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!
The Hair Mask
The key to healthy moisturized curls during the winter is moisture, which is why a weekly deep conditioning mask is must-have. I’m obsessed with Botanika Beauty’s The Revitalizer because no matter your curl pattern, it leaves hair deeply conditioned, nourished, strengthened, and bouncy. It’s the ultimate winter Diosa!
Botanika Beauty The Revitalizer, $12, botanikabeauty.com
The Oil Treatment
Lulu Cordero’s Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Oil is 100% natural, lightweight and formulated with coffee seed oil, castor oil, black cumin seed oil, and rosemary extract to help hydrate, strengthen, repair and stimulate hair growth. Cordero recommends applying as a pre-shampoo, overnight treatment. Apply to dry, unwashed hair from roots to ends. Cover with a plastic shower cap, and then cover with a micro-fiber towel turban to prevent messiness while you sleep. In the morning rinse out with lukewarm water and follow with a shampoo and conditioner before styling.
Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Oil, $18, bombacurls.com
The Protein Treatment
A protein treatment is just as imperative as an oil treatment, especially when you’re looking to repair curls from hair coloring, heat damage or brutal winters. Unlike more protein treatment out there, this one doesn’t dry out hair and also comes ready to use. Formulated with oregano and egg protein, this easy-to-use treatment restores, repairs, and moisturizes hair. Shampoo hair and towel dry before applying the treatment. Leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing out with warm water and follow with the Botanika Beauty The Revitalizer Deep Conditioner.
Botanika Beauty The Mender Protein Treatment, $12, botanikabeauty.com
The Curl Cream
View this post on Instagram
“Todos me preguntan qué productos uso en mi pelo para mantenerlo así. Al pasar los años, he usado muchos productos excelentes pero el pelo siempre necesita un cambio al usar lo mismo. @rizoscurls ha sido mi última obsesión. Este es mi cabello exactamente una semana después de mi día de lavado y todavía se ve intacto. Eso es algo difícil de hacer! Pero esta marca te lo hace fácil. 👌🏾#rizosreina _________________________ Everyone asks me what do i use in my hair to maintain it like this. Over the years i have used lots of great products because your air always needs a change from using the same thing. @rizoscurls has been my latest obsession. This is my hair exactly one week after my wash day and it still looks intact. Thats a hard thing to do! But this brand makes it easy.” – @melaner
This curl cream literally works magic leaving rizos defined, bouncy, shiny, frizz-free, and silky smooth. It’s formulated with aloe vera, shea butter, and coconut oil that leaves curls deeply hydrated and incredibly bouncy.
Rizos Curls Curl Defining Cream, $22, rizoscurls.com
The Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Moisture Blanace Gentle Shampoo hydrates just as much as it cleanses. This gentle sulfate-free formula is made with honey and chamomile leaving your hair and scalp cleansed and ultra-moisturized. It also keeps dry flakes at bay.
Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Moisture Balance Gentle Shampoo, $11, honeybabynaturals.com
Unlike most gels, this one leaves hair super defined, elongated, silky soft and bouncy but all without the crunch. It’s made with lavender, flaxseeds, and oregano that leaves curls nourished. Layer it over a hydrating curl cream for best results.
Botanika Beauty The Protector Gel, $11, botanikabeauty.com