HOLA! USA wants to empower the Latinx community with narratives about the contributions that Latinos have made in the U.S. It is time to celebrate our Latinidad in all its glory. These are our stories; this is Latinx.
Wavy, straight, curly or coarse. These are some common words used to describe a woman’s hair texture, but if you're Latinx chances are you’re quite familiar with the phrase ‘pelo malo.’ During my childhood, I vividly remember learning the important role hair would play in my life. Similar to the Hause of Curls’ Founder Sherly Tavarez, I was put in the ‘pelo malo’ bucket. Due to traditional beauty standards during the time, Latinas with coily or curly locks were encouraged to chemically process or relax their natural textures for a "neater look and manageable feel." Fast forward to today, women are tossing their flat irons, saying goodbye to harsh chemicals and embracing their natural roots in every way. Now, powerhouses like Sherly are giving fellow naturalists the extra boost of confidence needed when transitioning into a new hair-story.
The Dominican entrepreneur created beauty-inspired tops to motivate Latinas, Afro-Latinas and women of all mixed races to embark on their natural hair journey. With each pelo-approved design, curly-haired girls are able to be authentically themselves. “The natural hair journey is not an easy one and it's different for everyone. Therefore, if I could make it a little easier for someone, then my job was done,” explained Sherly.
The messaging behind each thread tells a story in very little words. “The first t-shirt we came out with says 'Pelo Malo Where?' which translates into 'Bad Hair Where?' We are telling the world our hair isn't bad, this is the hair that grows out of our head naturally and we are proud of it! The idea came one day when I was searching for a T-shirt to wear to a curly hair event and didn't find anything that represented me, so I said, 'I'm going to make my own T-shirt and maybe one or two people will buy it,'” said the Dominican beauty. Like many in the natural hair community, Sherly learned to love herself through her locks and redefine beauty standards influenced by Europeans.
“I used to feel very weird walking into a room full of people with straight hair with my curly hair. I would feel that all eyes were on me and not in a good way. But now, that's not my story anymore. I walk in with full pride and my head held high,” said Sherly. Since launching her business, the Dominicana has been able to get Puerto Rican actress and singer Jeimy Osorio to rock her top. Though the t-shirts have quickly gone viral on social media within the natural hair crowd, the brand's stunning hairpins have also gotten the attention of many.
Though Hispanic Heritage Month is every month when you're Latinx, this year the natural enthusiast is challenging us to celebrate our roots by reclaiming our true textures. Support this Latina-owned business and get all your Hause of Curls merch today at hauseofcurls.com.