Top Ten (+1) hair products in SEPTEMBER 2018

Alter Ego Impac Ego Treatment with Garlic
Alter EGO Nequal Intensive Energizing Lotion 125ml
Kanechom Liso Intenso
Boe Crece Pelo Combo Set II
Silicon Mix Bambu Nutritive Combo Set
Alter Ego Maschera Ristrutturante Al Cocco Coconut Mask
UNA by Rolland Intensive Protein Treatment
Boé Crece Pelo 5-Pack Combo Set for Hair Growth
Silicon Mix conditioner
Kanechom Mixed Fruit Conditioner
Dominican Magic Anti-Aging Scalp Applicator 125ml
How do Dominican women grow their hair so long?
Tips before going to a Dominican hair salon    ▷▷ See Salon List
Copyright © 2008-2018 Aleida Morel, all rights reserved

Aleida Morel - Dominican hair care Dominican women love their hair! And Dominican stylists know how to make it beautiful and healthy. As a Dominican woman in the USA, I get a lot questions about Dominican beauty parlors and hair care. Like most Dominican women, I spend a lot of time at the hair salon, so now let me tell you why, and why you might want to do the same!

Dominican hair stylists needed in San Antonio!  "I have been using your products since mid summer, soy latina de madre y de padre - My mother is Puerto Rican and my father is Panamian, I have naturally curly, full body, frizzy, natural black-brown hair and for years I have cut my hair in short layers and this past year I have decided to let me hair grow with no layers. I am originally from New York City and I have always gone to Dominican hair salons to get my hair done, my hair has always come out amazing. 11 yrs ago I moved to San Antonio, Texas, there is hard-water here (that dries out my hair bad) and there are NO salons in town to do my hair, I have gone to the African-American salons but they always over grease my hair." —Nicole Pereira, 31 Oct 2017

“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:” —Dime, Iraq, 2009.

How do Dominicans know how to do hair so well?

Dominican people
Dominican people come in all colors.
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 humid conditions! (Read more about Dominican hair-care products.)

Dominican women use Big Rollers
Dominican women use big rollers!
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!

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!

“Good hair” and ”bad hair”

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!

Who can go to a Dominican salon?

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 hairstyles.)

What is a Dominican hair salon?

A typical salon in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican round-brush technique
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!

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.

Hint: 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!

The basic Dominican wash and dry – El levado y secado

My hair 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 Cosmo or RR Line or Salerm or Star or UNA. 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 Salerm Brushing Termo Activo, Agua Bomba, or sometimes just 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!

The "Doobie" and other services Dominican salons... Hair so soft and smooth after Dominican wash and dry - click to enlarge 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 your 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!

How much does it cost? – ¿Cuánto cuesta?

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 cost more.

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 less. 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 universal language!

The table was moved to a separate page so it would not make this page (that you are reading) too wide for cell phones. Click on the image just below to see the table.
Salon table
Click to see table.
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 then I started to receive enthusiastic recommendations for other salons 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 in the table with “***”.

The majority of Dominican salons are excellent but for me Miguelina's Yani Vanet Beauty Salon in the Bronx (New York City) is among the very best. In North Carolina I recommend Deisy-Jennifer in Charlotte.

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 to one of these salons 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 happy. And beautiful!   Take a look!

How to find a Dominican salon in your area

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 (click to enlarge):

USA The Northeast The New York Metropolitan Area Massachusetts Florida

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.

Search Google

Then to get a different set of results, do another search in (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.:

Search SuperPages [USA only]

Good luck! If you find a Dominican salon that you like, please let me know so I can add it to my list.

P.S. You might also get some different results if you search in Spanish, Click here to try it.

Aleida Morel Dominicanidades
New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut 
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 Copyright © 2004-2018, Aleida Morel, All Rights Reserved. 1 October 2018