August 27

Mel Burgos for Curly Essence - EN Version

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Name:  Mel Burgos

Age: 30 something

Place of residence:  Arlington, VA

I was born and raised in Bronx, NY.  I served 10 years in the United States Navy and I’m currently a management analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  I am also a new blogger! (www.rockyorizos.blogspot.com) I am super excited about this new endeavor because my ultimate goal is to inspire Latinas and other nationalities from all over the whole to “Rock Yo Rizos” no matter what negativity surrounds them.

Tell us a little about the history of your curly hair (mostly negative things that you swear never commit)

I had a looong and challenging history with my curls.  Growing up with huge curly hair in my neighborhood was considered “cool” so I did everything to hide them.  I did french braids, tight buns, blow dried, and the unthinkable- a relaxer at 13.  I loved my straight hair until my curly roots grew out and that was another battle within itself.

How long did you find yourself in the transition process - Transitioning to Natural - and why you made this decision?

Well I transitioned for a year and a half after my first relaxer and I big chopped (9 inches of hair) in 2010 due to a horrible hair experience.  I made the decision to go natural because I was tired of fighting my hair to fit in.

What is the hardest part of your transition?

The hardest part of my transition was accepting that my hair doesn’t define me.  I’m going to be honest, I get tons of compliments about my hair and I appreciate every last one of them BUT there is so much more to me than how big and curly my hair is.

Explain to us your care with your curly hair …

I am a wash and go girl!  I try to wash my hair at least every 5 days.  I also try to steam my hair every other week using my Huetiful steamer.  I wash and conditioner with the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale line.  After I put in my styling combo of Sebastian Potion 9 and Ecostyler  gel, I diffuse my hair under low heat for no more than 15 minutes and I seal my ends with either argan, jojoba, or grape seed oil.

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Is there a secret that you can share concerning your curly hair? (the way you treat it, .. etc.)

 A secret?? Hmmmm well I do daily scalp messages with a little bit of grapeseed oil on my fingertips and I take 2 biotin vitamins daily as opposed to the recommended dosage of 1 Lol!

 There are rules that Society must have before your afro? (ex: NEVER, IN ANY WAY, PUT YOUR HANDS ON MY HAIIIRRR!)

Please just ASK to touch my hair.

How do you see this new “back to our roots” movement?

I think the “back to our roots” movement is not necessarily new but it is now definitely celebrated.  It gives me a sense of pride to wear my hair natural as well as a platform to show my nieces that curly hair is absolutely beautiful.

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 If you had to envy (and we envy all), which curly hair would you like to have?

I wouldn’t say envy but I absolutely ADMIRE is Diana Ross.  I still look at pictures from her back in the day and she was and still is flawless.  I must admit I really love her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross’ movement about embracing your who you are, fashion and beauty secrets - I am a HUGE fan of her website and You Tube videos.

How do you feel about the natural hair movement? Do you believe going natural is like a fad?

I love that the natural hair movement allows us to embrace our natural beauty without any alterations.  I feel fortunate to have the best of both worlds, I can wear my hair curly one day and straight the next.  I don’t believe going natural is a fad because there is a certain sense of confidence you gain when embracing yourself and what you were born with.

What products do you recommend and can’t live without?

I recommend and can not live without Dark & Lovely Au Naturale anti shrinkage shampoo and conditioner, Sebastian potion 9, and Ecostyler clear gel.

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What’s the best thing about being curly?

Well for me the best thing about being curly is….my friends can always spot me in a crowd if they are looking for me! LOL!!

Photos by Malek Naz- maleknaz.com

Photos by: Pete Monsanto - flylifeimages.com

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