Image: Bomba Curls
Founded by Lulu, Bomba Curls was created to showcase your authentic self, while also creating knockout products for beautiful curls! Lulu infused her own history and culture into every blend, and with her formulations shared the secrets of the Dominican Republic while using organic and super pure ingredients. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we had the opportunity to sit down with Lulu and chat about all things culture, pajon, and embracing the liberation that comes with accepting yourself fully!
Tell us about growing up a Dominican curly girl… What were your biggest hair challenges?
In Dominican culture, the beauty ideal is long, sleek straight hair. For generations, straight hair was the definitive element of our society’s perception of femininity and to this day, natural, curly hair is often stigmatized and referred to as “pelo malo” aka bad hair. Back in 2004, I decided to live a greener lifestyle and going natural was part of that journey. In choosing to “go green” and embrace my “pajon” (curly, kinky hair) I faced my greatest challenges. Although my mom encouraged me and suggested protective hairstyles could help me along with the transition, that was about where my family support stopped. Everyone else in my family - and what felt like my entire community - would give me disapproving looks when I’d enter a room. Strangers would kindly offer suggestions on things I could do to “fix” my hair- the keratin straightening treatment was a common suggestion. I did not realize just how offensive my curly hair could be. Ultimately, my wellness outweighed society’s need to box me and my hair in. Being relaxer-free and liberated never felt so good!
Did you always embrace your natural curls? If not, what was that moment like when you decided to embrace your curls?
Honestly, I never really had the chance to develop much of a relationship with my natural hair because I got my first relaxer at the age of nine. Prior to that, the care of my hair was left to the hands of the adult women in my family. I stopped relaxing my hair way back in 2004, the early years of the natural hair movement. As my natural curls came in, it was like this exciting new discovery for me. I would play with the new growth at my roots and imagine what my curls might look like. After I completely grew out the relaxer, my curls and I were left to figure our new relationship out. Some days we were frenemies, some days we were crazy in love, but always gaining a deeper appreciation for one another.
Image: Bomba Curls
Tell us about Bomba Curls and what made you decide to create this company? What makes it unique?
Bomba Curls is a celebration of YOU! All too often we are told that natural hair is unprofessional, unacceptable and there's a societal expectation that it be "put away". I created Bomba Curlsto help curlistas everywhere break out of the box and embrace every bit of who they are. Our curls are not some shrinking violet! They have bounce, volume and turn heads. I created my formulas following methods used for generations in the Dominican Republic to stimulate growth and achieve length in relaxed hair and tailored them to meet the needs of curls. I’d tried so many products but could never find something that ticked off all of the right boxes so I got fed up and started making my own Dominican inspired curly cocktails. It's taboo to share our methods with anyone who is "off-island" and I am the first to pull back the curtain and truly share our secrets via my formulations.
What are the biggest misconceptions when it comes to using oils?
That they’ll cause greasy scalp and hair. Oils are what I like to call the "swiss army knife" of your hair and beauty regimen. They are excellent at balancing the sebum levels of your scalp, will help seal in moisture for hair and yes-as counterintuitive as this may sound- they can help you achieve smooth, clear skin (oils are a favorite skincare item of mine). The correct oils used in the correct ratios can deliver some pretty incredible results. It's all about using them properly. I specifically formulated my oil to be non-greasy, ultra-moisturizing and most importantly effective for achieving beautiful, healthy, lengthy curls.
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Tell us more about The Forbidden Oil and the proper ways to use it...
There are so many! The Forbidden Oil is so versatile… my life would be so sad without it! When my curls need some extra hydration I like to use it for hot oil treatments or pre-poo. I simply mist my hair, apply the oil, and let it get to work. I love scalp massages and the Forbidden Oil takes them to the next level because it contains coffee seed oil. Coffee is a potent stimulant that is used back home to promote growth. I apply it religiously on my edges, you can also mix it in with your conditioner to give it a boost. You can even use it on your body to help smooth out and hydrate your skin-be prepared to be showered with compliments on how good you smell too. I sourced the purest and best ingredients, which is a major reason why my oil delivers on so many levels.
What key ingredients are found in Forbidden Oil?
Coffee, of course! As I mentioned before, coffee is king in the Forbidden Oil. Caffeine acts as nature's own wake-up call to your follicles, the perfect dose of caffeine promotes faster hair growth while instantly penetrating follicles to make hair smoother and shinier. I wanted to make the oil a knockout growth blend so I had to include black cumin seed oil. Black Cumin Seed Oil has powerful medicinal properties and is rich in antihistamines, which are commonly prescribed to treat hair loss and alopecia. Rosemary extract is a super antioxidant that not only promotes growth but is an awesome anti-inflammatory, antifungal ingredient for optimal scalp health. Then there's everyone's favorite...castor oil! Castor oil is a rich, thick, fatty-acid filled oil that nourishes your roots and really helps seal moisture into your hair.
What can we expect from Bomba Curls in the future?
We will be releasing our new Deep Treatment Mask very soon. The treatment mask is spectacular. That's the only word that can most accurately describe just how good this mask is. The entire line is specifically formulated to promote growth because I feel that consistency is key, and I wanted my customers to consistently reap the benefits to achieve results. We'll gradually be releasing new products, including styling products that really answer to the needs of our customers. Everyone knows I love my customers and I make it a point to provide them with options that are safe, effective and make it easy to embrace your natural curls…all while working to broaden the spectrum of beauty!