that bad. I decided around this point that maybe it’s time to give up the relaxer!  If I was going to go on this journey I needed to (1). slow down on the heat straightening and (2). start paying attention to the products that I was using and (3). lastly, start living my truth and embrace my natural hair and enjoy the journey!                                                   

As my hair grew, I started researching products that would thicken my thinning hair and stimulate my scalp.  My Mom, a retired hairdresser, always said that hair grows if you take care of it. Your hair and scalp needs moisture and if you are not seeing length you are losing your growth.  It's just math, if you lose as much as you gain there is no surplus. My Mom stressed haircare, scalp stimulation, and using good products to encourage your hair to grow and then you need to moisturize to prevent the breakage.  I started moving through my journey keeping these points in mind. When I was not able to find products without chemicals or questionable ingredients, like alcohol that dries your hair strands, I made my own.  I started researching different herbs and essential oils that could meet my needs.  I started experimenting with making my own hair concoctions and tonics in my kitchen and that is how Herbs & Oils Haircare Essentials was born.

I worked on developing “The Tonic” during this time not really thinking that this product would someday turn into a full business.  I am not exactly sure when I realized that it could but after about a year, I started writing my business plan and I pulled together my amazing team to lead this idea into reality.  This team has skills, knowledge in all different areas, and has the desire to help make this dream a reality and are truly the brand behind this company. We worked another year to make it happen.  My team continues to believe in this venture and that amazes me. I am so grateful! I have the most loyal supporters, some of them have always been with me and others are new to the party. I know that this mission has been blessed and it is part of my purpose and my truth.  My team and I have worked tirelessly to ensure that we bring to you the best product on the market, that we stand behind, that we trust, and that we know you are going to love as much as we do. Welcome to the Herbs and Oils Family. CHEERS!!!

- EVA WHITELY : Founder & CEO

Meet the Team

Eva Whitely



After years of working for fortune 500 companies, Evas' entrepreneurial spirit would ultimately get the best of her and nobody should be surprised that she would end up here.  The actual surprise is that it is hair and not food. Cooking has always been her passion.

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Ebony has been an innovator in the Cosmetology field since her graduation from Dudley’s Beauty College.  She has over 20 years’ experience as a licensed hairstylist which has been her passion for her entire life! Ms. Jones holds numerous certifications in mentor training, various color techniques, student salon team leadership training, marketing, Osha/Environmental Education and Safety, chemical relaxing and keratin treatments, hair extension and micro weaving techniques.  Throughout her career, Ms. Jones has been a creative and dynamic trendsetter in the beauty industry providing services at top-notch beauty salons. She has assisted in the start-up and opening of new salons, brand development of hair products, as well as provided private consultant services for a film company and on the sets of music videos and other public events. Ms. Jones’ expertise in this field has led to numerous awards and recognitions.  She has also had her work published in several editions of Sophisticate’s Black Hair magazine, Avalon Asset and Hype Hair Magazine.

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Topaz Yates

Video Media Consultant Yates,lopaz

"I can't win them all, but I can't keep losing" - Nipsey Hussle

When asked to craft a biography, Topaz reflected on that statement by the late great Nipsey Hussle, one of his inspirations. It was his intelligence, ingenuity, but most of all his burning passion to be great that Topaz has modeled his life around. After completing his associate degree of business from CPCC and recognizing the student debt issue this country was facing long before it was well known (2005). Topaz then dropped out of UNCC in pursuit of his own legacy. What started while he was a high school student in 2000, his passion of music evolved from entertaining people from lunch tables, to building an underground music culture in college with nothing more than a boom box, d batteries, and anyone who had a mix tape. Once he decided UNCC was not for him, this passion of music evolved into his own business, 24/7 Entertainment LLC. Partnering with the premier artists and producers that Charlotte, NC had to offer, 24/7 Studios became of one the longest lasting music studios of the city. But as we all know about life, nothing is forever. The final nails in the coffin were when creative differences lead 24/7 studios to turn down a record deal from an Atlanta based record label. The second nail, when an artist refused to travel to perform his music that was then being played by major DJs. From this point on Topaz recognized the shift that was happening with music into what is now known as the digital age. This led him to building his own website and YouTube channel well before it had become cliché to have one.

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Tania Banks

Tania has always been on a journey to self love, self awareness and acceptance, which makes her a passionate person in everything that she does in life. She has a strong mentality when it comes to being a team player and the willingness to help and support others in need. Her commitment and integrity shines through her work and will ultimately be the defining factor in her success.

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Edie Holyfield

Edie Holyfield is an accomplished professional with diverse background and many years of experience providing marketing, account management, and underwriting support for the insurance industry.  Have a strong background in agent relationships and negotiation skills to facilitate and execute transactions covering property and casualty insurance, while minimizing risks to the firm.  In her many years in the insurance industry she held positions as an Underwriter, Account Manager and Broker Manager. 

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Ryan P. Yates

Ryan P. Yates also known “Fresh” is the Chief Operating Officer of Herbs and Oils Hair Care Essentials LLC, a natural hair product line. As COO, Ryan is second in command, assisting the CEO and founder of Herbs & Oils, Eva, (who is also his sister), in overseeing the day-to-day operations in all areas, providing supply chain expertise, building annual revenue growth and sales projections goals, as well as providing the overall moral, vision, and execution of  the team and department heads of Herbs & Oils. 

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Chimira Holyfield

Chimira leads Herbs and Oils controllership within the organization with national responsibility for accounting, external financial reporting, and financial controls covering all aspects of the Herbs and Oils business. Chimira brings immense talent to the team with creative ideas and the ability to outline the financial impacts of pursuing different business strategies. Her responsibilities include: 

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