Texture Management Around the Globe
by Victoria Wurdinger on Tuesday, April 19, 2011
In Curaçao, Yeddy likes to experiment with products that she discovers at beauty shows in the U.S.
Yeddy’s brightly colored salon and academy building reflects Curaçao’s Dutch influence.
Curl Control in Curaçao
One of the Caribbean islands of the Lesser Antilles off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao has a population of about 130,000. There are many ethnicities and curl patterns represented, water and electricity are very expensive (as is importing products), and the majority of the population has curl in various patterns and lots of it. As a result, island stylists are among the best in the world at blow drying—and the fastest, because it saves electricity.
In the capital of Willemstad, Modesta Sluis-Rosario de la Cruz, who simply goes by “Yeddy,” is CEO of Academy Yeddy Trading Inc., which operates Kapsalon Academy Yeddy and distributes hair products to salons, pharmacies, stores and supermarkets.
Like many of the island’s inhabitants, who are descendants of former slaves from Africa, Yeddy herself is a transplant. Born in the Dominican Republic, she started doing hair at 14 in a Santo Domingo neighborhood nicknamed “Vietnam.” She worked in a narrow alley aside her parents’ house with “nothing but a broken mirror—and buckets of water for hair washing.” Even with limited resources, she discovered she was superb at the craft, so after secondary school, she attended beauty school. License in hand, she began traveling, and ended up in Venezuela at the age of 19.
“I worked in big, famous salons, as the only black stylist in a still very segregated environment,” recalls Yeddy. “I worked hard, but pay was not always that good, so I also started trading clothes that I bought in Curaçao. On one of my trips, I got stuck on the island; to be able to pay for the hotel, I offered to do the owner’s hair. She liked the results so much, she phoned others so I could do their hair, too.”
Soon after, Yeddy opened a salon on Curaçao. In 1985, she began importing hair products and her distributorship evolved into a successful business.
According to Yeddy, the island’s daytime temperatures range from 26 to 34 degrees Celsius (78 to 93 Fahrenheit), but since there is always a refreshing breeze, “We do not have really humid periods.”
The majority of women relax their hair, for which Yeddy likes the Chicago-based Curl Essations line because, “Essations relaxers leave the hair with a better structure compared with other relaxers I have worked with.”