photo: Marissa Pena, Vivala

Let's face it: The Spanish language is not spoken the same everywhere. In fact, there are quite a few words that are exclusive to certain countries in Latin America, so things can get a little confusing from time to time. Take for instance, the term “curly hair” for Dominican, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans (a.k.a caribeños) translates to “rizos.” But for our Mexican friends, it translates to “chinos” and for Colombians it’s “pelo crespo.” 

With Hispanic Heritage Month among us, we thought about some other beauty terms out there and the different ways they are translated throughout Latin America. Check out the some of these regional variations and let us know how your country translates these words, too.

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English phrase: Curly hair

Most: Rizos

Colombia: Pelo crespo, Gajos

Costa Rica: Colochos

Mexico: Chinos, Roles, Maranta

Peru: Pelo Rizado

Puerto Rico: Maranta

Venezuela: Rulos


English phrase: Wavy hair

Most: Pelo odulado or Ondas

Mexico: Quebrado

Puerto Rico: Pelo ondulado


English phrase: Long hair

Most: Pelo largo

Costa Rica: Pelazo

Dominican Republic: Melena

Venezuela: Virgen de pueblo


English phrase: Bangs

Most: Pollina

Colombia: Capul, La china

Costa Rica: Pava

Mexico: Tupe, Fleco

Peru: Cerquillo


English phrase: Lipstick

Most: Pintalabios

Colombia: Labial

Venezuela: Pintura de boca


English phrase: Ponytail

Most: Colita

Dominican Republic: Cola

Puerto Rico: Moñito

Venezuela: Cola de caballo


English Phrase: Bun

Most: Colita

Colombia, Venezuela: Moño

Mexico: Cebollita, chongo

Puerto Rico: Dona


English Phrase: Beautiful

Most: Bonita, bella

Mexico: Guapa, Hermosa

Puerto Rico: Jeva

Venezuela: Linda


English Phrase: Straight hair

Most: Pelo lacio

Colombia; Venezuela: Pelo liso

Costa Rica: Chuzo

Puerto Rico: Pelo muerto


English phrase: Thick hair

Most: Pelo grueso, Pelo grifo

Colombia: Pelo coposo

Dominican Republic: Pelo gruezo


English Phrase: Braid

Most: Trenza

Venezuela: Clineja


English Phrase: Nail Polish

Most: Pintura de uñas

Colombia, Peru: Esmalte

Costa Rica: Varniz

Dominican Republic: Cuté

Puerto Rico: Pintauñas


English Phrase: Booty

Most: Nalgas, Culo

Colombia: Rabo, Trasero

Mexico: Pompis

Peru: Poto

Puerto Rico: Fundillo

Venezuela: Culazo


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