I wash my hair once a week, usually on Sundays right before I start my work week. The process starts with three shampoos (dandruff, and two rounds of moisturizing shampoo) in the shower followed by deep conditioning (cholesterol, plastic bag and all). After this, I roll my hair on big rollers and then I sit under a hooded dryer for an hour or two. When it dries, I remove the rollers and wrap my hair and then cover it with a silk scarf until the next morning. It tends to be a long process and whenever laziness set in, I go to a salon or to one of the area hair dressing schools (can’t beat $10). However, a trip to the black salon usually means that 4 to 5 of my precious weekend hours are tied up (most of it spent waiting) for service and I’ve never been happy with the results from any of the schools.
Sometime last year, I ended up at a Dominican salon for what I thought was a one time, walk in, get my hair wash and be out type experience. I wasn’t looking for any specific results, I just really wanted my hair washed and decided that I would just spring the $30 to do so. I was shocked (in a good way at the results). It seems that a brush and a really hot blow dryer does wonders for black hair when you are in between relaxers. My hair was bouncy, healthy looking and did not require a cabinet of hair products.
Although I was pleased with the results, I went back to my regular salon for my regular scheduled 8 week relaxer and I was shocked at the results (not in a good way). It certainly looked nice, but even if hurricane force winds were blowing through my hair, it would just sit there like a helmet because of all of the products and grease that my then regular hair stylist used to finish my hair. I wasn’t at all happy with it, so back to the Dominican salon I went and I’ve been going to a Dominican salon since then.
It’s almost been a year and I am pretty happy with my hair. The entire process (including waiting) takes about 2 hours. No appointments needed either, I go when I am free. I highly recommend that you try a Dominican salon, but before you go there are some things you should know.
1)The blow dryers are really hot. I cringe whenever she gets to the sensitive areas of my scalp.
2) You can bring your own hair products (I don’t know if this is true of all Dominican salons).
3) Not everybody speaks English, and the tv, magazines and music are usually all in spanish.
4) I don’t know if it’s in the wrist flick, brush, Racioppi products or what, but I’ve tried to do the Dominican blowout at home and it does not look the same.
5) If you are black and you have short and/or fine hair I wouldn’t recommend that you go. I can guarantee you that you are not going to be happy with the result. I started going when my hair was cut in a short bob as seen here.
6) If you are black and you have and love your curly hair, I would not recommend that you go. The curl may not revert, especially if you ask them to flat iron your hair in addition to the blow-out.
7) I relax my hair every 3 months now. My hair tends to be more bouncy and fuller looking when it has a lot of natural growth.
8) Although Dominican stylists apparently specialize in curly hair, their method works just as great on straight hair.
9) I observed for months before I allowed my Dominican stylists to relax, trim and color my hair.
10) I wouldn’t do this too often. It’s a lot of heat on your hair. I forgot to mention that you have to sit under a dryer with rollers and then they blow-out the curls with the hot blow dryer after. I used to go every week but I try to go every 2 weeks. I wash my hair by myself in between my visits.
Photo credit: Ossie took these pictures