For Julissa Prado, learning to love her natural hair as a little girl was a significant part of learning to love herself. Prado’s curly hair, she said, went through many phases growing up. She tried every product she could imagine – from gels to hairsprays – to manage it, but nothing worked. Prado was looking for something beneficial for “curly-haired girls” like herself.
In 2017, after spending years of creating the perfect formula, Prado launched Rizos Curls, a hair care brand designed to help women nourish and embrace their natural curls. “I wanted a product made with quality and natural ingredients that could celebrate all curl types, from my tia’s coily strands to my sister’s loose waves,” Prado said on the product’s website. “With Rizos Curls, I finally turned my dream into a reality.”
Some of the products created by Rizos Curls that are available to customers include alcohol-free volumizing hairspray, curl defining cream, refresh and detangle spray, light hold gel, and hydrating shampoo and deep conditioner. Through a partnership with Remezcla and Target, Rizos Curls is celebrating curly and textured hair and the stories that go beyond the beauty aisles.
Anita Herrera, an L.A. native and art curator and consultant of this event, invited a host of artists of who have a strong presence in the Latine community of Los Angeles to create original work for the pop-up exhibition that pays homage to the Latina beauty salon culture and history. The exhibition took place November 11, 2022.
“I think this event is so important and relevant to…celebrate who we are as opposed to years past where people were…hiding who they were, their identity and, especially, their curly hair,” Herrera said.
Through the exhibition “Hairstories,” Prado said she wants customers to embrace their own natural beauty. It’s something she had to do herself as a little girl, which was difficult to do since beauty culture is instilled in individuals at such a young age through the media.
“Most of our community cannot identify with that standard of beauty that was perpetuated in a lot of these examples of beauty – in magazines and everything,” Prado said. “I went on a quest to understand and learn my hair; Loving who you are and representing it, unapologetically.”
The artists invited to participate in “Hairstories” included film photographer Carlos Jaramillo and filmmaker Edson Reyes, archival artist Nathan Ward from In Passing LA, and student artists Meyuh Gonzales & CJ Calica from Las Fotos Project. Jaramillo told the story of Lolita’s Beauty Salon, which has been a staple in the Echo Park neighborhood for over 40 years. His exhibit included portraits of Lolita and her salon, made in Medium Format Film, and a short 16mm film shot by Reyes that explore Lolitas’ life and the impact she’s had in the community.
“I’m always trying to capture beauty and the honest side of people,” Jaramillo said. “How do I make this as beautiful and as powerful as possible – just like the beauty in our culture? Our communities will see it and feel empowered and see that it’s possible to tell our stories at a higher level.”
In Passing LA’s artwork included 12 posters made out of old Los Angeles hair salon yellow pages ads from the 1970s through 1990s, which tells of the story of the different Latine beauty salons in the Los Angeles area. Meyuh Gonzales & CJ Calica from Las Fotos Project created two photography series where they documented family and friends getting ready to go out, used their young and fresh perspective to embrace their natural curly hair and reflected on how the Latino salon culture is not only a thing of the past, but something rooted in the Latine culture that keeps evolving with each generation.
“The beauty salons here in Los Angeles are actually hubs for the community and years of friendship,” Herrera said. “It’s almost like a therapy session. You’re talking to your hairstylist about all your chisme.”
The content produced for this Rizos Curls campaign is part of a Remezcla and Target partnership that aims to boost visibility of Latine-owned brands distributed at Target.