au naturale, blow dry, curly fro, curly hair, dominican salon, flat iron, hair oil, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural hair styles, styling products

My Dominican Salon Experience-YIKES!!!!!!!!!

I was having a moment and decided I was going to pamper myself and go get my hair done. After much thought, I settled on visiting a Dominican Salon. I figured if I was going to go through the motions of straightening my hair, I mine as well get it as straight as possible. Several of my co workers go to Luisa’s on the regular basis, and their hair looks GREAT!

I called to get pricing, I asked what was the price for a wash and blow dry on natural hair. The receptionist (I assumed she was the receptionist), began to yell and say “I’ve already told you ma’ma I have to see your hair, I can’t give you a price over the phone” [insert gas face RIGHT HERE] – I said, “excuse me, you haven’t told me anything because this is my 1st time calling!” The receptionist began to apologize profusely *apparently a lady kept calling demanding price over the phone* once she realized I was a “new” customer, she explained that the price is $45 for relaxed hair, $55 for natural hair (hair that hasn’t had a relaxer in +3 months), $10 additional if they have to flat iron the hair, and $10 additional if the hair was past shoulder length. Ok, I digest all of that and go to the salon as soon as I got off work.

I went to the location in Columbia, MD (7 minutes from the job). The salon is located in an office park across the street from the Columbia Mall. It was rather hot & humid that day, so I was stunned to see that the AC wasn’t on-but they had the front door propped open. As soon as I walked in, the receptionist- said hello, asked me if I wanted a wash & blow dry, I said yes, and she told me to have a seat at the sink. {I was surprised that I didn’t have to wait, everyone around me looked comfortable). The shampoo girl began to wash my hair, it was the BEST hair wash I’d ever had. She wasn’t afraid to get to my roots!!!! While she was washing my hair, she said something in Spanish to the receptionist – the receptionist then asked if I wanted a conditioner, I said yes, a deep conditioner. The lady applied the conditioner, massaged it in, put a cap on my head and took me to a hooded hair dryer. {Thinks to self} these dryers aren’t that bad… I can do this… 15 minutes later, I was back at the sink getting the conditioner washed out.

Then another lady (not sure what all she does, for the purposes of this post Im’a refer to her as the roller lady), escorted me to her station. She whips out a comb a IMMEDIATELY started to rack my hair from ROOTS {I jumped up) and said NO! that hurt!!!!!! She said something in Spanish- I said in English-“ you can do that to my hair!!!!” she tried to take it easy- but honestly I’m tender headed and she was heavy handed, and everything she did HURT!!!!!!! I know it took her 60-90 minutes to detangle my hair, and roll it. I was taken to the dryer, handed some ear muffs { I’m confused, never seen anything like it before, I look at the other girls and they had them over their ear, so I put them on my ear, and the roller lady tied a net thingy around my head. I was under the dryer {literally stuck-COULD NOT MOVE} I guess I had too many rollers in my hair.. Then all of a sudden … I WAS ON FIRE!!!!!! My skin was burning, my scalp was burning, I was trying to get from under the dryer –and I let out a scream { the metal roller pins, was laying on the side of my neck and was burning me!!!!!!} ** the skin actually blistered on my neck!** whew lawd.. That dryer was SO HOT, that when I stuck my hand under the hood to move the pin, it burnt my fingers!!!!! { now, I’m embarrassed-I’m the only one acting a pure fool.. everyone else is calm cool and collected} the roller girl comes over, said something looked at me and SHOVED my head back under the dryer.

My hair dried in 30 mins (a record). I was woozy, skin stinging, and I’m afraid of the heavy handed roller girl. She takes out the rollers.. applied some oil on my hair.. and LAWD-SHE WHIPS OUT THAT ROUND BRUSH AND SHE WAS WHIPPING MY HEAD BACK AND FORTH!!!!!!!! LORDY HELP ME JESUS… The smoke that pillowed out that hand dryer clouded up the salon. THEN.. [hold ya self} some salsa music sound came on.. JESUS.. SHE WAS DOING THE SALSA DANCE TWIRLING AROUND, SINGING AND WHIPPING ME BACK AND FORTH ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!!!! She was FINALLY FINISHED-right? NOPE! Now she comes with the flat iron. That wasn’t too bad, but my head is pounding, my scalp and skin is burnt and I’m READY TO GO!!! FINALLY after 3.5 hours of TORTURE- I’m finished!!!!! Get to the register- my bill was a whopping $75!!!!!!! [screech]. I paid it and left. Mid way to my car……. THE SKY OPENED UP AND IT POURED ON MY HEAD!!!!!!! **TEARS** I got soak and wet and bushed up my newly flat ironed hair!!!!!!!! I get in the car- look in the mirror.. and I can see waves forming in the front of my head. Now all I smell is burnt hair!!!!! {yuck}. I just drive home, snap a few pic’s , wrap it up, and went to bed. Needless to say- I wore my hair straight 2 WHOLE DAYS!!!!!!! Yep, 2!!!!!!!

I went to my cousin April Crawford, and had her to trim my hair, cut in layers & bangs, and re flat iron my hair. She did an awesome job and I was very happy with the look after she was finished. ( The pictures was taken after April did her thang). **THANK YOU MZ. APRIL***

The Good: I finally got a MUCH needed trim, and becasue of the layers, my hair falls very pretty into “shape”.

The Bad: Luisa’s was NOT gentle enough for me. I hadn’t had my hair blown out in 6 years, and anybody with any experience with natural hair KNOW you start detangling from the ends to root- NOT root to ends. If we are paying extra for having natural hair, we should be given ” extra gentle treatment”.

THE UGLY: The burns, and extreme heat. That cant be healthy or safe!!!!!! in addition to getting drenched in the rain 3 minutes after leaving the salon– PRICE- $75 was STEEP. I was a regular at the Dominican salon in Jersey ( 15 yrs ago), and the MOST I ever paid was $25. I didn’t expect to pay $25, but I damn sure didn’t expect to pay $75 for a wash, conditioner, blow dry, roller /flat iron.

If I ever have to endure THAT again for straight hair, I will forever remain a CURLY head!!!!!!!!

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au naturale, blowout, curling iron, dominican salon, miss sixx, roundhairbrush.com

Hair Wars: Dominican Salons VS. Traditional Salons


Article Courtesy of Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting piece about the competition black hair salons are experiencing from Dominican salons.

Armed with a blow dryer and brush, deft wrist action and shrewd promotional tactics, immigrants from the Dominican Republic are snipping away market share from African-American stylists whose mastery of black women’s hair ensured for generations that their customers wouldn’t, or couldn’t, leave them. Promises of seemingly healthier hair, swifter service and far lower prices are wooing away a growing number of black women.

The defections have infuriated African-American stylists who insist that their methods are safe and that they are more highly trained than the Dominicans are. “It’s hard enough in these times, but they are undercutting our prices, even passing out fliers to our own clients,” complains Atlanta hairdresser Jannifer Jackson, whose cancellations and no-shows began piling up once a Dominican salon opened about a mile away last summer.

Many traditional black stylists accuse Dominicans of misrepresenting their services as “natural” because nearly all Dominican salons perform relaxer touch-ups. Traditionalists say the “Dominican blowout” technique can cause severe hair breakage. Both sorts of stylists wash, set hair in rollers and seat customers under big dryers.

African-American stylists typically use a curling iron to unfurl the hair, while Dominicans use a two-handed method of unraveling the strands with a round brush, followed by a blow dryer in the other hand to smooth the curl to a straight finish. Dominicans do so by pulling from the hair root, often forcefully. That, along with applying the second round of intense heat, leads to breakage, say black stylists and some customers.

Dominican stylists deny the accusations. The majority of Dominicans are themselves black, and like African-Americans, they developed their skills by styling their own hair. “We have stylists—black stylists—all the time calling and asking to come and train with us,” boasts Alfredo Rhoden, co-owner of Dominican Hair Salon by Massiel in suburban Atlanta.

The financial impact of the Dominican incursion on black American salons is hard to gauge. Sales volume isn’t tracked by the race or ethnicity of salon owners. But industry experts, salon owners and stylists say the impact is indisputable. A fixture in New York City since the 1980s, Dominicans now are rapidly expanding to other U.S. cities.

New Jersey stylist and barber Gina Brydie formed the National Black Cosmetology Association last year to help salon owners strengthen their businesses against the recession and the increasing Dominican competition.

“We have Asians coming in with the beauty supplies and Dominicans coming in and taking over our industry,” says Ms. Brydie, 39 years old and 20 years in the business. Salons and barber shops are a proud touchstone for blacks in part because they were among the earliest black-owned businesses, providing one of few paths to economic advancement after slavery. By the early 1900s, black entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker had become a self-made millionaire by making hair and beauty products for blacks.

Now, rather than trying to beat the Dominicans, some African-American business owners are joining them. Jennifer Drew started RoundBrushHair.com in 2007 to help Dominican salons market to blacks after she switched to the blowout and saw curiosity budding among black women.

The RoundBrushHair.com database has grown to include several hundred Dominican salons, from Sun Valley, Calif., to Chicago to Boston. Almost all opened in the past five years, Ms. Drew says. It includes 80 salons in metropolitan Washington, 95 in Georgia, 15 in Charlotte, N.C., and seven in Houston.

We can see why the black hair care providers are up in arms about losing customers, especially in this economy, but at the same time the competition is GREAT for the clients. It’s hard walking in a black salon without losing your purse — so it’s good to know there is a less expensive alternative. Plus, we’ve experienced how much faster you can get in and out of a Dominican salon. At the same time, is there anything that can compare to that old familiar feeling of slipping into the chair of the stylist who has been doing your hair for years? The community feel of a black salon is another bonus that can’t be matched elsewhere.

Have you abandoned your regular stylist for a Dominican spot? Do you think that the Dominican blowout is less damaging than a curling iron or flat iron? Please leave a comment!