THE DOMINICAN HAIR SALON EXPERIENCE
Tips before going to a Dominican hair salon
Dominican women grow their hair so long?
Copyright © 2008-2013 Aleida Morel, all rights reserved
“This Sunday, I was in the House of Beauty Store where I buy my Dominican Hair Products. They had a new sales
associate working there. I told her what I wanted to buy. She thought that
I had hair extensions because my hair is so bouncy. I told her no, it's my
hair and I showed her my scalp. I told her that I get my hair done at a
Dominican Salon and that it is always bouncy and now it is healthy. I
no longer have split ends. She was shocked.
“My hair is very healthy since I have been going to the Dominican
Salon, Lisflor and using their hair care products.
Maintenance is very important and the Silicon
Mix Brillo that I use is very good at keeping my hair looking healthy,
shiny and conditioned. It's not greasy at all. In hot weather, I use the
spray. In cold weather, I use the regular Brillo.
“I have had the most wonderful experience with the Dominican Salons.
My stylist won't even put dye in my hair because it is
healthy and she does not want to damage it. I use a color rinse. ”
—Margot Osorio, Philadelphia, February 2010
“When I lived in Atlanta, I frequented a Dominican Hair Salon every
two weeks and was very pleased with the results as my hair grew like weeds
and was thick and healthy. Now that I've moved to Alabama, there are no
Dominican Salons anywhere in sight! Since I've moved, my hair has never
looked as healthy or grown quite as fast/long as it did when I went to the
Dominicans.” —Nikki, Alabama.
“I loved my Dominican salon in DC. Going there every other week made
my hair healthier than its ever been. I did not have damaged hair until I
stopped going and came to the desert. I used to get a shampoo, deep
condition and rollerset. After that, they blew out my roots leaving my hair
silky and bouncy. For those who don't know much about Dominican salons,
techniques, and products... go to: http://www.aleida.net/salon-en.html”
—Dime, Iraq, 2009.
Aleida.net: Top Ten
hair products January-March 2013
(see previous quarters)
How do Dominicans know how to do hair so well?
Most Dominican women have textured hair (el pelo texturado), which
needs a lot of attention! And therefore almost every Dominicana goes to the
beauty parlor once or twice every week. The beauty parlor is called el
salón de belleza or la peluquería. In the Dominican Republic,
and wherever Dominicans live, the beauty parlor is a big part of our
culture. According to Dominican Times Magazine in 2007 there were
3,250 Dominican beauty salons in the New York metropolitan area!
That's a good thing because for our kind of hair, the Dominican hairdressers
(estilistas or peluqueras dominicanas) are simply the best.
For 500 years, they have been developing techniques of hair care based on
washing, drying, and brushing and on the natural
tropical products of our country like silk, avocado, coconut, and
cinnamon oils; maracuyá [chinola, passion fruit], rosemary, garlic, wheat
germ, and aloe (not to mention sole of shoe and snail slime!)
for keeping our hair beautiful even in the hottest and most
(Read more about Dominican hair-care
people come in all colors.
More and more North American women, especially African-American women, have
heard about Dominican salons and they want to go there too, because it is
really the same kind of hair – a mixture of European, Indigenous
American, and African, just like we are! Dominican salons don't like to use
hot irons or hot combs or strong chemicals for straightening, they have their
own special techniques that are more gentle for your hair. For example,
because I go to Dominican salons, I never need to have my hair
straightened with chemicals or hot combs!
women use big rollers!
If you search in Google for "dominican
hair salon" or "dominican
beauty parlor" you will find a lot of American women who are so happy
now that their hair is finally
healthy, growing, strong, and full of shine,
thanks to a Dominican salon!
In the Dominican Republic, people often refer to
pelo malo (“bad hair”) and
pelo bueno (“good hair”). Sometimes Americans are upset
when they hear these terms, because it seems like people who are more Black
or African have “bad hair” and those who are more White or
Indian (indigenous) have “good hair”, and therefore it is bad to
be African. But a person's race is not so important in the Dominican
Republic as it is in the United States; it's just a feature, just part of
your look. Most Dominican families have people of all colors;
almost every Dominican is a mixture, and almost every Dominican
has textured hair. To us, “good hair” is hair that is
manageable, because we like to change our look,
and our hair style is a big part of our look. “Bad hair” is
simply harder to manage. But we do it anyway! That's just one reason
Dominican women spend so much time in the salon. Of course some Dominican
women like to have natural hair too — a puffy Afro, dreadlocks,
cornrows, and other styles — but don't kid yourself, that takes work too!
Everybody can go – Black women, White women, and everybody in between;
Asian women, Indian women (both kinds!)... Every Dominican salon will want
your business and will be glad to serve you, no matter who you are or what
your hair is like, or whether you speak Spanish or you don't. But since
Dominican salons specialize in textured hair, and especially textured hair
that is overprocessed or damaged, they are especially popular among African
American women, as you can see if you search
Google search on this topic!
I get a lot of questions from Black women about whether they should go to a
Dominican salon, or use Dominican hair products.
The answer is Yes and Yes! Most people in the Dominican Republic –
about 85% of us – are Black or part Black, mixed mainly with European
Spanish and Indigenous Taíno people. Most of us have the same kinds of hair as
African Americans (such as 3b, 4a, 4b, etc, in the Andre Walker
system), so Dominican hair care techniques and products are just as good
for African American women as they are for Dominicanas.
The only thing to be aware of is that Dominican women like their hair to be
long, and some Dominican salons don't know what to do with short hair.
Also, most Dominican salons don't know a lot about styles that aren't
Dominican; for example, corn rows. But you never know. Just ask first!
(See my hair and makeup gallery to see typical Dominican
When you go to a Dominican Salon like Yani
Vanet in New York, plan to spend a good part of the day. It's first
come first serve (orden de llegada), no appointments (citas).
On the busy days – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or any day before a
holiday – you can wait 2, 3, even 4 hours for your turn. But don't
let that stop you, it's fun! A Dominican salon is a very special place for
women to gather and “let their hair down”. You will make a lot
of friends there! Dominican music – Merengue, Bachata, Reggaetón – is playing, everybody is
talking and laughing... and eating! If you have a long wait, you can go to
the restaurant and bring back a delicious Dominican
meal to enjoy (and share) while you wait; it's the
best food there is, and it tastes best in the beauty parlor!
Dominican round-brush technique
In the salon they use the Dominican or Italian or Spanish
hair products – shampoos, rinses, treatments, and conditioners –
that are the very best for our kind of hair, and also for brittle or damaged
hair (you can see some on the wall in the picture: Alter Ego, RR
Line, UNA...). Healthy hair is the first
priority of the Dominican stylist! She won't put anything in your hair, or
do anything to it, that is not going to make it more healthy.
If your stylist uses some product that does wonders for your
hair, be sure to ask her what it is so you can keep using it in case you move
away, or your salon does!
This is the "Dominican Blowout" that you have
heard so much about! We don't call it that, for us it's just the regular
lavado y secado (wash-and-dry or roller set).
What I describe here is how they do my hair in the salon once or twice every
week. It leaves my hair smooth, full, wavy, and bouncy, the way I like it,
without strong chemicals. Different types of hair and different styles have
different requirements and can take more or less time.
When your turn comes up (cuando te toque a ti), first you have a
shampoo (lavado), from a shampooer or from the stylist herself if she
is not too busy. The shampoo might begin with a hot oil treatment.
Then when the shampoo is rinsed out, you have 10 minutes in the dryer
(el secador) without rollers to warm up your head, and then you
have a wonderful scalp massage (un masaje) to stimulate the
roots (estimular las raíces), that might be done with some product
like a rinse
(un rinse). At this point your hair is still wet.
After the massage, a leave-in conditioner (un acondicionador para
dejar sobre el cabello) is applied and (if you need it) a special hair
treatment (tratamiento, suero, ampollas, gotas) from
Alter Ego or
RR Line or
And then they put in the curlers (los rolos). Big ones (los
grandes) if you have long hair, smaller ones (los chiquitos) if
you have short hair (el pelo corto) or you want your hair more curly
(rizado) or wavy (ondulado). We like to use BIG
rolos and the dryers are extra big so our heads will fit!
And then you sit under the big dryer (secador)
for an hour! While your hair is drying, you can sleep, or read, or eat, or talk on the cell phone, or chat
with the other women, or have a manicure or
pedicure, or all of those at the same time! THEN, when you come out of
the dryer, they take out the rollers, they spray your hair with a special
product for blow-drying like
Brushing Termo Activo or sometimes the
stylist's own mixture of water, leave-in, and treatment in a spray bottle.
Then they divide your hair into sections,
which they brush (cepillar, and sometimes they pull –
jalar – hard), and blow-dry (secar a mano) for half an
hour, using a big round brush (cepillo redondo) or other kind of
brush, depending on the length of your hair and style you want, and whether
you want it to fall inward (hacia adentro) or outward (hacia
afuera, “con flip”). And that's it!
For women who want their hair to hang perfectly straight without waves,
without using harsh chemicals or hot irons or combs, the Dominican stylists
have perfected a technique called the doobie or “wrap” or “dry wrap”
(envoltura), which is an additional step after the wash-and-dry, in
which your hair is brushed and wrapped tightly around hour head, held in
place with hairpins or clips and a head scarf, preferably silk. It's like
using your head for a curler! The longer you leave your hair wrapped, the
better it works, so normally we keep the wrap overnight – it's more
comfortable than sleeping in curlers, and less stressful for your hair and
scalp. You can re-wrap your hair every night before sleep to make that
salon look last! (You can't do this if your hair is too short.)
Of course the Dominican salons have a lot of other services too: trimming
the ends (cortar las puntas, I do that every 2 or 3 months), relaxing
or straightening (alisado), hair cutting (corte de pelo) and
styling (peinado), coloring
(tinte), streaks (mechas, rayitos), highlights (reflejos),
extensions (extensiones)... they like to work with you to create what
you want, as long as it is not something that will damage your hair. When
the stylist and the customer work together to create something new, they
both get excited!
For me, the basic Wash and Set is usually $18-20. If I have a hair
treatment (tratamiento capilar), it's another $5.00. If they need to
apply special oils (ampollas, these are very good for my hair!),
another $5.00. To trim the ends, also $5.00. To do the eyebrows
(cejas) is $6.00. Cutting and styling and coloring, of course, those
To save money, many customers buy the hair products they prefer directly
from the salon or from my website and bring them
each time they have their hair done, and that way the salon visit costs
Prices vary from
salon to salon, and can change from time to time, and also depend on your
type of hair and how long it is. But for now, at least, the Dominican salon
is a Great Bargain!
In the Dominican salons in the USA, they speak Spanish of course, but they
know the English hair terminology. If you know some Spanish, it will be
helpful, and for Spanish hair terms you can consult my ENGLISH-SPANISH HAIR SALON GLOSSARY. But anyway,
if you show them a picture of what you want in their sample book
(muestrario) or a magazine (revista), they will know how
to take care of you, and they will do a very good job because they want you
to come back again and again, and you will, and soon it will feel like
family. Communication comes naturally because for us women, hair is the
I started by recommending the salons where I have my own hair or nails
done in New York City and Connecticut, because I know personally
that they do a very good job and if you visit them, you will not be
disappointed (tell them
Aleida sent you!) But now you can see that I'm starting to
receive enthusiastic reviews from visitors to this page. If you would like
to send in a recommendation for a Dominican salon that you like, CLICK HERE.
Salons that I go to myself are marked with “***”.
Recommend a salon
(click for website if underlined)
|Address (click for map)
USA New York
|Martha's Unisex Salon ***
(As of October 2012, this one might have disappeared)
|2 Saint Nicholas Terrace
||Manhattan NY 10027
|B&N Condition Beauty Salon
East 120th Street
||Manhattan NY 10035
“I've been going to B&N for the past 20 years;
excellent hair care and friendly stylist. I was hooked
after I did a home perm and my hair fell out; my stylist,
Nancy, restored my hair and I've had long and luxurious
locks since. One visit and you too will be hooked!
Bielka is the owner; Bielka, Nancy, Miriam and Raquel are the stylists and
are all from from the Dominican Republic.”
—Helane L., NYC
|Kraile's House of
||117 Rockwood Street
||Bronx NY 10452
Specializing in extensions! See photos.
Located between Grand Concourse and Walton Avenue, one block north of East
|Yani Vanet Beauty Salon ***
||209 East 165th Street
||Bronx NY 10456
|Villa Unisex Beauty Salon ***
||Bronx NY 10468
|Melany's Unisex Beauty Salon ***
||1131 Sutter Avenue
||Brooklyn NY 11208
|Class “A” Unisex Dominican Stylist ***
||10-75 Cypress Avenue
||Ridgewood, Queens, NY 11385
Ask for Juana, tell her Aleida sent you! This salon
recently moved from 10-70 Cypress Avenue, which is
“catty-corner” (diagonally) across the intersection with
Summerfield Street. The new
location is the second door from the northeast corner of the
intersection. There is some confusion about
whether it is in Queens or Brooklyn, but since 1979, Ridgewood (and
Class “A” Unisex) is definitely in Queens.
Estilo Barbershop Unisex
||757 Suffolk Avenue
||Brentwood LI, NY, 11717
Recommended by Juliana F: “I congratulate these women whose
gifts and talent this world needs... Hi Aleida, my name is Juliana and
I recommend Estilos Barber Shop, they are Dominicans and excellent stylists,
and I especially recommend the stylist Yuliana.”
USA New Jersey
|Centro de Belleza Mati Mel
||944 Summit Avenue
||Jersey City NJ 07307
Recommended by Leslie, Cliffside Park NJ:
“Salon Mati-Mel in Jersey City, NJ...the owner and head stylist is
Dominican. I LOVE her... I've also sent some of my closest friends to her
(including my mother in law) and EVERY SINGLE PERSON has come back to me
thanking me for the recommendation. Her work is amazing and she takes
excellent care of every client's hair. Her name is Melba. Once you go to
her, you won't want to go to anyone else!!!”
|Las Mellas Salón Dominicano
||5114 Palisade Ave
||West New York NJ 07093
|Dominican Hair Design
||138 South Broad Street
||Woodbury NJ 08096
Recommended by Iyanna Carr, June 2010:
“Hi Aleida! Yesterday I finally went to a Dominican salon! I definitely
recommend Dominican Hair Design in Woodbury NJ across from the Pep
Boys! I got a wash and blow! Although it cost more than I expected, I think
it was worth it. It cost $40 with a $5 tip. I reccomend making an
appointment for the morning. Walk-ins are welcome! I went to Lydia
and my hair was beautiful! Feels and looks just like a perm! Thanks for
everything and your site was very helpful!” (glossary recommended)
Celebrity Style Salon
||Beverly NJ 08010
Recommended by Lisa F: “I just started
going to a Dominican hair salon for the 1st time....LOVING my
hair stylist, her name is Nellie.”
Lusvianca Hair Salon
||1047 Liberty Street
||Trenton NJ 08611
Recommended by Bernadette, Jan 15, 2013: “I love Lusvianca and
have been going there for about a year. When my mother and I first started
going our hair was very damaged but now it is shiny, healthy, and full of
body. All the stylists are wonderful. However, I usually go to Suri,
Viviana, Elba, or Magalys. I totally recommend them.” (See other
|Yenni's Grand Salon #2 ***
||505 Frost Road
||Waterbury CT 06705
Recomendation by Kenia, July 2012:
“I went and met Daisy and her daughter Yenni. Very very nice people.
Daisy wouldn't relax my hair because she thought that it would be too harsh
and that I would be better off doing a keratin treatment that would
straighten my hair without the harshness of a relaxer. I complained that
the keratin treatment was twice the fee of the relaxer but she refused to do
a relaxer and explained that my hair would be better off with a keratin
treatment. So I agreed. She dyed my hair and then Yenni did the keratin
treatment. It was $160. I wasn't planning on spending that kind of money
but I wanted to get my hair done and I wanted it to look good. It came out
silky, shiny, straight and soft. I am hoping my curls hold out for 3- 4
months like Daisy said, because I don't want to be spending this kind of
money every month. All and all, my experience with Yenni's Grand Salon was
good enough to make me a recurring client. Thanks for your advice.”
|Ooh La La Hair Salon
||103 West Main Street
||New Britain CT 06051
Recomendation by K Rosado, October 2012:
This past Saturday, I went to a different Dominican owned salon in
Connecticut called Ooh La La Hair Salon located at 103 West Main Street, New
Britain, CT. I had my hair dyed and then the "crown of head"
highlighted...it was only $75!!! And then since I was there, I had the
Brazilian Keratin treatment which was more expensive than I had paid before
but I just didn't have the time to go anywhere else so I had it done there
as well. The Keratin treatment was $150..so it all was $225 for one day.
UGH! But I love love my hair. The color was great and the Keratin
treatment was also great. My hair is shiny, smooth and soft. The
owner/stylist of the salon is Sandra. She used to work in NYC and relocated
here. So you get the NYC experience without having to take the 1-2 hour
drive down to the City. The salon was clean, ultra modern and the ambience
was great. There was no loud talking (I don't mind it anyways but some
people do) and the sound system was playing smooth romantic Spanish songs.
It was a great experience. I called her that day and she got me in on that
day. I definitely am going back.
||510 West Girard Ave
||Philadelphia PA 19123
Recommended by Margot Osorio: “My stylist at Lisflor's
is Tania. They do very good work and they use very good products.
They are open Monday through Saturday.”
|Miguel Moda Barber Shop
||816 Maryland Avenue
||Wilmington DE 19805
Recommended by Lakiesha: “Okay, so I know you probably have not
visited any Dominican salons in Delaware and I'm here to put one on the map!
:) The salon is call Miguels Moda. It is a unisex salon and the go to person
is Lucy. She is amazing and does a great job on ALL ethnic hair types! I
think you should include the salon on your list because they are really good
|Alina's Hair Salon Dominican Stylist
||College Park MD 20740
Recommended by Tisa D.: “Well, I
got my hair done today and I absolutely love it! I'm a bit sad because I
have to now contact my former hairstylist to tell her that I will not be
returning as her regular client anymore because this is my new spot. My
hair is so shiny and bouncy. I had the infamous "Dominican blowout", and I
had no idea my hair could get so straight and smooth. It's natual but it
looks like I just had a relaxer, and she never flat-ironed it. I also love
how friendly they all were. In fact the owner told me that when I come
there, "I'm family", that was so sweet. All I got was the blowout with a
round brush and that curled it. I told my stylist that I was coming back in
two weeks. Right after I came out of the salon, a lady stopped me to ask me
if I had just come out of the Dominican salon, and I said "yes", and when I
told her that my hair is natural she couldn't believe it. She told me that
she was gonna go as well. In fact when I was walking to the garage, she was
pulling in and parking.
Thank you so much for your site. It's fantastic, and I've learned so
||4825 Allentown Rd
||Camp Springs MD 20746
“Great Salon. Professional Stylist. Affordable Prices.”
–Kelly A. Near Andrews Air Force Base.
|Christy's Hair Salon
||6332 Midlothian Turnpike
||Richmond VA 23225
Dominican Hair Salons|
|8715 West Broad Street
||Richmond VA 23294
|Marianelas Dominican Hair Salons
Henrico - Opening September 1st 2012
||1420 North Parham Road
Richmond VA 23229
|Marianelas Dominican Hair Salons
Virginia Center Commons (VCC)
||10101 Brook Road
Glen Allen VA 23059
USA North Carolina
|Felicia'a Dominican Salon
||1603 S. Horner Boulevard
||Sanford NC 27330
I was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I moved to North
Carolina in 2003 and opened my salon last year; I thought that your readers
might like to know there is an authentic Dominican salon in the
heart of North Carolina! Gracias mi amol!
|Simone's the Stars Dominican Salon (*)
Powers Ferry Road
||Marietta GA 30067
Unisex Beauty Salon (*)
||2012 NE 164th Street
||N. Miami Beach FL 33162
||11913 East Colonial Drive
||Orlando FL 32826
Recommended by Anny F.:
I will highly recommend Salon Libby in Orlando FL. Salon Libby is a
traditional and Organic salon with an incredible costumer service and super
knowledgeable staff. I came to Salon Libby last year with a desperate need
of a relaxer (so i thought) and the owner Libby explain to me what the relaxer
was doing to the health of my hair and gave me healthier alternatives and
refused to be part of the destruction of my hair. After the information I
chose to go with the Organic Keratin. It has been a year now and my hair is
fantastic and, better yet, healthy. I get lots of compliments. Thank you Salon
Libby! You got me for life!
W Main St
||Grand Prairie, TX 75050 (Dallas / Fort Worth)
||10455 N Central Expressway, Suite 28
||Dallas TX 75231
Recommended by Marcel:
“This is my Salon and the stylist, Mary Spence, is Dominican. When I
leave her salon I don't think their is a star in Hollywood with more
beautiful hair than mine. The hair is light bouncy and beautiful. She
treats everyone like family. I have three daughters and they all insist
this is the only place they will go to do their hair.”
|Martha Beauty Centre (*)
||2708 Sheppard Ave West
||Toronto, Ontario M9M 0B5
United Kingdom (England, UK)
Hair Dominican Republic
||55 Brixton Road
||London SW9 6BU, England
“I found a Dominican salon in London, the owner is very nice and very professional!”
Institut de Paris Salon Dominicain
||167, rue Saint Martin
||75003 Paris, France
||+33 01 42 76 00 20
|Salon Miss Keyssy (*)
||24 rue Étiene Huyard
||33300 Bordeaux, France
||+33 05 56 04 14 10
|Salón Las Bonitas
||60329 Frankfurt a.M., Germany
||+49 69 36 70 76 10
The Netherlands (Holland, Nederland)
||1053 DT Amsterdam Netherlands
||Recommended by a reader.
||Recommended by Aleida.
The majority of Dominican salons are excellent but for me
Miguelina's Yani Vanet Beauty Salon in the
Bronx (New York City), and Martha's
in Manhattan, are among the very best. In
Connecticut I recommend Yenni's Grand
Salon #2 in Waterbury.
I have been going to Miguelina ever since I came to this country.
She is near the 167th
and Grand Concourse subway stop. It's like a second home to me, where I
can relax and laugh and be myself among friends. The stylists are friendly
and nice and they are VERY good to my hair! In fact, they care about my
hair as much as I do, and that is a lot! Every week we work together
to create new and different and exciting looks for me, and every time I go
Miguelina, or Martha, or Yenni's, I know that I am going to feel Very Good
when they finish with my hair. And every time I leave those salons, I feel
beautiful! Take a look!
Dominican women have a special relationship with their beauty salons, so
Dominican salons are usually found in places where a lot of Dominicans live.
In the United States, the biggest Dominican populations are in New York, New
Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
Here are some maps that show you exactly where to find all the Dominicans,
from the 2004 Migration Policy Institute report, The
Dominican Population in the United States: Growth and Distribution:
Hint: If you are planning to move and you want to be near a Dominican
salon in your new location, you should check these maps first! Good choices
would be New York City (West Bronx or Upper Manhattan); Boston or Lawrence MA;
Providence RI; Miami FL; Northeastern New Jersey (Bergen, Passaic,
Paterson, Union City, Newark); Sleepy Hollow or Haverstraw NY; Philadelphia PA.
To search for a Dominican salon near you, enter the location
into one or both of the search boxes below. The Google box asks Google
to search for any pages about Dominican salons that also mention the
location tht you enter. You can put the city or town and state
(you can use the 2-letter abbreviation, for example “bronx ny”
or “new haven ct” or “marietta ga”), or a zipcode,
or anything else to identify the location. The results will probably
include a lot of questions like "Does anybody know where to find a Dominican
salon in Bismarck, North Dakota?" but if you look at all the results maybe
you will also find some answers.
Then to get a different set of results, do another search in Superpages.com (telephone book
business listings); this search finds all the salons in or near the
location that you give that have "dominican" in their name. Put the city
and state (for example "union nj") and/or a Zip code (CLICK
HERE for help):
New York City, New Jersey; Waterbury, Connecticut
In association with Amazon.com
Dominican hair secrets.
What is a Dominican beauty salon?
What is different about Dominican hair care?
What happens in the Dominican beauty parlor?
How Dominicans do hair: Benefits of Dominican hair care.
Hair straightening and styling techniques from the Dominican Republic:
how Dominican salons relax and style hair.
What to ask for at a Dominican salon.
Spanish language and terminology for Dominican salons.
The importance of beauty salons in Dominican culture.
How to find a Dominican hair salon.