My name is Melissa also known as Mel to my amigos. I was born and raised in the Boogie Down Bronx to a beautiful, strong Puerto Rican woman. I have accomplished a lot in my short life. I attended Hofstra University majoring in psychology, won 1st place and overall figure in the 2008 Pacific Muscle Classic in Okinawa, Japan, then appeared in Oxygen Magazine July 2009 as a success story, and served 10 years in the United States Navy. Finally, I’m embracing my rizos (curls), one of my biggest accomplishments.
Growing up as a middle child (I have 2 fabulous hermanas) with the biggest head of rizos, I stuck out like a sore thumb and hated all the attention that came with it. From being asked “what are you?” to “is that reeeeally all of your hair?” made me feel like an outcast, which led me to get my first relaxer at 13. It wasn’t until I turned 15 that I realized how I was tired of my scalp being burned and my hair breaking off that I accepted my rizos. I have to tell ya, what a relief! Being Latina comes with the notion that all of our hair should look like a Mirta de Perales advertisement but I’m here to show and tell the world we also have gorgeous ringlets and pajóns (afros) too and we need to rock ’em! Rock Yo Rizos folks!!!