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You Should Try a Dominican Salon

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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

XoXo, Natasha



About Natasha Samuels

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  1. Soooo happy to read your story! I feel like recently more often than not, you hear the bad stories of Dominican hair salons: the bad customer service, the heat, the damage, the thinning, etc. I’ve been getting my hair done at a Dominican salon for YEARS (weekly) and my hair has never been healthier.

    • Hi Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by the blog and for leaving your comment. I am glad that you also had a great experience at Dominican salons. I was also going weekly last summer when my hair was half and half. (-:

  2. I am spoiled for having $15 treatments regardless of my length and thickness in NYC that I find it very hard to pay so much in Hartford $50 -$60. However, it feels like a wig after they are finished taking out all the kink. Plus, they used very good quality products – black conditioner from DR.

    • Well hello there Roz. $50-$60? Where? Actually, I do know that some of the salons charge extra to straighten natural hair. I pay $30 for my relaxed hair. It was still $30 when my hair was half and half. I actually thought I could get on without a relaxer but reverted after I went to a conference on a misty day. I don’t think I need to explain what happened. $15 is good, but at that price I expect that they make their money on volume. That mean’s they probably crank up the blow dryer to the highest setting. Roz, you are brave!

  3. my sister ventured into a Dominican hair salon in Houston and raved about the experience too. doesn’t look like i’ll be able to join in since i’m wearing my pixie ‘do. and i really want to rant about the excessively long waits at black salons, but i’m choosing not to.
    miss donna recently posted..personal style | take one, pass it onMy Profile

    • Please do rant!!! Black salons (even regular ones) charge so much money for their services. After paying so much I think the least people expect is that we don’t spend 6 hours..waiting. This actually happened to me. It was so bad that I actually had to call up someone to bring me food. About the short hair, maybe its just the particular salon that I go to. I am not sure that they understand that you need gel to help your hair lay flat.

  4. Yes I’ve been to one. This time last year actually when I went to Atlanta for a visit. Yes they make your hair really straight. Looks like they are only in the south. I go to a Korean salon in my neighborhood when I want my hair really straight.
    Beautystyleandgrowth recently posted..Black and TealMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your comment. Korean salon? Now that one is new. I am hoping that you can explain the process and the cost. The last time I went to a black salon I paid about $120 for a relaxer, trim and color. I paid $65 for the same service at the Dominican salon. I love the way my hair turns out at the Dominican salon, but I truly worried re the potential damage.