When I first walked into artist and hairstylist Dazy Lyn’s studio space, I knew this cut was going to be different. Besides the pet bird curly who immediately greeted upon arrival, I’d been escorted in by none other than the Rizos Curl queen herself, Julissa Prado, who swears by Dazy and was thrilled to be introducing a newbie to her magic. Still, I was shook.
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for seven years and hadn’t been able to find a regular stylist who understood my curls. My hair kind of has a split personality — it’s super curly, but I have big bouncy curls that turn into a cloud of frizz if you look at them wrong. Plus, the top of my hair is always weighed down by the curls at the bottom of my hair and it drives me crazy because every day I have to decide whether or not to put in the effort to fluff my curls into life or to just give up and throw my hair into a ponytail or bun. Guess which one I do 99% of the time?
Little did I know, that was all going to change in just a few short hours. As soon as I sat down, Dazy and I fell into that easy repertoire that happens with great stylists. By the end of the day, we both knew way more about each other than our therapists probably know and I was totally fine with that. It was easy talking to Dazy and she kept me in the loop at every step of the hair cut and styling process.
It seems like Dazy has been styling hair forever, so you can imagine my shock when I found out she’d kind of fallen into the career path. “Honestly, this wasn’t planned. Opportunities came knockin at my door and I quickly realized there was a need for what I do in our community and I filled that space,” she told me.
Honestly, the end result of my haircut proved to me immediately that this woman had truly found her calling. I mean, check out this insane transformation.
She’s thrilled to be helping other Latinxs embrace and fall in love with their natural hair all over again. “This newfound love to rock our natural hair is contagious and it seems like our days of straightening are over. I’m proud and happy to be a part of this movement of self-love and acceptance,” she said. Still, it’s tougher than you might think it is to learn how to cut curly hair. Dazy is almost entirely self-taught after studying and being a colorist for years. She points to the fact that most schools don’t focus on curly hair because the assumption is that we are all going to be blowing our hair out straight.
“Considering we’ve been straightening for generations I don’t think there was ever a need or an interest to learn curly hair. Schools definitely don’t teach us to style naturally, we are taught to blowdry,” she adds. “Luckily things are changing. We are planting seeds throughout the industry and soon enough schools will have no choice but to get on board.”
Living in Los Angeles and being a bit of a fish out of the water as an Afro-Latina boricua, I noticed that there is a stereotype that most Mexicans and Central Americans have straight hair. I asked Dazy about this because the more you really get to know L.A. and integrate into the Latinx community here, the more you realize that there are tons of Mexicanas and Centro Americanas who have curly hair, and lots of it. Dazy tells me it’s because there are so many “undercover curlies” and I break out laughing because it’s true. I think of my own mom who has been straightening her hair every week since before I can imagine and my suegra who I’ve seen rock her naturally curly hair only a handful of times.
It’s no wonder so many of us don’t know how to properly take care of our hair. That’s the education that Dazy wants to share so desperately with each and every person who comes to her studio. Even I, who have been rocking my hair naturally curly for years learned a thing or two.
For example, Dazy suggested that curl boosting starts before you even get out of the shower and passed along a tip to rinse out shampoo and conditioner with your hair upside down in the water to build volume at the root. She also insisted that we all need to stop — and I repeat, stop — combing through our hair after a shower. Only detangle in the shower while you’re conditioning.
As a Rizos Curls brand ambassador, her curly cuts and Julissa Prado’s hairline are a match made in heaven. “I started selling Rizos Curls and using it to style my clients before Julissa even had the launch party back in November 2017, so I’ve literally watched her baby blow up. I encourage everyone to collaborate with those who inspire you. Make sure the people in your circle constantly motivate you to do better and vice versa.”
When it comes to long term goals, Dazy wants to conquer the world with an educational empire. “I don’t only want to educate people about hair but also inspire my community to be entrepreneurs. I will lead by example and show the world you can make your own rules, there’s no blueprint to success. Find a problem within our neighborhoods and be the solution. ¡Dale sin miedo!”
After a long and winding conversation that made me feel like Dazy was family, I ask her what she feels that she has learned from the Latinas who have sat in her chair and her answer was, much like her story and her attitude about life, inspiring. “More than anything, I’ve learned that we need to have more discussions about mental health and self-love within our communities,” she told me. “We lack the knowledge and guidance needed to break through generational curses and many of us need healing. Chin up, pretty brown girl, we’re working on it.”