Empowering Latina Beauty: The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls

By: Paulina Aguilar

Today we want to introduce you to a proud Latina entrepreneur named Julissa Prado, whose goal is to reclaim Latina beauty through our hair.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in LatinaCool in February 2020 and was updated in April 2024.

How many times have you hated the way your hair looks? Have you ever wished it were different? Have you thought it’s unacceptable because it doesn’t look like what you see in magazines or movies? Do you feel like no one cares enough to make a suitable product for you?

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, we have great news for you: there’s someone who cares, who wants to highlight your beauty, and who has dedicated their life to making you look radiant, love yourself, and be proud of your origins.

We’ll tell you her story, as she shared it with us in an exclusive interview:

Julissa Prado is a woman of Mexican descent and one of the most successful Latina entrepreneurs in her community. A few years ago, she began to realize that there were no specialized products for curly hair (which most Latinas have), and instead, products were designed only to straighten, modify, and conceal their true nature. It was at that moment when Julissa decided to take matters into her own hands and create a shampoo that would make her feel represented and, at the same time, bring her naturally curly hair to its fullest and most beautiful potential.

Julissa Prado
Julissa Prado/Interview by LatinaCool

She started making homemade combinations with her friends and family as her first trials, and between trial and error, she created the highly recognized brand Rizos Curls, which is sold at Target (something not easy to achieve in her industry). In fact, Prado made history by becoming the first Latina with a brand dedicated exclusively to curly hair care to be sold at Ulta, the largest beauty retailer in the United States.

As if that weren’t enough, Julissa is determined to enter the Mexican market as of 2024, with the announcement of the launch of her campaign entitled: Celebrate your Curls, which seeks to highlight the diversity of the country and celebrate the talent of local models like Karen Vega, Marlen Maradiaga, and Noemí Gracía, who are part of a talent agency from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Julissa Prado 2
Credit: Rizos Curls

While her success may seem simple, the journey certainly wasn’t. Julissa had to face many obstacles. Despite having undeniable talent, she was seen as a young Latina trying to compete with industry giants – but now she’s emerging victorious.

Her secret weapon? Julissa knows something that executives of big brands don’t: the needs of the Hispanic community, how to communicate with them, and the importance of family. Rizos Curls is headed by her, but her family is the backbone of it.

Julissa Prado 1
Credit: Rizos Curls

“If I don’t know how to do something, my cousins are always there, unafraid to learn, try, experiment, and make things right, it’s something Americans don’t understand, a Mexican family is inseparable. They’ll support each other until the end, and that’s precisely the kind of love I want to convey with Rizos Curls, to steer Latinas away from imposed beauty standards and start embracing our natural hair because it’s beautiful and we don’t have to hide it.”

Julissa Prado in an interview by Paulina Aguilar, February 2020.

Julissa knows she belongs to a generation of Latinas that still face discrimination and struggle to be heard, but she’s also aware that it’s her obligation to win those battles so that future generations have open doors without similar prejudices. She understands that it’s her duty to forge and follow the path, just as many other Latinas did before her.

Julissa Prado 4
Credit: Rizos Curls

For Julissa, the sky is the limit, and to reach it, she’s willing to give it her all. She dreams of taking her brand worldwide so that Latinas – or any girl with curly hair – can find and use her products while being proud of what their culture represents.

We have nothing else to say but: Our hearts are filled with joy to know stories like hers, and we’re sure we’ll hear much more from her in the future – because Latinas step strong and never stop.

Julissa Prado 5
Credit: Rizos Curls

Rizos Curls, keep inspiring us!

Do you know another Latina Cool? Tell us about her and write to us at this address telling us her story, we would love to share it.

About the author: Paulina Aguilar


Graduate in Communication Sciences, pizza taster, cat whisperer, Muggle expert and specialist in series and movies.

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