Sherly Tavarez was only six when her mom started relaxing her hair. “I remember thinking I would never know what it was like to have ‘good hair’,” she says. And as a Dominican woman and a first generation immigrant growing up in New York, she wasn’t alone in this experience.
That’s where she found the idea for Hause of Curls. Originally, the business operated as a digital storefront for graphic tees with clever uplifting phrases about Latinx hair that she hoped would help eradicate the idea of “pelo malo” or “bad hair.” “I just woke up one day and thought, ‘I want to make a T-shirt that says Pelo Malo Where?’ — so I did,” she says. “I knew that if even a few people could relate, I’d have done something good.”
Lo and behold, after the initial T-shirt launch, far more than a few people showed excitement about Tavarez’s tees. And now, with countless T-shirt styles boasting any number of slogans — along with hair-care products, accessories, and so many other goods — Hause of Curls is a full-scale operation. But still, the mission remains the same: to celebrate natural Latinx hair in all its glory.
That’s why Refinery29 is partnering with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple to produce Valiente Y Fuerte — a video campaign designed to amplify the voices of Latinx creatives like Tavarez who inspire us every day. Watch the video above for more information about the origins of Hause of Curls — and how it’s changing the narrative around natural hair.
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