hair story: melissa burgos

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– As told to Tamara Pridgett

We first met Puerto Rican hair blogger Melissa Burgos of the site Rock Yo Rizos at our You Can Touch My Hair screening where she shared how her hair is more celebrated in the Black community than in the Latina community. She also explained how she found support for her hair through the online natural hair community. Now she’s one of the hair icons inspiring women like her to rock their “rizos” as she puts it. Here’s her hair story.

Describe your hair in 5 words or less. 

Happy, delicate, soft and sometimes unruly.

Have you always been natural?
​I have been natural since the mid 90’s.​

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How did you wear you’re hair when you were younger?  

Either two TIGHT ponytails or French braids.

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At our YCTMH screening you shared that your hair is not as celebrated in the Latina community as it is in the Black community. Can you describe the type of resistance you’ve experienced in the Latina community when it comes to hair?
​I have been subjected to insults and negative assumptions in Spanish about my hygiene by fellow Latinas. Why? Because of their ignorance; they assumed that I was not Latina since I wear my hair in its natural state – big and curly. It was a great feeling to be able to educate them on the diversity of AfroLatinos.

Where do you think the resistance comes from?
I’m not sure but I have noticed within the natural hair community that more and more Latina’s are rocking their rizos (curls) and it makes me proud.

Do you think the pace of the natural hair movement is slower in the Latin community than in the Black American community? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
​I wouldn’t say the pace is slower​. I would say it is not promoted as much.

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Is there a style that you’ve been most drawn to?  

Believe it or not, I love short hair but its easier for me to maintain my hair when its long.

What has been your favorite look of all?  

Wash and go’s.

How long is your Wash n Go routine?
I would say about an hour. My diffuser is my best friend.

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Style you’ll never wear again?  

Blown out bangs with a high curly ponytail.

Tell us a bit about your hair routine. 

I wash with Dark and lovely Au Naturale line at least every 5 to 6 days. I then steam my hair using the Huetiful steamer and I apply my mix of Devacurl Heaven in Hair Conditioner and Argan oil.  I rinse with cold water and dry my hair with an old white t-shirt because it’s less abrasive than a towel.  I apply my styling mix of Sebastian Potion 9 and Ecostyler gel and diffuse my hair for at least 12 minutes and I’m done.

What products can’t you live without? 

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale sulfate free wash and knot out conditioner, Sebastian Potion 9, Ecostyler gel, and 100% Argan oil.

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