If you want a temporary change from your natural curls, but also want a natural straightening process, look no further than the Dominican blowout. This traditional hair treatment from the Dominican Republic lets you enjoy straight, silky hair without any chemicals that might damage your natural hair.
What Is a Dominican Blowout?
A Dominican blowout is a hair straightening process that employs deep conditioning and at least two straightening steps to smooth the hair. Although Dominican blowouts are rapidly becoming popular in salons around the country, Dominicans have been using this technique to naturally straighten their hair with diffused heat for generations. Effective on multiple hair textures and extremely curly hair, the Dominican blowout helps fight frizz and keeps a low-maintenance shine for days or weeks at a time.
How Long Does a Dominican Blowout Last?
Because the process doesn’t use chemical straighteners, Dominican blowouts only last until the next time you wash your hair. The blowout should keep your hair smooth for up to a week, possibly longer if you take steps to extend the treatment. Tips like using the proper products, protecting your hair from water, and avoiding excessive sweat may enable you to stretch your appointments to two weeks apart.
Where Can You Get a Dominican Blowout?
A specialized hair treatment, the Dominican blowout may not appear on the service list at every corner salon. You might need to seek out a Dominican hair salon or look for a stylist with specialized training in the technique. StyleSeat makes the process easier — all you have to do is enter your zip code and select the service “Dominican blowout” to see a list of stylists in your area.
The Dominican Blowout Process
While individual stylists may put their own twist on the process, most Dominican blowouts follow a similar set of steps. The concept revolves around conditioning and straightening hair naturally while minimizing damage from heat and other sources.
Step One: Wash and Condition
Wash, condition, and then maybe condition again. Depending on your salon (and your hair), your stylist may use a clarifying shampoo to remove build-up and then apply one or two — sometimes up to five — layers of conditioning. No matter how many products your stylist uses, the conditioning step helps detangle your hair, add strength, seal in moisture, and prepare your hair for the next steps of the Dominican blowout.
Step Two: Set Hair on Rollers
The first layer of straightening involves having your hair set on large rollers — the largest possible for your hair length — and then sitting under the hood while it dries. Roller sets offer an effective way to straighten hair without subjecting it to harsh chemicals or high heat. The indirect heat of the hood takes longer, but it offers a gentler way to dry your tresses than applying direct heat to wet hair. Depending on your hair length and texture, you may expect to sit under the hood dryer for at least an hour.
Step Three: Blow-Dry and Brush
Although it may seem counterintuitive, stylists will remove rollers from your dry hair and then proceed to blow “dry” it with a round brush. A key element of the Dominican blowout, the round brush further straightens and smooths your hair. While not part of the traditional technique, some stylists will run a flat iron over your hair as a finishing touch. Stylists trained in the Dominican blowout should have a high level of expertise in how to blow-dry natural hair.
Step Four: Wrap Hair
The final step in the Dominican blowout involves enveloping hair with a “doobie” or wrap. The wrap smooths the styled hair and helps it hang correctly, complementing the movement and bounce created by the roller set and round brush. A wrap can help seal in the Dominican blowout, especially if you use it overnight right after your treatment. One note of caution: Try to avoid wrapping your hair too tightly, which can cause breakage.
Dominican Blowout vs. Other Straightening Options
Of course, the Dominican blowout is not the only hair treatment that promises to straighten and smooth hair. Below we compare and contrast the Dominican blowout with other types of salon straightening treatments.
Dominican Blowout vs. Silk Press
Although the Dominican blowout shares a lot in common with the silk press, they are not identical. Both create temporary silky, glossy hairstyles without the use of chemical relaxers, and both involve wrapping your hair at the end of the treatment. The Dominican blowout generally results in a final look with more volume and movement, but a silk press can last slightly longer — from two to three weeks.
A key difference between the two involves the use of heat: The silk press uses direct heat from a blow dryer on wet hair and then follows it up with a flat iron (or “press”). The downside of all this heat may damage hair more than a Dominican blowout does. On the upside, clients with tighter curls may find that the silk press works better for their hair.
Dominican Blowout vs. Brazilian Blowout
Just like Dominican blowouts, Brazilian blowouts aim to eliminate frizz and enhance shine. Unlike Dominican blowouts, however, Brazilian blowouts use a keratin treatment to fill in the porosity of your hair. While some clients prefer the more natural Dominican blowout, the Brazilian blowout does last much longer — three to four months, and sometimes more. One other difference: The Brazilian treatment doesn’t necessarily need to straighten hair completely; it can also make curly hair easier to manage.
Dominican Blowout vs. Keratin Straightening Treatments
While Dominican blowouts use conditioning products to prepare your hair for the straightening treatment, keratin treatments use products as the straightening treatment. Keratin treatments apply a customizable smoothing solution to straighten your hair or elongate your curl pattern. The style is finished with heat, traditionally by using a flat iron. Whether you end up with straight hair or keep some waves, the treatment can improve manageability, reduce styling time, and smooth your hair’s cuticle.
Aftercare Tips for Dominican Blowouts
While the typical Dominican blowout lasts for around a week, you may be able to stretch out the time between appointments by following the tips below.
Use Products That Protect Against Humidity
After sitting through the many steps of the Dominican blowout, don’t let humidity undo all your hair stylist’s hard work in minutes. While you’ll probably want to steer clear of the steam room at the gym, sometimes you just can’t avoid humidity altogether. When that’s the case, protect your hair with humidity-blocking products for natural hair like anti-frizz conditioners and styling creams.
Avoid Water and Water-Based Products
Along with humidity, think of water as the other enemy of your new blowout. While obviously this means avoiding washing your hair and using a protective cap when you shower, you may not have thought about the dangers of water-based hair care products. Using too many water-based gels or hair sprays can quickly flip the switch on your smooth, new look.
Wrap Your Hair
Just like wrapping your hair immediately after your salon visit can help seal in your treatment, putting a wrap on at night can extend the life of your Dominican blowout. You can simply lay down your edges with a silk scarf or wrap your whole head up when you go to bed. This solution keeps your hair in place while you sleep, making your blowout last longer and shortening styling time in the morning.
Use Pin Curlers or Rollers
If you’re up for a little extra effort, you can preserve your hairdo with pin curls or rollers. Finger-rolled curls fixed with pins or jumbo rollers covered with a silk bonnet can refresh your blowout overnight.
Benefits of Dominican Blowouts
In addition to being relatively easy on the wallet, Dominican blowouts have the following benefits:
- Sleek, shiny, straight hair: When it comes to the number one reason people choose hair straightening treatments — smooth, glossy hair — Dominican blowouts don’t disappoint.
- No harsh chemicals: Dominican blowouts rely on several manual straightening techniques rather than strong chemical products for a temporary, but gentle, smoothing effect.
- Faster process than similar treatments: Not only can you receive a Dominican blowout without spending endless hours in the salon, but it can also save you time on your morning routine by making your hair more manageable.
- Works on many hair types: Not restricted to certain types of hair, Dominican blowouts work for both fine and coarse textures.
Potential Risks of Dominican Blowouts
Although generally considered a safe and natural treatment, the Dominican blowout has a few potential risks:
- Heat damage to hair: Any time your hair is exposed to high temperatures, you risk causing heat damage. Some believe the Dominican blowout reduces that risk by using the indirect heat of the hood and using the hair dryer only after the hair has completely dried. Others think that exposing hair to these two heat sources (three if your stylist finishes with a flat iron) can cause damage.
- Possible curl pattern loss: While some clients receive Dominican blowouts for years without problems, others say that they never regained their natural curl after receiving the treatment.
Should You Get a Dominican Blowout?
If you seek a natural straightening treatment that won’t take all day or break the bank, the Dominican blowout might be for you. On the other hand, if you want your hair to stay sleek for months rather than weeks, you may want to consider an alternative hair service. Clients experiencing challenges with maintaining healthy hair may wish to consult a stylist about whether a Dominican blowout makes sense or if they should look into other natural hair styles.
While perhaps less well-known than other straightening treatments, Dominican blowouts offer an attractive option for people looking to reduce frizz, create bounce, and add shine to their hair. For more information and to find a stylist near you who performs the Dominican blowout, be sure to visit StyleSeat.