These Curly Chicas Taught Me How to Embrace My Natural Hair

I LOVE every single piece of bouncy hair on my head and wouldn’t trade my ‘fro for the world. It wasn’t always like that, though. It took patience, research and a great dose of inspiration to truly fall in love with my natural hair. I owe much of the appreciation for my awesome hair to these curly chicas and their spot-on tips.

“Find a natural hair salon.” – Vilma Peguero

When you need your wisdom teeth removed, you don’t go to a philosopher, do you? Same logic applies to hair. Black Latina Negra Bella co-founder Dania Peguero would had never begun her natural hair care journey if it hadn’t been for the salon experts who taught her how!

“Give your hair some loving.” – Alba Ramos

Having beautiful, healthy, shiny-looking curls takes time and love. But it is totally worth it. Sun Kiss Alba was the first person to share with me the basics of curly hair care, and I’m pretty sure you’ll love her videos, too! She covers everything from maintenance and cleansing to cute hairstyles, just for curly hair.

“YOU ARE NOT ALONE.” – Carolina Contreras

Miss Rizos isn’t just a beauty blogger, she’s an activist who works day and night to educate women from all over the globe on how to care for their pajones (she heads up a natural hair salon in Santo Domingo), as well as how to embrace who they are, culturally and racially, with absolute pride. Not always an easy task, but definitely a rewarding one.

“Clap your hair.” – Ona Diaz-Santin

I love the sunnnnnn ☀️☀️ #hellospring #iloveu #sunshine #ineedthis #whatamithinking #donewithwork #smirk #hairbiz #curls

A photo posted by Ona Diaz-Santin Ó (@_thehairsaint_) on

Credit: The Hair Saint / Instagram

Wait, what? Yeah, clapping your hands with your hair between you palms after styling and when your hair is fully dry is Ona’s, a.k.a. The Hair Saint’s, secret for bouncier, fuller, lovelier curls. This woman is a true curly hair magician!

“Use your fingers.” – Bianca Alexa

Ditch your comb! It’ll only mess with your natural hair structure. Your very own fingers are actually your best friends for detangling and styling your curls.

“Forget shampoo.” – Rocio Mora

If you must shampoo your hair, go for a paraben-and-silicon-alcohol-free option. Better yet, stick with natural hair products and ditch your shampoo altogether. Let conditioners and deep scalp managers take care of your cleansing and moisturizing needs without stripping your beautiful hair of its natural, protective oils.

“Chop it.” – Mel Burgos

We curly chicas can sometimes feel like our hair just isn’t growing fast enough, which makes us super afraid of cutting it. The thing is, the only way to keeping curls healthy, in shape–and YES, longer–is by trimming it every every eight weeks or so.

“Mix and match.” – Ada Rojas

Lose your fear of natural products; your hair will forever be grateful! Also, because each chica’s curls are created differently, it’s best to experiment with different hair product cocktails until you find the ones that work the best for you.

Here’s to great hair days, every day!

Credit: Planet Records

READ: 11 Valuable Life Lessons Learned At The Hair Salon

Are there any other curly hair tips that’ve worked wonders for you? Share, share, share!

You'll Say 'What Are Thoooose' To These Dishes, But You Know You'll Want To Try

Food & Drink

You’ll Say ‘What Are Thoooose’ To These Dishes, But You Know You’ll Want To Try

credit: @mettemadglad/Instagram

We Latinos have been blessed with some of the best food ever. Perhaps the best in the world. And that’s not an overstatement. But let’s talk Ecuadorian dishes specifically, because they’re a little underrepresented and my Ecuadorian self wants to share the food wealth with y’all that don’t already know.

1. We’ll start with Ecuadorian ceviche because it’s often overshadowed by Peruvian ceviche…

Both Peru and Ecuador argue that their ceviche is the best, and while they’re similar, Ecuadorian ceviche tends to be soupier with a lot more tomatoes thrown into the mix, making it more like a salsa. Life!

2. Llapingachos

Llapingachos are a national dish that originated in Ambato, Ecuador, and they are everything you could want in a dish: mashed potato pancaked stuffed with cheese… and then fried. They’re usually served with avocado, peanut sauce, sausage or a fried egg. I told you they were perfect.

3. Fritada

Fritada de chancho is fried pork seasoned with cumin, garlic, salt and deep fried in pig fat. What sets this fried pork apart from the fried porks of our Latino neighbors is that they’re usually served with only mote or llapingachos, as to never take away from the main dish.

4. Fanesca

You have to be at the right place at the right time to behold the deliciousness of fanesca. It’s only served and prepared in the Holy Week before Easter. Or, your tía can make it for you whenever. This is a suuuuuper rich soup made with 12 grains and beans to represent the 12 apostles of Jesús, and usually topped with hard-boiled eggs, fried platanos, AND sometimes, tiny empanadas. If you can get through it all, you will be feelin’ real blessed, tbh. *emoji prayer hands*

5. Cuy (yep, guinea pig)

The thing about cuy is that they always insist on serving it in its full rodent form, so it’s not exactly MY taste, but it’s a dish that is pretty unique to the Andean region and is beloved in Ecuador, so I had to give it a shout out. I heard it tastes like chicken…

6. Locro De Papa

Potato soup, everyone. Served with cheese! And avocados! The holy trinity.

7. Quimbolitos

Quimbolitos are a dish really traditional to the Sierra regions in Ecuador and southern Colombia. They’re made from corn flour, orange juice, vanilla and raisins that are then steamed in a corn husk. It’s like a teeny, tiny delicious cake surprise.

8. Tostado

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El tostado es una especie de snack ecuatoriano que consiste en un tipo de maíz que se tuesta aliñado con sal, ajo natural y/o cebollin, y que se suele acompañar con chicharrón; aunque también lo sirven con cochino frito (conocida aquí como Fritata), papas sancochadas, e incluso riñones de cerdo, como pueden ver en las fotos. En la calle te lo venden en vasitos servidos a tu gusto, y en casa de los amigos es el perfecto acompañante de unas cervezas bien frías! #tostado #snackecuatoriano #tostadoecuatoriano #cocinaecuatoriana #gastronomiaecuatoriana #comidatipicadeecuador #comidatipicaecuatoriana #mercadodeiñaquito #quito #ecuador #quitoecuador #allyouneedisecuador #venezolanosenecuador #venezolanosenquito #venezolanosenelexterior #venezolanosenelemundo #venezolanosenelextranjero #dospandasenec #latepost

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Corn is a really big deal in Ecuador, and we absolutely love it and will eat it in every form. Most typical Ecuadorian dishes are served with tostado on the side, which is essentially toasted corn nuts that taste like popcorn that hasn’t popped. The best thing about tostado is that it’s an easy snack to take anywhere and everywhere with anything.

9. Bolón De Verde

Bolón de verde is made from mashed green plantains and stuffed with either cheese or chicharrones. Because there’s no such thing as a basic Latino meal, the bolónes alone are usually served at breakfast, but they can also be served as a sopa de verde. They are as incredible as anything combining plantains and cheese can be.

10. Chaulafán

Peru experienced an influx of Chinese immigrants in the 1800s, thus they created a cuisine called “chifa,” which also influenced neighboring Ecuador to make its own version of fried rice, chaulafán, and it’s so, so, delish.

11. Empanadas de Morocho

I know Latinos loooove empanadas of all kinds, but when I first went to visit family in Ecuador, I had never come across ones that were as crispy and light as empanadas de morocho. Morocho is cracked hominy, so it’s like eating a fried ball of grits, which is my kinda thing. Morocho is also used to make morocho de leche, a very typical hot soothing drink served hot with cinnamon and raisins. Yuuuuumm!

READ: Literally Just 11 Mouthwatering Gifs Of Latin American Foods

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