For the Love of Curls welcomes natural hair enthusiast and entrepreneur, Elisa M. Harry owner of the natural products company Curly Queen.

How long have you been natural?

Let’s see…it was the Spring of ’07 when I cut that big chopped, so almost seven years.  Wow!

What made you decide to go natural?

I had tried to embrace my curls for a year and a half, but I couldn't handle the shrinkage.  So I found this hair stylist on the internet that said she specialized in “healthy relaxers”.  I took my financial aid check and paid $275 in Beverly Hills and relapsed back to the creamy crack after being natural for about 5 years (I had been down this road before). 

My hair was super cute for about three months with plenty of hang time (whoop whoop!)… until it started to break off… again.

I had seen a sorority sister of mine with her hair natural and I literally could NOT stop staring at her.  It was sooooo beautiful to me.  After seeing her, I had been toying around with the idea and simply wearing my hair drenched in conditioner and moose to embrace my curls for about a week or two.  Then the incident happened….Lol.

I broke up with the guy I was dating and totally had a ‘Waiting to Exhale’ moment.  I was so upset over the breakup that I decided to chop everything off.  I came home from step practice and saw that I only had a few little strands that were giving my hair “length”.  I thought to myself, “WHAT IS THE POINT??” I was lying to myself to keep those little strands of straight hair just so that I wouldn’t look like a “chicken head”.  I was so upset and I couldn’t find a pair of scissors to save my life—so I used finger nail clippers!  I chopped it off, and never looked back….

Did you big chop or transition?

My last touch up with the “healthy relaxer” was in January of ’06, and I had my little bathroom incident with the fingernail clippers a little over a year later.  So I guess you could call it a transition…and then a big chop!

Spring ’07 The BIG CHOP!  Me literally in the bathroom

What was your families’ / friend’s reaction to you going natural?

My friends took to it much better than my family.  In college I totally embraced the “Pro-Blackness,” but my family is West Indian and they were not havin’ that!  Lol.  I hid my curls from them for about 2 years, and even then wore it straight most of the time they would see me.  I got a few crazy looks from my dad, sister, and my mother was like, “When are you gonna blow dry your hair???” 

See, my family is Dominican.  In Cali people really don’t know about it, but on the east coast the Dominican blowout is EVERYTHIG. Everyone says, “Oh you want your hair done, go to the Dominicans.”

December 18, 2010.  My first two-strand twists…ever!

And here are my sister’s comments

What have you discovered about yourself and your hair since you’ve gone natural? Anything surprise you?

First of all, what girl doesn’t grow up with something that they are self conscious about or some sort of body issue?  With natural hair, I learned that you just have to ROCK IT.  When I would go out in public at first, sometimes I would feel self conscious, or not wear my natural hair to certain events because I thought it might not be “appropriate”.  But how can being myself and wearing my hair in its natural state not be appropriate??? 

I learned that you’ve gotta rock that hair like it was your crown and let everyone know you are the queen (with two snaps).  Walk around like you are Beyoncé and kinks and curls are the new water. Honey, if you don’t know you better ask someone!

As far as my hair is concerned, I learned that it WILL GROW.  GROWING YOUR HAIR DOWN YOUR BACK IS POSSIBLE.  Take care of your hair like you would your Mercedes.  

2007 Shortly after my BIG CHOP.  Lesson I learned: When it dries, shrinkage WILL HAPPEN

2009 in DC at the Inauguration.  The first time my mom saw my hair “natural” 

Fresh out the shower just before my most recent cut

Feb 2013 CurlyQueen visits Bronner Bros in ATL

What would you say to someone that is considering going natural?

DO IT!!! (says the seasoned curly). No, it’s not going to e easy.  Yes, you will go through a lot of product.  Yes, there will be lots of trial and error.  Yes, there will be days when your hair looks a little kray-kray, but hey, no one will mess with you in line at the grocery store, right?

Most importantly, what works for someone else, may not work for you.  Like up with some other naturals for support and tips.  Oh yea, and YouTube is your new BFF!

2013, Shrinkage is still #thestruggle

What are your hair goals for the next 6 months to year?

I really want to go BLONDE! Let’s see if they have more fun…

Please tell us about your product line and how you developed it?

My father is a chef so there have always been all kinds of kitchen gadgets around my house growing up.  I studied Biology and BioChem in college.  I decided to put that degree to use to help my love for my hair and CurlyQueen was developed.  I got sick of paying what seemed like a car note on products that were not even all natural.  I said to myself, I can probably do this… and I did. 

The good thing about CurlyQueen is that it can be used on conjunction with other products, as mixing brands is almost a religion naturals live by.  

2010 O-Chem Lab.  This is not a game!

Who / What is CurlyQueen?

CurlyQueen was started in 2012 right here in Los Angeles.  Not only is it all natural hair products for the natural girl, but it’s also tutorials, hair accessories, T-shirts, and tips on over-all healthy living to be the best natural you.  Healthy hair starts with a healthy lifestyle.

What is used to make CurlyQueen products?

CurlyQueen products are made with 100% natural products and do not contain preservatives.  Ingredients include: 100% Natural Shea Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 100% Organic Coconut Oil,  Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil,  Sweet Almond Oil Vitamin E and now Argan Oil.

Who can use CurlyQueen?

Anyone!!!  It’s all natural, so unless you are allergic to one of our ingredients, then you can use it. This is exactly why all of the hair products are also safe for your body.  Though you may not have “curly” hair, the products offer a great variety of benefits for keep your body moisturized and skin feeling soft.  Though we pride ourselves on giving tips to the girl who is ready to care for her natural hair, most of the tips for healthy hair and living can be applied to anyone.

I love your “99 problems but a perm ain’t one” t-shirt. What was behind that concept?

My friends and I would always make fun about having 99 Problems and ____ wasn’t one.  For me, a perm was it.  That’s something I don’t need to worry about ever again.

What are your current goals for your business?

I have seen the promised land…. and it is a spot on the shelves in Tar-gét!

Where can we connect with you online?


I will be at the Afrolicious Hair Affair Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center on November 10th.  I hope to see everyone there. ;-)

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