Carolina Contreras, known to many as Miss Rizos, is breaking down the belief system in the Dominican Republic that suggests curly hair is “pelo malo” or bad hair. In her latest effort to fight back against that notion, the Afro-Latina founded her own hair salon, Miss Rizos Salon, in Santo Domingo, which teaches curly-haired, fro’d women how to nurture and love their kinky texture.
Although the salon opened its doors in 2011, it has recently been making huge waves in empowering young girls and women of all different curl patterns and altering old traditions. “In the Dominican Republic, having kinky or coarse hair is perceived as something that is unclean, unkept, something that is simply not beautiful,” Miss Rizos stated in a Facebook video posted by The Great Big Story on Monday (April 10).
The naturalista described some of the discrimination she experienced early on in her hair journey. “Some of the things I would hear back then is like, ‘Did you forget your comb at home? Did you put your fingers [in] a socket?'” Contreras revealed. But despite all of the negative feedback, Miss Rizos stated that there were many women just like her who wanted to learn how to maintain their hair. “There was this huge thirst and hunger for a space where women would be validated,” she added.
So in search of something to fill that need, Miss Rizos Salon was conceived. “The salon really cares about the way curly hair is perceived in society and we want to be a part of that change fully,” she says of her salon’s mission. There, women can get services from cuts to washes, as well as techniques on how to keep their curls intact.
See what else Miss Rizos has to say about curly hair and her business: