It’s been almost eight months since I last wore my hair straight. I haven’t allowed a single heat-styling tool to touch my curls, which is why they’ve been thriving like they never have before. My hair is thicker, healthier, bouncier, and almost down to my waist — before shrinkage! But part of what’s helped me nourish my rizos back to health has been all the amazing curl products that have been at my disposable. A few years back, we didn’t have that. All we had were the two or three curl products — usually gels filled with alcohol and other harmful ingredients — hidden away at the corner of the beauty aisle in your local drugstore. We lacked being fully represented in the beauty space and because of it many WOC — Latinas included — have taken it upon themselves to create the very products we weren’t finding for ourselves. In fact, Latinas are now part of the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S. According to the 2016 States of Women-Owned Business Report, for every 10 women-owned businesses launched since 2007, eight were started by women of color. Latinas own close to 788,000 businesses in the U.S.
These brands don’t just speak to our specific curly hair needs, but they also speak to our culture. As a result, I’m making it a point to start shopping Latinx when it comes to my curly hair products, in efforts to support and lift my fellow Latinas in business. Here are 7 Latinx-owned curly hair products to check out right now!
Botánika Beauty The Definer
Finding a curl cream that defines and hydrates your curls without weighing them down can be a challenge if you have a thinner texture or looser curl pattern. Our girl Ada Rojas understands that and made sure to consider that when she was creating her dream natural hair line, Botánika Beauty, which caters to Latinas of all curl types. The Definer is an ultra-defining but light-weight formula that’s made with ingredients you can find at your local botánica, including bay leaf, marshmallow root, and moringa oil. It is designed to add moisture and bounce. Ada recommends layering it under her gel, The Protector, for the perfect curly hair cocktail. My curls looked super defined after using this product and my hair hasn’t been this voluminous in lord knows how long!
Botánika Beauty The Definer, $11, botanikabeauty.com
Botánika Beauty The Protector
Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m really picky when it comes to hair gels. I’ve tried a few good ones, but have yet to find a formula that brings me the definition along with the softness I get from my cult favorite Camile Rose Naturals Curl Maker. But being a gel lover herself, Ada went in on perfecting this formula which resulted in bounce and perfect definition — all while leaving my curls silky soft. I’m impressed. Did I mention how affordable these products are too?
Botánika Beauty The Protector, $11, botanikabeauty.com
Rizos Curls Curl Defining Cream
Julissa Prado’s Rizos Curls line has become a favorite among many curly-haired Latinas — myself included. Her own story of learning to embrace her curls while creating an inclusive line for all curl textures is one that resonates and inspires so many of us. But if I had to choose one product out of the entire collection that I can’t live without, it would be the Curl Defining Cream — hands down! This deeply hydrating leave-in conditioner is formulated with aloe, coconut oil, and shea butter, leaving curls silky soft and amazingly defined. It gets my curls slaying without the crunch and all while preventing any signs of frizz.
Rizos Curls Curl Defining Cream, $22, rizoscurls.com
Honey Baby Naturals Knot My Honey Instant Detangler
A good detangler can make all the difference when it comes to wash day, which is why I’m always on the hunt for a good one. Honey Baby Naturals Knot My Honey Instant Detangler was a serious game changer for me. Not only does it help me to gently detangle in seconds but it also leaves my hair silky soft and deeply conditioned. It’s formulated with aloe vera juice and honey, making it lightweight enough to even use as a leave-in conditioner.
Honey Baby Naturals Knot My Honey Instant Detangler, $11, honeybabynaturals.com
Mielle Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner
Michelle Rodriguez is the founder of Mielle and her background as a registered nurse is what inspired her to create a hair line formulated with safe and organic ingredients. She’s also not actually Latina. Rodriguez is her married last name but because so many of us for the longest were under the impression that she is, we consider her an honorary Latina. Many curly haired girls have sworn by the line’s Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner and with good reason. It’s a protein and hydrating hair mask in one that’s designed to hydrate and repair dry, damaged hair. A must for anyone recovering from heat-damage!
Mielle Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner, $15, mielleorganics.com
Rizos Curls Refresh & Detangle Spray
There’s a reason why this won the Naturally Curly 2019 Best of the Best Leaders in Curl Award for Best Refresher and it’s because it works wonders. There are actually two ways to use this product. Some curly girls like to use it in between wash days to renew and hydrate curls. While others — like myself — like to use it as a detangler on freshly washed hair. Regardless of how you choose to use it, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
Rizos Curls Refresh & Detangle Spray, $20, rizoscurls.com
Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Moisture Balance Gentle Shampoo
A good shampoo or cleansing conditioner is one that cleanses while also conditioning curls. This is one of my faves because it leaves my scalp squeaky clean and my curls so soft, you’d think I just slathered on conditioner. It also smells good enough to eat!
Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Moisture Balance Gentle Shampoo, $11, honeybabynaturals.com