Are Dominican Hair Salons Good for Black Hair? Do They Damage Your Hair?

African American woman with a Dominican hair texture wearing an orange t-shirt

Dominican hair salons are known for the famous Dominican Blowout, which can take the curliest, kinkiest, coarsest hair and turn it into silky straight tresses.

You may have heard one of your friends or family members rave about their favorite Dominican hair salon.

But many African American women can’t help but wonder if these salons are good for their hair. In this article, we’ll examine Dominican hair salons and their hairstyling practices. Then, we’ll let you know plainly whether these salons are good for Black hair. 

Important: We’d like to preface this article by letting you know that not all Dominican hair salons can be grouped together. 

While many Dominican hair salons operate similarly, not all of them do. So, the views expressed in this article do not apply to every single Dominican hair salon – rather, the majority of them. 

Are Dominican Hair Salons Good for Black Hair?

The average Dominican salon can be tough on black hair because many Dominican hair salons tend to place more emphasis on hair beauty than hair health. And this is unfortunate because, when it comes to black hair, hair health is paramount. If you don’t take care of your curls, they will become dry, brittle, and fall out.  

The Ever-Popular Dominican Blowout

African American girl with kinky textured hair enjoying her African roots

While Dominican hair salons are known for straightening your hair without using chemicals, this doesn’t mean that their services are damage-free.

The most common style that Black women ask for when they go to a Dominican hair salon is a Dominican blowout. A Dominican blowout is a hair straightening technique that was pioneered by the Dominicans.

To understand why Dominican blowouts are bad for Black hair, let’s look at the steps involved: 

  1. First, the hair is deeply cleansed with a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup, debris, or oils. 
  2. The hair is then conditioned with a Dominican conditioner. This conditioner has smoothers in it to make the hair more manageable during the straightening process
  3. After the hair has been conditioned, the hair is wrapped around large rollers to stretch it out. You’ll sit under a heated dryer for an hour or so to allow your hair to dry.
  4. After your hair is dry, the stylist will blow dry it until it’s almost entirely straight. For this step, they use a round brush. 
  5. Once your hair is blow-dried almost completely straight, some Dominican stylists will flat iron your hair until it is silky and smooth. This step is reserved for people with super kinky hair. It’s necessary to get this hair type silky straight. 
  6. Then your hair is wrapped around your head to make it even smoother. 

In the following sections, we will break down precisely what’s wrong with this process and why you should not go to a Dominican Salon to get your hair done.

Dominican Salons Often Use Excessive Heat

Black girl from the Dominican Republic smiling inside a New York City building

The Dominican blowout requires your stylist to apply heat on your hair three different times.

Once when you’re put under the dryer with rollers, again when you’re getting your hair blow-dried straight, and one more time when you’re getting your hair flat ironed. 

That is way too much heat for anyone with curly hair. If you have fine or color-treated hair, you may experience damage after your first Dominican blowout. 

If you have thick, coarse strands, you may not experience damage immediately. However, the damage could sneak up on you down the line.

Worse yet, Dominican hair salons are known for using their heat tools at their highest heat setting.

This is presumably because they want to get your hair as straight as possible during your salon visit. The smoke and burnt hair smell that some notice in Dominican hair salons are products of damaged hair.  

As a woman with black hair, you should stay far away from any place where excessive heat is used. 

No More Curls

Applying excessive heat to your hair could quickly cause you to lose your curl pattern. If you want to keep your curls intact, we advise you to stay away from Dominican hair salons.

With the amount of heat usually applied at these salons, your curls may not survive for long. Even if you only plan to get a Dominican blowout once, that one time could cost you your curls. 

Sneaking in Relaxers

Black lady wearing a t-shirt and black necklace with a relaxer treatment

Virtually every salon will try to service as many clients as they can in one day – more clients equals more money. But the problem comes in when Dominican salons use underhanded tactics to save time.

There have been horror stories where Dominican stylists sneak in some relaxer while shampooing clients’ hair to make it more manageable and speed up the Dominican blowout process.

This is unacceptable and can leave you with hair dryness, damage, and an altered curl pattern.  

We’d like to reiterate that we are not insinuating that all Dominican salons rush through their clients or sneak in relaxers. However, relaxing clients’ hair unknowingly has been tied to Dominican hair salons. 

Rough Handling

Cute female with a Dominican blow-out hairstyle and a big smile

Dominican hairstylists are sometimes quick to a fault. Clients often complain that their Dominican stylist was rough with their hair and seemed like they were rushing.

When stylists speed through the round brush blow-drying process, this can cause damage to the hair and the scalp. It can create superficial cuts on the scalp and even lead to hair loss

Unsurprisingly, rough handling also leads to pain for the client. The blow-drying process is especially painful for clients who have thick, coarse hair. And, partly due to the rough handling, many Dominican hair salon clients experience thinning hair and hair loss shortly after they begin going to these salons.

Language Barrier

Another issue that’s unavoidable when going to a Dominican Salon is the language barrier. Some Dominican women are not fluent in English.

Whenever that’s the case, your stylist may not be able to understand or provide what you need. When you go to any salon, communication is crucial, and you should choose a stylist who is fluent in your native tongue. 

Are Dominican Hair Salons Bad? 

Lady of African Ancestry with a big smile and popular Dominican culture hairstyle

It’s impossible to speculate as to whether all Dominican hair salons are bad. However, judging from the questionable Dominican blowout practices mentioned earlier, we infer that Dominican hair salons are not suitable for Black hair. 

Black hair needs special care and gentle handling without relaxers and excessive heat. Judging by the actions of Dominican hair salons and the experiences of Black women, we recommend that you steer clear of Dominican hair salons. 

Some hair types can’t handle much heat at all, so anytime you apply heat to your hair, you could end up with thinning and breakage. 

Therefore, if you’re going to get your hair straightened, your best bet is to go to a natural hair salon and explain that you want the lowest effective amount of heat to be applied. 

There are tons of natural hair salons that will straighten your hair with minimal heat and the utmost care and consideration.

What Is a Dominican Hair Salon?

A Dominican hair salon specializes in hair care techniques and styles from the Dominican Republic, like the famous Dominican Blowout. These techniques are known for turning even the coarsest, kinkiest, curliest hair into voluminous, bouncy, soft tresses. Dominican hair salons have become popular due to their reputation for producing long-lasting and natural-looking results.

How Much Do You Tip at a Dominican Hair Salon?

The amount you tip is a matter of personal preference and can vary based on the cost and quality of the service. Generally, it’s common to tip 15-20% of the total cost as a way of expressing gratitude for a job well done. If you received exceptional service, a higher tip is always appreciated.

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Now you know exactly why Dominican hair salons and Black hair don’t mix. If you want to experiment with straight hair, be sure that your stylist knows just how fragile

Black hair can be and puts the health of your hair first. We hope that this article has answered all of your questions about Dominican hair salons and encourages you to seek out natural hair salons for your hair care needs.

We wish you the best with your natural hair and encourage you to always consider the health of your hair first. Good luck with your curls!

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