Lulu Cordero, the Creator of Bomba Curls, Dishes on Dominican Beauty Secrets and Her Afro-Latina Pride
Dominican CHICA Boss Lulu Cordero talks about her organic hair product brand Bomba Curls, inspired by her own Afro-Latina natural curls.
Lulu Cordero, the CEO of Bomba Curls, didn't always celebrate her naturally curly hair. "I used to relax my hair. Being Dominican, it's like a rite of passage. You are told from early on ‘fix your hair,' like there is something wrong with curly hair and straight hair is more beautiful. I always got teased about my pajón - my big curly hair - but in 2004 I made the decision to live like a queen, and part of that journey was letting go of my relaxer," she tells People CHICA. "Now you are seeing girls rocking their curly hair, this movement of people embracing who they are and feeling comfortable in the skin they are in, but back then this hadn't happened yet. I got a lot of backlash for choosing to go natural, but I said, ‘These are my curls and if you don't like it, too bad!'"
That's how her innovative line of hair products was born. "I'm Afro-Dominicana, and Dominicans have a reputation for knowing our way around hair. Everyone knows about the Dominican hair salons. We have a way to help people get shiny, luxurious hair. We have our secrets from back home, because it's a countrywide obsession to work on hair," she says. "One of the secrets is coffee. Everybody loves their cafecito, and we also use our cafecito on our hair. Women brew the coffee and rinse the hair off with coffee for beautiful shine. The caffeine in coffee invigorates the hair follicle, which stimulates growth." Coffee is actually one of the ingredients of the Dominican Forbidden Oil, one of her exclusive products.
"We have all-natural, organic ingredients. Quality is super important to me," she says. Cordero uses ingredients like rosemary extract, coffee seed oil, castor oil and black cumin seed oil to make hair potions that work like magic. "Clean, green beauty is what we are interested in," adds the 32-year-old entrepreneur and happy wife, who also embraces a healthy lifestyle and cooks a delicious light version of mangú, minus the fried cheese. She puts that same sazón - or special touch - into her beauty products, using those natural, herbal-infused methods from her native island. "I have been saving up for Bomba Curls forever. It's been my dream for over 10 years," she admits. "I would always make my own oils and conditioners at home, and people would ask me what I would put on my hair."
Now Cordero is sharing her beauty secrets with the world via her own brand. The economics graduate, who lives in Miami, learned her work ethic from her father, who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic without knowing a word of English, and worked as a dishwasher before starting his own successful business. "I saw him work his tail off to provide for his family, which is the story of many immigrants," she says. "In helping him build his dream, I learned the sacrifice it takes to have your own business."
Besides celebrating beauty, there is a positive message of confidence behind her brand. "Bomba Curls is about celebrating what makes you bomba. We are all unique in our own way," Cordero concludes. "Growing up I didn't get to see many girls that looked like me or my mom, or had our hair on magazines, in TV or ads. It was important for me to celebrate color. I want to make sure that every little girl out there sees themselves in Bomba Curls, and sees themselves celebrated as being beautiful."
For more info and to preorder products, visit http://www.bombacurls.com after August 16. The site's official launch is on September 13.