While the natural hair movement technically kicked off years ago, 2019 was still a pretty significant year for curly-haired ladies. Carolina Contreras (a.k.a Miss Rizos), the woman behind one of the first natural hair salons in the Dominican Republic, opened the doors of her second Miss Rizos salon this October in NYC — Washington Heights to be exact! One of our favorite curly-haired bloggers and influencers Ada Rojas, launched her first curly hairline, Botanika Beauty, Dominicana Lulu Cordero launched her clean beauty curly hair line Bomba Curls this past September with her very first product “Dominican Forbidden Oil,” an oil treatment made using Dominican ingredients and hair secrets. Julissa Prado, the founder of Rizos Curls, has been killing it this year with the launch of the Latina Ladder National Tour, which took place in NYC, LA, Miami, and Puerto Rico, as well as partnering with Brittany Chavez, CEO of Shop Latinx and Patty Delgado of Hija de tu Madre for the Las Jefas Crew. The year 2019 was also undeniably the year for black women and beauty pageants. Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris won her crown rocking her natural curls, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst also sported her natural hair on the pageant stage, and for the first time in history, Miss Universe was a black woman with natural hair. Miss South Africa won the crown sporting her gorgeous short, afro-textured hair despite being told by many to rock a wig.
Earlier this year, California became the first state to ban discrimination based on natural hair. NYC eventually followed. All of this has been significant because bias and discrimination against curly haired people of African descent has been going on literally for centuries. For centuries people of color of African descent have been treated as less than human for wearing their hair natural. We have been told we can’t wear the hair that naturally grows from our scalps at jobs, job interviews, in film, on the cover of magazines, in modeling, on the stage of beauty pageants and so on and so forth. We have been conditioned to believe that our hair is not enough, our beauty is not enough, and that we are essentially not enough. This year we proved that we absolutely are enough and that we aren’t afraid to challenge the Eurocentric beauty standards that have constantly been pushed on us.
In honor of the year of curly hair, I’m breaking down some of the best Latina-owned curly hair products that have been total game changers when it comes to my own curly hair routine. Check them out and make sure to try them out in the new year!