The Dominicans: Growing Your Hair One Garlic Treatment at a Time

There's a growing phenomenon in this country and it's all centered around beauticians that hail from the Dominican Republic. I found myself on this site and before I knew it I was reading all the comments. It seemed that people were having a debate.

American Black Hair Stylist -VS- Dominican Hairstylist.

At first the Dominicans were winning then a few American black hairstylist showed up and they begin to win, then more women sided with the Dominicans and it just kept going back and forth.

Before I give my opinion on the whole thing let's just state this:

1. Many if not all women from the Dominican Republic have african heritage and many of them would be and are technically considered black. Though I hear that "indian" is what blacks are called in the Dominican Republic... long story short like most countries blacks were taught to hate themselves, hate curly hair, hate dark skin... and in this country in particular they began to just call Dominicans of a darker hue "Indian"... quick history lesson, but I digress. I just say all that to say when black Americans want to discredit black women who for patronizing their Dominican hairstylist and call them "sell-outs" you're horribly wrong. They are actually supporting black women... so get off your high horses.

I have heard about this phenomenon many times, first from friends in Atlanta, then when I visited to New York. People would always say, "I'm going to go to the Dominicans", and they would say it in a tone that made it sound like gossip... very interesting. I have never gone to a Dominican Salon before, but after the high praise I hear about them, I think I may (just maybe)

famed actress, Zoe Saldana is of Dominican descent

This is what seems to be going on, Dominican women are:

1. able to grow American black hair at a consistent and speedy rate
2. they have great prices, usually half your average american black salon
3. they have great service- they're polite
4. they are speedy- no waiting around for hours upon end.

This is looking pretty good to me, and the fact that women are SWEARING by them makes me believe the hype. I've read stories of women who have gone to atleast 10 different hairstylist in their life, then around the age of 40 they go to a Dominican and they have the best service and BEST HAIR they've had in their entire lifetime. I mean c'mon, that's pretty special right. (But I've also heard the COMPLETE opposite).

I just feel like to each it's on, if you want to go to those salons- GO and try it firsthand, and don't be fearful of not supporting your own because you are. I'm telling you black people need to stick together worldwide, but especially on this side of the globe- there are are blacks all throughout South America and Latin America and the Caribbean and we all struggled and still struggle the same way- so a black in Brazil is no different than one in The United States except that she speaks a different language.

And If you want to only patronize American black salons that is fine as well. But I feel like we should all just learn from each other and try to just run the best businesses that we can. And don't be fearful about helping a "dominican" business rise because most likely, when they succeed they'll get categorized as "black" anyway.

Here's a view interesting comments from the unofficial dominican vs american blacks debate:

From: Arielle
For those of you that need a salon and practically an architect for your hair I say cool, do you. for those of us who have "straight hair", try this-- limit how often you get a relaxer this may not be feasible for some, but one of my best friends only gets relaxers 3 times a year. she washes and blows it dry herself, other times she goes to the dominicans. She also eats cucumber like its going out of style. Her hair is thick and beautiful. And all of the dominicans I go to do not "mix up" some crap in the back room-- they use brand name relaxers on my head.Motions, Optimum, etc. The only thing that they may mix up is that garlic treatment, which smells pretty damn good if your're hungry. In Brooklyn, I pay 30$ for a relaxer Mon - Wed, 10$ for a wash and set tose days too. The rest of the week is 12$ for a wash and set,35-40$ for a touch Up. 5$ for a deep or leave in conditioner. Browse the beauty supply stores and get your own stuff. Before I go to get my hair done,whether I get a relaxer or wash& set, I put conditioner on my hair the day before, this works well if Im also low on cash and I can save that 5$ -10 $ on that deep condition. Get the avocado or garlic conditioner from the beauty supply stores. If they dont have it in your beauty supply stores if you ever visit NYC check out ours, especially down town bklyn or the hood-- crown heights, bed-stuy,etc. And also, your hair gets blown to death when YOU request it. Some times you can find the good conditioners even in the 99 cent store. I ain't lyin!! (LOL) when black hair stylists stop putting a freakin bucket of setting lotion on my hair and stop charging a arm and a ass, then maybe Ill go back to them. But until then,I will remain loyal to my Dominican sisters. Lets all join hands and sing the Dominican national anthem, shall we? (LOL LOL)

From: Tanisha
Since I've been going to Dominican salon my hair is growing like grass. In the two years I've been going my hair is down past my bra strap from a very short haircut. I get it deep condition once month and get a dubie twice a month. I get my hair relax every eight weeks. I have nothing but good things to say about Dominican Hair stylist. Plus their prices are much cheaper than a Black owned salon and I don't have to wait all day to get my hair done while the operators are running their mouths about nothing.

From: Alice
I am a 55 years old black female women who have had too many hair stylist. I recently left yet another black hair salon, who only interest is to continue to put a bandaid on the problems that I am having with my hair by weaving. My hair has been falling out in the front for a couple of years. I went to a dermatologist to see what the problem was but none of the test gave any conclusion to my problems. Our hair stylist are clueless as to how to help you in this situation. Their only answer is to braid or weave your hair,they seem only interested in the money being made and not the person. This has been a very difficult situation for me a womens hair is her crown and glory. I met a dominican hair stylist at the clinic where I work. After seeing me she told me about a product that she uses and brought the product to my office. She asked me to come to her salon she felt that she can grow my hair back. My hair is growing. I notice that all the women in the salon hair is very health looking. I have never seen hair that look like that at the black hair salons. The prices at the black salons are too high, and the service is poor. I agree that they keep you waiting too long, they are rude and have bad attitudes. I have not met a one that goes for continue education class for their craft. I will continue to go too the domincan salon for the great hair care and prices. These prices allows me to go for the weekly treatments that I badly need. The only problem with the domincan salons are many of them cannot speak english very well which sometimes can be a problem.

From: Mary
As for the dominican stylists, yes personally i like that look however too much heat will damage the hair over time. I have seen temporary alopecia on someone from the results of visiting the dominican salons.

From: Rod Horton

To start off... I'm a black hairstylist in NYC. I started my career in the south, GA. I can only speak from my experience in dealing with clients. When I worked in ATL... women were very serious about their hair and hair care. I found it to be a challenging when moving to New York working in black hair care. I notice in black women that would come to me alot of breakage around the hairline and strands of hair that looked damaged. After asking them the history of their hair and finding out they frequent the Dominican Salons, it led me to believe through the process of over "frying" the hair with the blowout and roundbrushing...the hair shafts were being stripped of it's layers and breaking. Most clients don't understand the make up of hair. The cuticle layer of the hair becomes damaged with the strong heat that is used in their process which causes the hair to then split. If you pay close attention to clients that frequent those types of salon...the hair tends to be very thin on the ends. Though it's long... it's not that healthy. Dominican salons could work for some but it's not for ALL! Know your hair and choose wisely on what works best for your haircare.
To add... not every black stylist keep clients waiting. My clients are taken on time at their giving appointment and out within 45 to 60min for a quick wash&style.

From: Portia
I don't know about the not being licensed part - BUT I can definitely believe it! Just as I can believe that their products are homemade and re-mixed (in fact one blogger (who was dominican herself) just told us that they have been making their own perm before Revlon even existed (let's ask ourselves what's in it)...

I went to a Dominican salon in Marietta, GA and I can AGREE that in the beginning the results were AMAZING... I went in with all natural below the shoulder hair- that took me 3 years to grow out after cutting my permed hair off and wearing a short natural. The purpose of me going natural was to have FULL hair and to be able to wash and wear in a beautiful natural style AND to be able to press from time to time for a straight look. 2-4 months later my natural hair was a WICKED MESS!!!!! I didn't realize it until I tried to wash it myself and NO CURLS would come back!!!!! It was LIMP and did not do a thing!!!!! I had about 4 stylists try to assess what caused my damage - no one can figure it out- some say they SNUCK a perm in my hair (people say they have liquid perms in the "deep conditioners" to straighten the hair without sitting you in the "perm chair" so that you are still thinking that our hair is natural)... others say its from the EXTREME heat + bristel round brush that the use. All I know is that I am PISSED- that was 3 years of hard work and MANY bad hair days gone to waste!

I have heard other Atlanta women talk about haw much damage their hair has suffered after being with the Dominicans after a couple of months. A girlfriend in NY never has complained about the Dominicans (maybe they are better up there, or maybe since she had a perm, she doesn't notice the damage... I don't know...)

What I do know is that I will NEVER go to a Dominican salon again! I will seek out a stylist who values my time, has reasonable fees and knows haw to do natural hair the HEALTHY way so that the natural curl STAYS for those wash and wear days!!!!!

From: Kacie


My Conclusion: The dominican hair salons work great for some women and very very bad for others... so you should really think about it when deciding to try one of their salons...

So what do you think about Dominican Salons? What are your experiences? Please share?


  1. I am the product of a white mother and a Dominican Republic father basically I am african american.Anyway Dominican Republicans do have a healthier way of taking care of african american hair in my opinion but it's all in the way you care for your hair anyway and too much heat on any hair is bad. My hair grows out very thick and long and not thin on the ends but it has also been damaged before and thin on the ends so what is that guys point. Anybody can grow their hair out hopefully after it has been damaged that doesn't mean that their hair didn't grow back out long and thick.

  2. the blow out seems to be the worst decision. alot of people from up north are used to "the dominicans" but it seems like the people who get the blow outs done always have the thinnest hair. they think they really have it good because it's shoulder length or longer but their hair is damn near translucent. if you just get the doobie wrap and brush it out it has body and bounce and you don't have to worry about your roots punishing you for the screaming heat they put on it.

  3. I just went to a Dominican Salon for the first time a few weeks ago. I'm in the process of growing out my perm so it may not have been the best idea for me... Anyway the results were amazing! I loved how my hair felt and looked but was concerned about the extreme heat. My friend that recommended the place is completely natural and after getting her hair done the same day she had really nice results except her curls didn't revert back when she later washed it! I was frightened myself, but fortunately my hair returned to it's previous state after washing. I'm not sure if the fact that I oiled my scalp after leaving the salon had this effect, but I think it's the case. (My friend didn't put anything else in her hair when she left...)

    Bottom Line: If you think you can take the heat, do it!

  4. I used to go to Dominican salons when my hair was permed and it worked out just fine...I had ultra straight hair, the style was affordable, and the service was quick.

    I've been natural for 2 years, doing my hair myself, but recently decided to give a Dominican salon a try for a straight look I wanted for an event. Big mistake: the texture of my hair changed! My curls were almost nonexistent after undergoing such intense heat. I basically had to start all over again with my natural journey.
    On top of that: they were very hesistant to do my hair in the first place and immediately suggested a perm. They constantly went back and forth between themselves on how my stylist should just put a little perm in (I speak Spanish pretty well so I was not fooled.) AND they charged an extra $30 because of my "dificil" natural style.

    My take on it: the Dominican method of haircare works for black women when you are getting constant relaxers but for those with a sir. The amount of heat and style of brush just don't sit well for those with very tight curly "nappy" Afro-hair.

  5. First Anonymous...

    If your mother is white and father is dominican you are NOT African-American... you are mixed. You are Dominican American.