Hair in the DR.

Before I went, if you can remember I talked about that article I had seen about black women in the Dominican Republic.

(You can read the post and comments here

I think the article must be true because all I saw was bone straight hair and light brown skin. In fact the relaxers and blow outs and straight weaves were so amazing that I got that ‘I miss straight hair’ pang. From little girls going to school to big women the only people who had the braids or curls where the white tourists who got their cainrows done on the beach. Anyone with darker skin or curls didn’t seem to have a job, even as a cleaner. The darkest person I saw worked in the cigar factory.

Sayulita Tourist Hair Braids
Tourists Braids

Dominican School Girls

I have heard it say that very dark skinned Dominicans are often mistaken for Haitians and Dominican’s don’t like the Haitians that much. They enter the country illegally and sometimes work in low or unpaid jobs.

I wore my hair it in rows at the front and twists at the back but halfway through the holiday I was missing my hair so I wanted to take it out it was looking really messy and I wasn’t feeling it. 

YUCK My hair was nasty! 

Seeing all the women in the country I started to have hesitations.

1. I didn’t pack my wide tooth comb and I was wondering how I would style it – We tried lots of places to find one and whilst we did eventually it was one of those crappy ones that pull your hair out so I didn’t even buy it. By the way that’s Lesson 3 – Pack ALL your hair essentials. Make a checklist and make sure everything is packed.

2. What would people think when they see my fro, would I then get bad looks?  – Then I decided that it couldn’t be worse than what was going on in the photo above. 

3. How would I handle the swimming? Would the sea water totally mash up my hair?

In the end I took out only the back and It made into a nice style. It was incredibly soft I couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t get any funny looks or hate about my hair, only one time when I went into a beauty salon to ask about their pedicures and waxing services. The receptionist looked at me and my hair in horror until I spoke and she realised I wasn’t a Haitian

My Hair loose…My twist out. 

In fact I got mistaken for Dominican by lots of people. For swimming I just put it in my two big plaits and made sure I rinsed out the seawater properly. When I got home back to the UK I did a deep treatment. 

To be honest I think my hair might actually like the sun, sea and of course my extra water drinking – I can’t wait until summer. Look how lovely it was.

Much better – wouldn’t you agree? 



  1. I’m glad that you had a good time in the DR. I read your pre-trip post and remembered my DR experience. I had recently big chopped before spending a week in the DR. I noticed that in Santo Domingo a majority of the people had lighter skin and straighter hair. Very few people (workers or patrons) were “black like me”. This was also true of the Punta Cana resort. Everyone was very nice. I may have stood out as a tourist because my travel buddy is tall and blonde.

    However, I took a 4 hour road journey (cabs and a bus) from the Punta Cana airport to Santo Domingo. Driving through what appeared to be poorer areas – everyone was black like me. The DR probably suffers from the same segregation that most places do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting. Its weird because most of the dr in spain that I saw, wore their hair natural or had curly extension. They were some of the best extensions I had ever seen because I thought it was their hair. Only when I was very close to someone that I saw it was fake. At least nothing bad happened to you, so don’t always trust the internet.

  3. @Alix, I totally agree with you, I think they do have that segregation, its a shame really.

    @Anonymous, You are right, the net can’t tell you everything and nothing bad happened.
    Spain sounds fab

  4. Sorry about being anonymous – U should definately go to Spain, specifically Barcelona. They are very liberal and don’t mind having blacks in their country because Barcelona is very multicultural. Its the only country I have been to where from behind, every race lookes essentially the same. Black, white, indian – it made no difference. There were so many people who from the back I thought were black or at least mixed and when I see them in the fact they are white! A lot of the ‘white’ people have very afroish / kinky hair, and they were rocking styles like 2 strand twists, locks. I saw afro-latinos with picked out afros. A lot of the lationos I saw feel into the 3a – 4a category, so when said that its good that so many were natural, my sister said it didn’t count.

    But even the ones with straight up type 4 wore there hair out. You can walk around with giant Erika Badhu hair and no one flicks an eye! They are electic in what they wear and dress.

    Although, most of the african people wore relaxers and weave. I saw very few, if any natural african women. All the type 4 naturals I saw were afro-latino.

  5. Your hair looks lovely and congrats on the wedding! Lets hear it for black love!.

    I found my hair was so much nicer after a trip in the Caribbean – well we are more genetically predisposed for hotter environments that England and our hair know it! lol :

    When I went on holiday to Spain, I canerowed my hair into a little ponytail (Bc’d not that long ago, so I didn’t have a lot of hair), and attached a phony pony tail. U could always try that as an alternative. It worked really well and everyone thought it was mine.

  6. Hi there! I’m a dominican girl who lives in spain (lived in Barcelona for 2 years, now I’m living at costa brava), I’ve been natural for 3 years now and I get nothig but complimments about my hair, I just love the comments I get from people here in spain, everybody loooves it! I was in DR a month ago to visit my family, and was a little concerned, cause that was the first time they’d see me with my ‘fro, however I was shocked to see how more and more girls are wearing their natural hair, I also got a lot of compliments from strangers telling me how brave I was to wear my hair like that… I’m very happy with my natural hair, but I doubt that I’d wear it natural If I lived in DR…