The Incredible Reason Dominican Hair Salons Are So Popular

Updated 06/05/19

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When I first heard Senior Beauty Editor for Cosmopolitan for Latinas Milly Almodovar proclaim her love for Dominican salons on The Wendy Williams Show, I immediately needed to know more. First of all, the studio audience erupted in cheers as soon as she mentioned the salons, which immediately gave them merit in my opinion. Second of all, her hair looked sleek and shiny, so whatever special potion the salons use to achieve that look is working. Ever the beauty investigator, I turned to Almodovar herself to learn more about the seemingly magical establishments.

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"Dominican salons are known for their cheap wash and sets. For $10–25, your hair is washed, then put in rollers, and then blow dried to the bounciest blowout ever. Many stylists from some very high-end salons know about the amazing blowouts you get at the Dominican salons. As a beauty editor, I've gone to some very high-end salons and as soon as I let them know that I'm Dominican they say, "Oh, so you know how to blow dry your hair,'" she explains.

You read that right. Just $10–25 for a ridiculously amazing blowout. Almodovar says that Monday to Wednesday, most salons will sometimes offer a $10 special. Crazy, right? However, Saturdays at "the Dominicans" (as the salons are often referred to) are a whole different story: "Saturdays in the salons are insane. You can easily spend the whole day there, but Latinas and African American women do it all the time because they love the results," she says.

We spoke with Aurora Pul of Century 27 Beauty Salon in NYC, who says that Dominican salons aren't limited to just one type of hair: "Anyone can come in and we can do it. We can manage all types of hair." However, their specialty is roller sets, where the hair is washed and conditioned, then set with a product like a leave-in conditioner or setting lotion. They then tightly wrap the hair in sections around large rollers, pin them to the hair, then have you sit under a hood dryer. Pul says the process usually takes around an hour, but is actually healthier for your hair than blow drying with a round brush (a service Dominican salons are also popular for). To do your own blowout at home, try applying some Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Blowout Crème ($25) for shiny, straight locks.

Almodovar also let us in on another interesting bit of information: "After girls get their hair done at the salon, many of them will leave with their hair wrapped up in a 'doobie'. This is when the hair is basically wrapped around your head and secured with pins to extend your blowout." Rihanna actually wore her own version of the doobie to the American Music Awards in 2013, remember?

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