Straight, long, silky hair has been considered “better” by many — and that opinion has perpetuated the belief that anything different is not beautiful.
One woman in Santo Domingo is changing that. Carolina Contreras, 29, opened her Miss Rizos salon after her blog — where she talked about skipping the chemicals that made her hair straight and maintaining naturally curly — became so popular.
“I would walk down the street and women would stop me and ask me how I got my hair like that,” she said before opening her salon.
Lucky for many because now she has clientele traveling from all over to get their hair done by her. And it’s not just about hair. Eileen Fuentes, who traveled to Santo Domingo with her three daughters specifically for an appointment at Miss Rizos, said, “We have been programmed to not embrace our very obvious African heritage, and I wanted to break that vicious cycle. We are black, our hair is kinky, and we are very proud of it.”
As for what she wanted to teach her daughters: “It was important for me that my daughters go to a place in the Dominican Republic where the natural pattern of their very curly hair would be embraced.”
Even if you were taught to embrace your natural hair from Day 1 navigating the world of natural hair will always be a journey. Mainstream brands rarely consider curly-headed beauties and when it comes to catering to people with coils that are of Afro-nature their support gets even murkier. Finding products that keep your hair moisturized while insuring health and growth can be tough. Fortunately, if you’re looking to stock up your hair products supply, you’re in luck.
We scoured message boards and review boards for top-rated and promoted products to try out and keep your hair thriving!
Palmers Olive Oil Formula GRO Therapy
“It’s a miracle product and a must buy I grabbed it randomly thinking that even this would be an addition to my shelf without any benefits but this actually works. I use this after my hair is dried and just a little bit otherwise it gets a little greasy wait for some time and the hair feels real good. Not for the wet hair though,”- Amazon review.
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Intensive Strengthening Masque Hair Treatment
One user by the name of Soleil on Amazon gave the product 5 stars and boasted that she’s been using this product for years, “Despite the propaganda, I’ve always loved and used SM products. Their masques are typically A1 for my mixed textured 3c-4b, mid-back length curly coils. I also henna on a semi-regular basis so I like to use SM masques to deep condition or leave-in afterward to style my hair. I loved and used the super fruit masque, but with the henna, I was getting protein overload and needed something that was pretty much ONLY moisturizing. I love their Raw Shea & Capuacu masque for a leave-in, but was still open to other moisturizing DC’s.I used this line’s leave-in and it did absolutely nothing for my medium-thick or mid-porosity hair. My hair drinks the milk so I don’t even mess with styling milk and leave-ins for the most part. I didn’t really pay this masque much attention since it says “strengthening” and I didn’t want to deal with protein overload again. But after a friend who also has thick curly hair shared she used it as her leave-in since it’s ultra-moisturizing, I had to try it. I LOVE this masque! I honestly think the “strengthening” piece is a misnomer, as it’s far more moisturizing than anything! Definitely recommend to anyone who’s looking for an awesome deep moisturizing conditioner to add their regimen. If you’re one who loves an ultra-moisturizing, thick leave-in, you’ll love this one for that just as well.”
Camille Rose Naturals Curlaide Moisture Butter
“This whole product is great, from the color to the smell, to the way it just moisturizes your hair. This was a great deal for the money for 2 products which is very close to the price you pay for 1 product that they charge at target. Get it, spend the money they fill the product to the top and a little bit goes a long way when using the cream,” one user, who gave this moisturizing product a five-star review as well approval of the entire line, said.
Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel
“This is my favorite *affordable* natural hair product. there is slip, shine, and great curl definition. I use it for wash n go’s or to freshen up my curls after a few days. I’ve also had some successful twist outs. the product doesn’t make me or my hair feel sticky and it smells amazing too,” a Black reviewer with natural hair and devoted to the product shared.
Kinky-Curly Knot Today
“Let me start by saying I read reviews for everything before I buy it. That being said, bad reviews always stick out more than positive reviews and reading the negative reviews for this product I was hesitant to buy it especially considering the price,” a user wrote on Amazon about this styling leave-in conditioner. “So I went to Target to stock up on my Shea Moisture products. I saw this and I’ve heard a lot of good things about kinky curly from the natural hair community. I decided to read the Amazon reviews for it and went ahead and bought it even though I was hesitant. I went home, got in the shower used Shea Moisture moisture retention shampoo, conditioned with Shea Moisture Manuka honey conditioner, washed my body, then rinsed the conditioner out. When I get out the shower I squeeze the excess water out, dry off and wrap my hair in a cotton t-shirt while I get dressed. After all this, I put the KC Knot Today in, a good-sized glob for each half of my head, and just let it air dry. It is AMAZING. I actually get the curl definition I want and very minimal frizz. My hair is extremely dry and even on the second day my hair still feels moisturized.”
Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector
“Talk about a drastic difference!” a writer for the blog Naturally Curly wrote about the product “Because I didn’t know what to expect, I was completely blown away, by the way, OlaPlex elevated my hair color! It went from a dusty blonde color to a more vibrant copper tone. Imagine what this product could do to severely color-damaged hair? It is suggested that you use this treatment in your weekly hair regimen or twice a week if your hair needs to recover from extreme color damage. Personally, I think I’ll be adding this extra step to my routine. I love that my hair looks and feels stronger. That dusty layer that my hair held onto seems to have disappeared and I couldn’t be happier.”
Babassu Quench Leave-In Curl Primer
“This is my holy grail,” a reviewer from the review pages of Tepadora wrote. “My hair just is not right without this curl primer. Curls are glossy and defined with just a single pump. You can layer other products on top or just use alone. Nothing else compares.”
The world is paying attention to racism in the world right now. The Black Lives Matter movement has gone international and people are starting to call out racism everywhere they see it. This means shining a light on racism on social media to really highlight the issue.
Afro-Caribbean people are using #AquíNoExisteElRacismoPero and #PeroNoSomosRacists to highlight racism.
Social media users are sharing their experiences with racism on the Caribbean islands and the hashtags speak volumes. The hashtags translate to #ButWeAreNotRacists and #ThereIsNoRacismHereBut are being used to highlight racism in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
There is an understood in the Latino community that racism runs deep but it is often ignored. Culturally, it has plagued the Latino community for generations with microaggressions about hair and “bettering the race.” It is something that we need to address and these hashtags are calling it out.
Some Dominicans are highlighting the microaggressions that have existed for as long as time.
Microaggressions are some of the most common and annoying moments of racism around. They are little but when there are enough they really add up fast. They are all around and are said so often that people often ignore them when they are said. “Pelo malo” one of the most common examples of racist microaggressions in the Latino community. It is always Afro-Latinos who have “pelo malo.”
The hair microaggressions are some of the earliest.
Twitter users are coming forward with stories of having their hair relaxed and chemically treated to be “better.” The focus on Euro-centric beauty within the Afro-Latino community is toxic and instilling it in children so young is a traumatic and hurtful experience.
Some people have been able to use the experience to empower themselves.
People who can take a moment like this ad grow from it are the kind of people you want to know. You go with your self-acceptance and love. There is nothing more beautiful than being yourself and learning to love all of you is a journey so many have to make.
There are so many microaggressions that have become far to familiar in our community and we have to fight against them.
Things I heard in my surroundings growing up: “There are no black in our family.” “Mijito you have to improve the race.” “Marry a white girl.” “You’re not black, you’re tricky, don’t say that again.” “I’m not black, I’m brunette.” “You mean the black I was selling….” “You work like black.” “You sweat like black.” “Your kids came out happily white.” “You smell like black.” #PeroNoSomosRacistas