Natural Hair in the Dominican Republic

Carolina for Missrizos writes;

I know these videos are in Spanish, but the energy behind them is simply incredible. This video goes against the status quo in the Dominican Republic and it is an affirmation that being natural is beautiful.

These are called ¨Lessons in the Street". The first one is about what negative things people tell you in the streets about your natural hair and the second one is why you went natural, we went all over the city of Santo Domingo (trains, universities, the streets) and asked people, both women and men of all curly textures!!!!




30 Weigh in!:
Marissa said...

For those who don't understand much spanish, in the first video they were asked what do people say to them about their hair and what not.

Most of the reactions were what'd we'd hear in english LOL
Comb your hair
Did you forget your comb at home?
When are you going to a salon?
Witch (Lol, ok so we don't hear that often in english I hope...)
Did you get electrocuted?
Etc.

CURLYNIKKI said...

Thanks Marissa for the translation!

I love this, and thanks Carolina!

Marissa said...

In the second video, they ask the people why they chose to go natural and the responses are along the lines of

It's the best
Less work
It's the true me/my true hair
Free!
They don't wanna go an spend their time/$$ at a salon
It's very me
Etc

Hope I helped a little :)

CURLYNIKKI said...

si! gracias chica ;0)

purplgirl48 said...

That was great. I really need to learn spanish.

Tas* said...

I absolutely LOVED the videos, here in the Dominican Republic we are trying to create our own ''natural community'' as well, because, gosh! we really gotta stick together :)

Anonymous said...

SO THE ONE THING THAT I LEARNED IS THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE IGNORANT AND WE NEED TO CHANGE THE PERCEPTION OF NATURAL HAIR ALL AROUND THE WORLD

Miss Rizos said...

Thanks so much Nikki for posting this! Marissa you are awesome for the translations! and Tas thanks for being a natural sisterfriend!! natural divas! AMO MI PAJON (I love my big hair)!!!

JH said...

I love it! I am Dominican myself, and although I don't live down there I come from a community where they see natural hair as 'mono malo' and not attractive, I think that this is a wonderful idea. This creates a support network which allows for those that want to be natural and free from spending hours at the salon. We all know how Dominican women are about having their hair looking pretty and straight, and Hopefully this will change the way of thinking of some people and allow for those that do decide to embrace their natural self to be proud of who they are.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much nikki ! I am 18 year old dominican and my mother and sister do not support my idea of transitioning because they believe i have bad hair. My mothers says since she has what she defines as "good hair" and i dont have i should keep relaxing my hair to keep it straight. My sister believes she has bad hair and she continues to relax her hair. Its been almost 9 months since my last relaxer and no one (God willing) is going to deter me from my goal: achieving long healthy curly kinky hair x3 thanks so much !

Miss Rizos said...

Girl I went through the same thing and you want to know what!? My sister and my mother are now going NATURAL!! I decided that my hair wasn't "Malo" (Bad) nor did I need to "Matarles las Ondas" (to literally Kill the waves of my hair), first of all my hair didn't do anything to me to be "bad" it didn't hurt me, steal from me, it's just there. Keep strong, believe in us when we say is so worth it, if you ever feel down, don't hesitate to shoot one of us an email, there is so much solidarity in the natural community, so we "got your back" I mean hair!!

Sweetniz said...

I studied abroad in the DR about 2 years ago. There were about 6 of us black girls. 4 were visibly natural and I don't remember seeing any other curly, kinky, natural hair except for study abroad students. There was an instance when a man forcibly grabbed my natural friend's hair and yelled at her that it was ugly, that she needed to comb it, and that she would only be pretty after she combed it. That experience was shocking for me and I'm sure scary for a moment for her so its nice to see this going on there.

Sasha B. said...

I LOVED THESE VIDEOS!!

Largely because I can see that 8 yrs of spanish has paid off (lol), but also because these women (and men) were so over the fact that people have negative comments about their hair. They seemed to laugh at it and keep it moving. I love their energy, in both the 1st and 2nd vids. I think I just might watch it again! ...no seriously* ;)

Maria said...

How awesome!!! I am Dominican as well, 4 years natural. My sister and I ditched the relaxers around the same time. Most of the women in my immediate family have natural hair.
I enjoyed the video and live diversity of color and hair texture in Santo Domingo. So glad to see fellow Latinas embracing their curls.

DailyCurlz said...

estamos progresando..que viva el pajon

Anonymous said...

LOVE this! Latinos come in all different races. My father is a black Puerto Rican with African hair and my mother is a white Puerto Rican with hazel eyes & type 2 hair. In every Latin Caribbean culture (Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican) we face the same thing. I have type 3C hair & have heard every comment about my "bad" hair from my mother's side of the family my whole life. I've been natural for over a decade & it's the best decision I ever made! The ignorance of "good" hair vs "bad" hair needs to end in EVERY culture, it's old & tired and it's time we end the stereotypes & MOVE ON.

Julissa said...

Love these videos, so energetic. I'm Panamanian and in my country is the same as in Dominican Republic and most Latinamerican countries, you must have straight hair in order to look beautiful. Once I went back home and went to the grocery store with my brother and my mom, one girl saw me and told another one, "oh, that's only done in the US", and I was like "well you could do it her too", I didn't tell her that, it just came to my mind. My mind doesn't really like it, but she's getting use to it, I can't wait for the day she goes back to natural, she was years ago for a period of time. Thanks for posting these videos Nikki

Anonymous said...

Loved these videos!!!
I have not been to the DR since I bc'd and although I have sent pics to my family there, I can't wait to hear what they'll have to say when they see me.
Before, I'd always go to the salon day before leaving for DR and my hair would last all of 5-10 mins at most from the time I left the airport to the time we reached the car before it'd start to frizz up...so I can't wait for my hair to absorb and thrive in the Caribbean heat/humidity when I go back home this winter. :)

Pat Natural said...

I love it!!!
Plus this is what I hear every day walking around in Santo Domingo... I am glad natural community is growing in our island little by little :D

Anonymous said...

I'm of Jamaican parentage so I'm so glad to see that natural hair is growing in the Caribbean.

Anayra Garcia said...

I love this! Being a Dominican American who has curly hair and only goes to salons when necessary; I get this reaction a lot. But I love my curly and would never relax or stop wearing it curly because others don't like it. Thx CN <3

Gloria said...

"Pareces una leona," jajajaja, no se si es bien o mal a paracer como una leona.

Pero, "bruja?" :(

Becky said...

As a natural Dominican this video made me super happy! If you think you're judged in American for being natural...its a million times worse in D.R. Physical beauty, I feel, is more of a concern down there. Thats not to say that its not in the U.S. but I feel a lot more pressure to look good and fit the "type" in D.R. than I do in U.S. So to know that there are people who are aware of natural beauty and even choose this option makes me feel really good

Miss Rizos said...

Good to hear of so many natural Dominicans and Latinas and that you are following CurlyNikki! I totally agree with my African American curlfriends, I will be posting stories of my African American friend's experience in the island while they studied abroad here, Sweetniz I think I might know you haha! To those who are coming back to the island, don't hesitate in getting in touch, I am sure there will be curly things happening!!

dominicanatural said...

As a Dominican currently studying in the DC area, I nearly cried when I saw this, especially since my first relaxer was at age 4 and I just chopped last month after an 11 month transistion. It's so great to see that in the D.R. e' pa' 'lante que vamos (los que lucen su pelo a lo natural). I love the comment, "Hace demasiado calor pa' esa vaina" because it is too hot for scalp burns, weekly rollerset + blowouts + flat-ironing which is how I lived my life until last summer. Now I'll be honest, before I chopped I thought about returning to the DR this December and was worried about how I would be perceived. Not only is my hair curly como la leona que soy, but it's also short, which isn't typical of most young ladies in the Dominican Republic. This video was needed especially after my father asked me, "Are you going to keep your hair like that?" six times while visiting yesterday.

afrodominicana said...

me enkanta este video! I am so happy to see that thinkgs are changing, even if the video only represents a small percentage, it is still progess. Viva los rizos!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I was so happy to see these videos and to learn that women in DR are embracing their natural hair. I am Dominican myself butI grew up in New York. I stopped relaxing my hair in 2009, then did the big chop in 2010. Most of the people in my family liked the look. But unfortunately my mother and my cousin were not big fans; they have gotten better over time but they still call me "mono duro" (hard hair) "Grena" (matted hair) or tease me and say that my hair looks like a brillo pad to wash dishes with... During the first 6 months after my big chop my mother would constantly say "why don't you just relax it already?" or "why don't you just relax it a little so it won't look so kinky?" ... I have never took their comments to heart and have wore my natural hair proudly, since going natural. My natural hair has grown sufficiently over the last two plus years and I just love when I'm out with my mother or cousin and people stop me and compliment me on my hair - I just look at them smile and say A-HA! to myself in my head lol! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Haha! I studied abroad in Buenos Aires and I ended up going to a salon run by Dominican women who had migrated to Argentina. All of the Afro-Dominicanas had perms. One lady was doing my hair and asked why I didnt perm my hair anymore... She went on to claim that, all the world is straigthening their hair! I laughed and made a point to educate her a little. Being natural isn't about being better than someone else, it's about finding a new sense of comfort in who you are, who God intended for you to be and the person you are striving to become! I appreciate the posting of these vids and the new developments of natural hair in all of America, not just the U.S.
-Brittney :)

Anonymous said...

Brittney,

I know this may be slightly off topic, but I'll be studying abroad in Buenos Aires this fall. Could you possibly tell me the name of that salon?

Thank you!

-Ashlee

Cynthia said...

Hola alguien sabe decirme donde hay peluqerias o barrios de dominicanos en buenos aires? tienen algun telefono, o direccion, gracias soy periodista

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