Due to its rising prominence on the natural hair scene, increasing numbers of curly girls are getting familiar with the Dominican blowout. The styling technique is by no means new, but many still have lots of questions about it.
To learn the basics about Dominican blowouts, the risks associated with getting one, and what you can expect, read on. We’ll address all of these topics and more in this article.
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What Is a Dominican Blowout?
The Dominican blowout is a hair straightening technique that originated in the Dominican Republic. It’s credited with making even the kinkiest natural hair silky straight, and bouncy.
It is usually done in a natural hair salon setting (or in Dominican Salons) and utilizes keratin to smooth out and strengthen curly hair. But one of the most significant characteristics of the Dominican blowout is the fact that it requires a substantial amount of heat to make the hair like silk.
The average professional Dominican blowout may last several weeks. Plan to sit in the chair for at least 3 hours and pay anywhere from $15 to $60 or more.
The Dominican Blowout Process
If you’re curious about what a Dominican blowout entails, this section is for you. Here’s how a typical Dominican blowout goes. Note: Not all stylists do Dominican blowouts exactly the same, so keep this in mind.
- Your stylist will deep cleanse your hair with a clarifying shampoo. This step is essential because it removes oils, debris, and buildup and prepares your hair for the rest of the process. The wash will leave your hair a bit dry, but the next step will fix that.
- The stylist will then apply a special conditioner to your hair. The thing that’s “special” about Dominican conditioners is that they are formulated with smoothers that help to alter the texture of the hair. These smoothers also increase the hair’s manageability and shave time off of the entire straightening process.
- The stylist will use rollers to stretch out your curls after the deep conditioning session. They’ll wrap small sections and then put you under a dryer for an hour or so until your hair is 100% dry.
- The stylist will use a round brush and blow dryer on high heat to get your hair super straight. The straighter your hair gets during this step, the fewer passes will be needed with the flat iron later. This step may produce smoke and take several minutes.
- The hair is straightened even further with a flat iron. This step is optional, but most do it.
- Your stylist will finish things up by wrapping your hair around your head in a circular motion. This step will smooth your hair even further.
The Dangers of Dominican Blowouts
Dominican blowouts have gotten both love and hate: most of the hate comes from the perceived dangers associated with them.
Though Dominican blowouts are highly effective, several dangers lurk within the process, and we’d like to highlight them here:
Heat damage is one of the most common dangers associated with Dominican blowouts. Throughout the straightening process, not only are you put under a heated dryer but your hair is blow-dried straight and then flat-ironed.
Depending on the heat levels of each of the heat tools, your natural curls could go into permanent hiding.
The extreme heat breaks the hair’s protein bonds and results in a loss of structure. That’s why many people notice that their curls are gone after getting a Dominican blowout.
Not every stylist has the health and continuity of your curls in mind during the styling process.
They neglect to use a heat protectant, do several passes with a hot flat iron, and blow-dry the hair on a high heat setting. All of these steps can do immediate damage to your curl pattern.
The average Dominican smoothing conditioner contains some questionable ingredients that can emit dangerous fumes when heat is applied.
Here are some of the ingredients found in smoothing products regularly used for Dominican blowouts:
- Formaldehyde (also known as formalin and formic aldehyde) – A gas that’s released during the Dominican blowout process that can irritate the mucous membranes. At substantial exposure levels, the gas can be fatal, causing death. This chemical is often emitted from keratin-based smoothing products.
- Methanol – Some Dominican blowout products also contain methanol, which can cause birth defects and system-wide symptoms, such as gastrointestinal problems, blindness, headaches, and more.
- Artificial fragrances – Artificial fragrances are used for many of our most fragrant beauty and hair products. Only the manufacturer knows what’s in them, though. Artificial fragrances often contain synthetic chemicals that can cause disruptions in the endocrine system and even cancer. Read this article to learn how make your hair smell good.
These are just a few of the chemicals found in the smoothing products that stylists use during Dominican blowouts.
For some, the existence of these ingredients/byproducts is enough to make them want to avoid a Dominican blowout.
Should You Get a Dominican Blowout?
If you’re wondering whether a Dominican blowout would be a good choice, this is the section for you. We’ll help you decide:
- Chemical exposure. If you have health issues or cringe at the thought of chemically treated hair, you may want to pass on Dominican blowouts entirely. Dominican blowouts and the products used are not regulated, and that’s why potentially harmful chemicals pop up in Dominican blowout products.
- The health of your hair. Dominican blowouts are often touted as a chemical-free straightening service. But stylists who do Dominican blowouts often fail to mention that the service can permanently alter your curls. So, if you like to wear your hair in a curly state, Dominican blowouts may not be the best choice for you.
- Your stylist. If you don’t know your stylist well, you should not let them do a Dominican blowout on you. In the past, stylists have been caught adding relaxer chemicals to their Dominican blowout conditioner without client consent. That’s why it’s not a good idea to have just anyone doing your Dominican blowout. But if you’ve known your stylist for a long time and can speak with them candidly about your hair’s health, you’ve got a much higher chance of success.
- The current state of your hair. The healthier your hair is, the better it’ll be able to withstand the heat demands of a Dominican blowout. And the reverse is also true. If your hair is already damaged, a Dominican blowout will make your hair issues even worse. If your hair is damaged and showing signs like split ends, dryness, or brittleness, you should probably save the heat styling for when your hair is in a healthier state.
All in all, if you want to preserve your hair’s health or avoid potentially harmful chemicals, a Dominican blowout is not a good idea.
Dominican Blowout vs. Silk Press
Dominican blowouts and silk presses are similar in that they both incorporate heat from a blow dryer and a flat iron to straighten tight curls.
But the difference between the two is that the silk press uses silk products that strengthen and smooth the hair. These products contain silk protein, which has not been shown to release harmful chemicals into the air or cause serious systemic side effects.
- How To Do a Silk Wrap on Natural Hair at Home
- Are Dominican Hair Salons Good for Black Hair?
- How To Keep Natural Hair Straight in Humid Weather
- How To Get Rid of Burnt Hair Smell After Straightening
However, just like with the Dominican blowout, a silk press done with too much heat or without a heat protectant can lead to permanent heat damage.
Now you know what a Dominican blowout is and what to expect should you get one done professionally. We hope that this article has been helpful to you, and we wish you the best with your hair!