I remember growing up in a culture where naturally curly hair was perceived as inherently bad. In Latino communities especially, curly, kinky, or course hair is considered “pelo malo.” If it isn’t straight, it isn’t good. Atlanta-based duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt are doing everything in their power to fight these Euro-centric beauty standards that have been placed on women of color and young girls for years. The couple have teamed up to create their business CreativeSoul Photography, that creates portraits of beautiful brown girls — including young Afro-Latinas — proudly embracing their natural textures.
The two shot AfroArt Series, which portrayed young brown curls showing off curls decorated and adorned in jewels, crowns, flowers — you name it. The photos were so captivating and empowering, they eventually went viral.
“Our mission is to empower girls of color around the world,” the couple told Mitu Fierce. “So [with the recent AfroArt Series we just wanted to do something to showcase the beauty and versatility of afro hair,” they added. “We started this series about a year and a half ago to highlight how beautiful afro hair can be.”
Regis and Kahran Bethencourt are far from the only natural hair advocates out there who are going out of their way to banish the misconceptions that surround naturally curly or textured hair. There are quite a few Afro-Latina influencers who have made tremendous efforts to show love to the natural hair community — check them out below and be inspired!
Regis and Kahran Bethencourt saw a need to capture images of young brown girls comfortably and confidently wearing their natural hair. “In terms of us starting to focus on natural hair, it began a bit before then. I think a lot of people found out about us through our AfroArtSeries, which is recent,” they told Fierce. “But we actually started focusing on kids with natural hair in 2014. We got into the kid’s fashion industry and noticed there was a lack of diversity. Also, there were parents that [initially] sent in kids who had afro hair. And then they would come to the shoot and have [their children’s hair] straightened because they felt like that is what they needed to do to get into the industry. So we decided to do a personal shoot on our own. We took three little girls with natural hair and photographed them in Times Square — from there our photos just started to take off. We wanted to normalize [natural hair], so it’s not something that is so different.”
Carolina Contreras a.k.a Miss Rizos, has been advocating for natural hair ever since she opened up her curly hair salon back in 2011 in the Dominican Republic. It’s the only salon of it’s kind on the island, and the mission behind it was to create a space where women could confidently embrace their natural texture and find a place that would help and encourage them to nourish and wear their curls. This Dominicana also refers to herself as a self-proclaimed “self-image activists” and makes a point to display positive images and messages on her Instagram in regards to natural hair.
This dope IG account highlights the diversity and beauty among Latina women of African descent, a.k.a Afro-Latinas. The messages are powerful and the images are gorgeous.
This blog and IG account of the same name, is completely “dedicated to infusing self-assurance, pride, and confidence into the lives of all Afro-Latinas.” You’ll find everything from photos of beauty Afro-Latinas with natural hair, to empowering, self-loving quotes, and powerful political messages.
Looking for some inspiring content to fill up your inbox? Check out this monthly newsletter that features and highlights Latina women who acknowledge and embrace their African ancestry. The IG account is lit too!
Seeing photos from this IG account on your feed is bound to make your day. It’s dedicated to photography that documents Afro-Latinas and their natural hair in the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico. How cool is that?
The website Afrochicas.com and its Instagram page is run by curly-haired Afro-Latinas and multi-cultural beauty enthusiasts, Sade Pizarro and Ada Washington. The mission was not only to showcase curly haired Latinas but to create a safe space where Afro-latinas in the natural hair community could have a voice.
This stunning Dominicana was one of the first Afro-Latina curly haired girls on YouTube. Her channel, blog, and IG is all about embracing not just your natural hair but your natural beauty. Alba also shares with her followers tips on adapting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as cute deets on her small but growing family. She recently gave birth to a baby girl who is SO beautiful by the way!