“Curly hair is beautiful.” This sentiment may seem ordinary to some, but to Julissa Prado, it is nothing short of the revolutionary. The four simple words are the driving crux of her business, Rizos Curls, which is a community-oriented curly hair product line that celebrates all curl types. The self-funded, family-owned line launched in 2017 and is now carried in a whopping 460 Target stores nationwide. Prado’s mission is straightforward: to create products that will allow her customers to fully love their curls, which is something she struggled with growing up.
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
For anyone who wants to start a business, pursue your passion! Also know you will never have all the answers, but you can reach out to the resources around you and to your community for guidance, and they will help propel you forward. Start small if you need to and grow from there. I saved for over five years before launching Rizos Curls and launched 100% self-funded and am still independent. You don’t need a round of venture capital to get started and excel in your space.
What are your washday curl tips?
My favorite washday curl tip is the 30/60/90 method. I have a tutorial video that helps demonstrate it, but this method is great for women and men who are still learning how much product to put in their hair and want to ensure they get their desired results. The idea is that, during the styling process, you add product to your hair little by little as it dries to ensure you don’t add too much product. Because once you do, there’s no going back, and your curls will be weighed down. You start out by adding as little Refresh & Detangle Spray ($20) and Curl Defining Cream ($22) as possible, staying away from your roots. Then, you begin to blow-dry with a diffuser. At 30% dry, you stop to analyze your results and only add more product to any areas that may need it. If the area needs more moisture, you add Refresh & Detangle Spray. If it needs definition, you add Curl Cream. You then continue to dry your hair. At 60%, you, again, stop, analyze, and only add product if needed, then again at 90% dry. I do this method in the beginning when I’m still learning how much I need to use because you definitely don’t want to add too much product.
What is a common mistake you see with curlcare?
The most common mistake I see people make when it comes to caring for their curls is having what our partner curl stylist Dazy Lyn calls “straight hair tendencies.” Doing certain routines with your hair as if you’re handling it to be straight versus curly can hurt in optimizing curl pattern and volume. For example, you shouldn’t brush your hair down straight and part your hair while it’s wet if you want volume. For curls, you want your hair to take its natural form by not parting it and forcing it to hang tight close to your head. It’s easier when you visually see what we mean, so check out our Straight Hair Tendencies video. We guarantee if you undo any straight hair tendencies with curly hair, you will start achieving more defined, voluminous curls.
What has your community of customers taught you?
My community of customers, who I call Rizos Reinas and Rizos Reyes, have taught me so, so much. Rizos Curls is a community of women and men that own the beauty of their curls, coils, and waves and honor the beautiful cultures that they come from. I’m constantly being inspired by their stories and have built real friendships with so many. Plus, our Rizos Reinas and Reyes are very vocal about what they want next, product wise. They are the reason I created the Refresh and Detangle Spray, which we launched two years ago. All our innovation now is customer-led, they call the shots, we just execute.