Monique Rodriguez Of Mielle Organics On How Identifying Your Hair Love Language Is A Radical Act of Self-Care


Monique Rodriguez, CEO and founder of award-winning textured hair care brand Mielle Organics, is one of the most in-demand natural hair care companies and a dominating force within the billion-dollar hair industry. The wife, mother, and beauty boss credits much of her success to taking calculated risks versus playing it safe. She says, “Being comfortable and playing it safe will produce mediocre results. When you take calculated risks, you’re betting on yourself.”

Stemming from a passion project to building a multi-million dollar empire and having nearly a decade in the game, the global entrepreneur’s philosophy that the “risk is worth the reward” has proven vital throughout her career.

“The journey to success includes a lot of failures. You have to have the mindset of knowing that you’re going to try something and will likely fail. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but that’s part of the risk-taking,” Rodriguez exclusively told xoNecole.

But more importantly, her undeniable desire to level the playing field by helping to encourage, uplift, and educate women on how to fall in love with their natural curls and learn their specific hair type needs is a concept that has allowed her company to thrive in the marketplace by intimately connecting with consumers.

Monique Rodriguez

Photo courtesy of Monique Rodriguez

It’s no secret that for many women of color, our curls and coils have taken on an intricate self-discovery journey through self-love, for some, self-hatred, and for others, self-awareness. This sentiment is shared even among natural hair care crusaders like Rodriguez.

“I would describe my relationship with my hair over the years as a love-hate relationship. When I was younger, I really didn’t embrace my hair. I didn’t like the fact that my hair was super curly. I couldn’t find ways to manage or style it, and I became very frustrated.”

But learning to properly love and tend to individualized hair care needs extends far beyond the surface. It is a radical act of self-care. Women’s (and men’s) hair and identity of African descent have been closely interconnected for centuries, another reason she has made it her mission to empower the next generation, specifically her daughters, with the confidence to embrace their natural curls.

“When I was younger, I didn’t see examples of women that looked like me, whether on the red carpet, on TV, or on a movie screen, embracing natural curls. Now, my girls have the opportunity to see more women of influence rocking their natural curls on the big screens because that really influences and pushes our culture forward.”

So, how does Rodriguez suggest building a healthy relationship with one’s hair? “Number one, embrace the uniqueness of your hair, and number two, do not compare your hair journey to someone else’s. Just like our DNA and our fingerprints, no fingerprint or DNA is exactly the same. The first step in learning to love your hair is to be patient.”

She further emphasized, “Even though we see different curl patterns and we see different women on TV, on social media with curls and we say, ‘I want my hair to look like that.’ It’s great to use it as inspiration but not get your head set on it. You have to think about what’s healthy for you and your body and what representation you want to give your kids and your community.”

This is why her vision for Mielle is built on being more than a beauty brand but a purpose-driven company with the mission to lift as you climb, evidenced by her recent HBCU partnerships with Howard University’s swim team and Florida A&M’s (FAMU) cheerleading squad.

“Our goal is to bridge the gap between sports and beauty. We know that one of the huge barriers with women athletes, and especially with swimming, is that I can probably swim, but I don’t want to get my hair messed up. I want to ensure that these women on these teams have access to quality products, so they don’t have to worry about their hair.”

Monique Rodriguez Photo courtesy of Monique Rodriguez

With ongoing TikTok trends for various textured hair and other viral social media hacks, the Psychology of hair is a universal conversation. Several studies suggest that it can drastically affect our crowning glory mentally, emotionally, and physically, contributing to the types of extracurricular activities we involve ourselves with to how we look, feel, and view ourselves. A belief Rodriguez agrees with.

“I always style my hair according to my mood. However I style my hair, it can uplift my mood, and that’s the goal behind Mielle: it’s a movement to empower and excite women, men, and the whole family about healthy hair. I strongly believe that when you look good, you feel good and feel very confident and can go out and conquer the world.”

For Rodriguez, her go-to styles that ignite her confidence to step out into the world and own any room she walks in are rotated between “a wash and go, a bun, or I’ll straighten my hair.” With time, patience, and gentleness, the mompreneur has learned that her hair love language is quality time.

However, even for the self-proclaimed Queen of Hair, discovering her unique hair love language through the years has not been easy. So whether you are just starting your hair care journey, overwhelmed with figuring out what works best, or don’t know where to start, she urges you to “give yourself grace.”

Establishing a healthy relationship with your “natural hair takes time. It is not going to happen overnight.” It is more than skin-deep; it is deep-seated and is also a reflection of developing a healthy relationship with oneself because the two are closely linked.

This is where Mielle Organics steps in as not just a beauty brand but a movement to close the gap—armed with not only products but also the support, community, and resources to pass the crown from “One Queen To Another” to have the freedom to rock your natural curls with confidence, style, and ease. It is liberation, and it is your symbol of your personal identity.

Feature image courtesy of Monique Rodriguez

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