Meet Miss Rizos, The Woman Behind Santo Domingo’s First Natural Hair Salon
As corporate brands have rushed to push out products in the growing curly hair consumer market, the women behind the curtains of the industry who work in urban playing fields and push the ‘au naturale’ rhetoric have their ambitions set on the real problem below the surface: How can we combat racism and promote self-love in our communities?
Earlier this year, an innovative and environmentally friendly natural hair salon opened its doors in the Dominican Republic to serve curly haircuts on a platter.
Carolina Contreras, better known as Miss Rizos, has become a modern day freedom fighter who advocates for women with Afro-textured hair to embrace their true selves. As the founder of Santo Domingo’s first natural hair salon, 29 year-old Miss Rizos provides an alternative to the old Eurocentric standard of beauty that has plagued the Dominican Republic for decades. It all started with a blog, which Miss Rizos started to provide hair tutorials and empowerment to women who wanted to wear their hair naturally. As the blog and her YouTube channel grew in popularity, she decided opening a salon was the next natural step. Her goal is to move acceptance of black features in the Dominican Republic forward; her message is that beauty and hair-care should be an act of self-love.
On a radiant and unusually warm December morning, I grabbed my cup of yerba mate, pulled back my curly hair into a pineapple crown, and prepared for my much-anticipated Skype call with Miss Rizos. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with the awe-inspiring Afro-Latina social activist. Here’s what I learned about her salon and her place in the natural hair movement.
Read my full interview for Remezcla here.