Val Mercado's Hair Transformation Journey | Skin Deep | Refinery29

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Here on Skin Deep, we highlight Afro-Latina influencer, Val Mercado. Val discusses her experience growing up with her Dominican heritage and how it affected her perception of beauty, particularly hair. Watch this episode of Skin Deep to see how far Val has come on her hair transformation journey!
Skin Deep is a docu-style beauty series, where influencers immerse themselves in different cultural epicenters of Los Angeles in order to uncover beauty traditions from around the world. Beauty is deeply personal and, at times, passed on through generations and cultures.
Refinery29 is a modern woman's destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life. refinery29.com/
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28-Iyl, 2018

refinery29refinery 29r29r29 videovideorefinery29 videofemaleempowermentskin deepmothers and daughtersval mercadovalinfluencersocial mediainstagram influencerhow to instagramdominicandominican republicnycrepublica dominicanahispaniclatinxlatinaslatinosamerican latinocultureafro latinaafro-latinoblack latinocurly hair routinecrly hair tipshair tutorialnatural curly haircurly girlshair transformationcurly hair cut



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Refinery29 5 oy oldin
Who else can relate to Val's journey of accepting her curls? Share your stories with us here!
Cynthia Greer
Cynthia Greer 4 oy oldin
Your sooooo lucky !
Kim Taehyung is a whole king
I’ve always loved my curly hair not even once i didn’t accept it
Cynthia Greer
Cynthia Greer 4 oy oldin
Not me, I've always had to pay a fortune to get hair like that ! I love curly hair ! I would never change it if I was naturally gifted with it !
Ashley Trinidad
Ashley Trinidad 4 oy oldin
Where I live my family are the only Domincans, so seeing this and being able to relate to it so greatly brought tears to my eyes. Learning to love and accept my curls has been a life long journey, seeing someone with the same struggle/ journey is inspiring.
angelia 5 oy oldin
This is like having curly hair in the Cambodian community, it’s taken in as unacceptable while straighten hair are praised
Cathy Tompkins
Cathy Tompkins 5 soat oldin
i LOVE her hair!
demekonrn 9 soat oldin
This is the same as Black mothers chemically straightening little girls hair. I have been natural for almost 11yrs and I had really never seen my hair chemical free in so lomg that I had forgotten what it looked like. It can never be wrong to wear your hair the way it naturally grows from your scalp.
Miranda M
Miranda M 10 soat oldin
Yaaaaas curly and straight hair FIIIRE. I’m half Puerto Rican half black and my hair is super curly and the same thing that happen with Dominicans with the shame of curly thick big hair is the same for Puerto Rican’s with curly thick big hair
Chocolatier Kun oldin
Love her curly hair so much better!
Tre D
Tre D 2 kun oldin
black woman deal with the same blowout, I didn't know there was a different type of salon blowout
Keaira Banks
Keaira Banks 2 kun oldin
Oh sis this looks so freaking good
Kirsten Maddocks
Kirsten Maddocks 3 kun oldin
Oh my God she's stunning 😭😍
Banshai Shabong
Banshai Shabong 3 kun oldin
i'm indian, but i like her curly hair so much.
Alicia cyriac
Alicia cyriac 3 kun oldin
Osvaly Jimenez
Osvaly Jimenez 6 kun oldin
Omg!! As a Dominican, I love the representation!
Kynslie Burke
Kynslie Burke 6 kun oldin
Mom? Tf
panic !!-// pilots
panic !!-// pilots 6 kun oldin
Ah she looks so cute with both hair styles, meanwhile my hair always looks like rubbish
Jessie Jay
Jessie Jay 8 kun oldin
I think a lot of people who have curly hair have spent a lot of time trying to straighten and a lot of people with straight hair have spent a lot of time trying to curl it. It's like a want what you can't have thing. My hair is STRAIGHT. I mean you CANT curl the shit. I have tried and tried. I have found ONE single product that will sort of curl it but it isnt worth the time because the curls dont really last. When I was 8 a stylist told my mom while doing my hair for a wedding that the curls will be useless because my hair is as straight as it gets lol to this day curls dont last lol I dont bother anymore. I just let the shit flow where it needs to haha. Her hair is beautiful, reminds me of my 3 yr old nieces hair.
amaany mahir
amaany mahir 10 kun oldin
She looks like Bella Thorne
Cry Baby
Cry Baby 10 kun oldin
Did this girl get a Dominican blowout and then just get curly hair again wtf
sara lz
sara lz 10 kun oldin
wow she's super pretty
lazybum 10 kun oldin
I was born in ny.. but i used to live in ... so she means after? Im confused
Yael Koren
Yael Koren 13 kun oldin
I love this video! thank you for helping a lot of people who have mixed roots feel 'NOT ALONE' in being uncomfortable in our hair and our hair journey, specially w/in Dominican culture --- which btw, its not so much about "European influence" but more about the influence passed down from the Trujillo (dictator in the 40s) who tough our nation (mostly now our grandparents) that looking a certain way was the only way to live... and that was then passed to our parents, and us.... Truth is the Dominican mentality IS changing, but the 'Trujillo Era' only lost power in the 60's and that mentality dictated a lot of the Dominican culture till this very day... of ignoring (NOT denying) African roots... BECAUSE we have always (since Trujillo) saw/see ourselves as neither African nor European... WE SEE OURSELVES AS DOMINICAN: think of Filipinos, who are a mix of Spanish and asian descent for reference (or even Jews, who are of mixed backgrounds & diverse places but see each other as one nation). ANYWAY, in Val's case we don't know what her fathers or mother's dominant descent is or even her grandparents; just because she is of lighter skin doesn't make her less afro-latina..... If you look at me, i'm of a darker caramel tone complexion, where as my brother DNA wise (yes, we did ancestry) is just like me in our ethnic breakdown... BUT he 3-4 SHADES LIGHTER THEN I AM... that doesn't mean he is less afro-latino than I am. People of skin, color doesn't dictate who you identify with or not even you DNA... let's stop that and instead celebrate each other and the journey we are all on.
Eustacia Mccammon
Eustacia Mccammon 14 kun oldin
Wow she is beautiful and I love her hair 😍 beautiful curls!!!
LittleDogTobi 19 kun oldin
People questioning her identity as an Afro-Latina: race isn't a biological designation lol. You can be a mulata or india in the DR and be black in the states, because of the latter's unique history of hypodescent. Different cultures will racialize someone differently and cultural upbrining will inform a subject's racial identity. It's not rocket science. At least not to this Dominican.
Lysets vokter
Lysets vokter 22 kun oldin
She is gorgeous.. But that hairstyle is awful and outdated.. Hate all the hairstylists who can only put a bowl on us..
Antonio Lopez
Antonio Lopez 24 kun oldin
thats way too much work natural is best but a blow o ut every now and then is fabulous for an event
Jai Arias
Jai Arias 26 kun oldin
I’m Puerto Rican and Dominican. My hair used to be blow dried and straightened all the time. My wela always said “ tu ves como in loca”.In all my years of school until now I also had my hair blow dried. It was very damaged and my curls were limp. Now I’m in college and I wear my natural hair all the time. It feels nice to wear my hair how I want it and to embrace my curls. Sometimes it is difficult to manage but it’s something I’ve come to really love. Can completely relate to this experience!
grasmere64 26 kun oldin
Hotter than fire.
Deborah L
Deborah L 27 kun oldin
...so she’s Latina
Eman Abdul Gafoor
Eman Abdul Gafoor 28 kun oldin
I used to be skinny as a teen but just as i became an adult i started gaining some weight and also my boobs became huge and so did my ass. So now when i have lost 5 kgs, ky boobs became smaller and also my ass. I am afraid to loose more weight, i am scared that my boobs are become tiny like that latino girl.
Yellow Cactus
Yellow Cactus 29 kun oldin
Not gonna lie I miss going to the Dominicans to get a blow out
Izzy Roberts
Izzy Roberts 29 kun oldin
she looks like a dominican bella thorne
Gabby R
Gabby R Oy oldin
I really like her afro hair better
Ray Lan
Ray Lan Oy oldin
is it just me or its just a normal blow out ??
She’s so gorgeous! Curly or straight she’s gorgeous .
She’s as black as I am white. And that’s that. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
飯ごはん Oy oldin
Idk y but I think her curly hair looks better
Jessica L
Jessica L Oy oldin
Both hair style is looking good, but prefer hair straightening. Looks better on her
The lazy Lizard
I liked the curls so much better than the blowout. She reminds me of Jennifer Lopez in her I'm Glad videoclip. So sexy and fresh and exotic those curls!!!
Leny Kong
Leny Kong Oy oldin
So pretty!
India Hyndman
India Hyndman Oy oldin
Damn she is HOT😍🤩
Aradhana Majumder
She’s gorgeous.. and in those curls she’s a bomb 😍
Fiona O'Keefe
Fiona O'Keefe 2 oy oldin
First off, Val was not born with curly hair! Her mother knows what kind of hair her daughter had and she has hair just like her mother, bone straight! Her hair actually looks a lot healthier and thicker straight with a slight wave than that pretend curl she was saying was her own “natural” hair! Secondly, I don’t know about her embracing her African roots, people in general choose to define themselves based on what suits them! You know in the end it’s about self acceptance and about knowing that not being born white is OK, a person doesn’t have to be or look white in order to be beautiful or attractive! It appears that other cultures have a hard time accepting themselves for who they are and where they come from...and you know there’s this whole white achievement thing going around that I honestly never understood! I don’t get the whole, I want to look white even though I’m not “white” it’s really funny to me....just kinda silly and narrow minded to me! It’s like why🤷🏻‍♀️
Summer Blue
Summer Blue 2 oy oldin
Wow this screams my Dominican family
Ana elizaveth
Ana elizaveth 2 oy oldin
Yessss as a Dominican I agree with a lot of what is said in this video and comment section. I can say I am FINALLY loving my natural hair and regret that I didn't appreciate it earlier. However, I have yet to visit a hair salon (here in the states) since moving 12+ years ago (I don't trust anyone but my mom with my hair lol). But I hop into a salon as soon as I get off the plane in the DR😂❤🇩🇴
Tessy Koshy
Tessy Koshy 2 oy oldin
so she got a blowout and washed it out in the same day? both look good too.
Faduma Warsame
Faduma Warsame 2 oy oldin
For all the people fighting the comments Afro Latina means you are of African descent and have Hispanic heritage
Ruby Gabriel
Ruby Gabriel 2 oy oldin
Okay but she’s one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen
Khristine Abigail Avelino
Brooke B
Brooke B 2 oy oldin
Curly hair is magical af
Earl Cage
Earl Cage 2 oy oldin
Guess where the oldest female bones were found? In Africa! It saddens me when l hear these stories of people trying to hide their Blackness! Beauty comes in all shades and sizes. How boring life would be if everyone looked the same. It's sad when people are brainwashed to hate themselves. Stop falling for the Willie Lynch syndrome.
Chandana Anup
Chandana Anup 2 oy oldin
She looks like Bella Thorne! But with dark curly hair ! Such a beautiful girl , and she wears those curls so well 😍
lexi 707
lexi 707 2 oy oldin
Gorgeous either way 💯😍