African American Salons vs Dominican ...

African American Salons vs Dominican Salons

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lita

Houston, TX

#1 Mar 7, 2010
lita

Houston, TX

#2 Mar 7, 2010
Flak in the Great Hair War; African-Americans vs. Dominicans, Rollers at the Ready
By MONTE WILLIAMS
Published: October 13, 1999
Amid black hooded dryers, maroon floor tiles and walls awash in pink, Ana Vasquez is making her magic. Ms. Vasquez, a 39-year-old hairstylist at Classic II Unisex Salon in Hamilton Heights, alternates among three clients, washing, setting and blowdrying their tresses in less than an hour and a half.
In upper Manhattan -- at 143d Street and Broadway, to be exact -- the Dominican-born beautician has a following. Maybe she's not quite as hot with hoi polloi as Frederic Fekkai is with the fabulous and famous, but her name is known nonetheless. Classic II, a narrow storefront with four styling stations, is crowded during the week and clogged on weekends: standing room only.
On this northern stretch of Broadway, hair salons that are owned and operated by Dominicans are everywhere, and inside, black Americans are present in great numbers. The same scene is repeated throughout the city, where Dominicans have made significant inroads into the African-American hair market.
Much like Koreans, who have made nail salons their franchise, and Indians, Afghans and Pakistanis, who have made cab-driving theirs, Dominican immigrants have made beauty their business in New York, bringing with them their own hair-straightening techniques and recipes for home-brewed conditioners.
''They own more salons than any other Hispanic group,'' said Barbara Gonzalez, executive director of the Dominican-American Chamber of Commerce in Washington Heights.''That's one of the ways our community contributes to the economy of the city and country.''
Not surprisingly, African-American salon owners and stylists accuse the Dominicans of everything from incompetence to undercutting with shamelessly low prices.
Yet Dominican stylists have increasingly been able to build up a varied clientele among African-American women -- from bookkeepers to babysitters and writers to waiters -- largely through word of mouth.
Ava Griffiths, a Jamaican college student who was getting her hair chemically straightened at Family Hair Dresser in Bushwick, Brooklyn, swears by the Dominican-owned and operated shop. All of her friends, she said, go to Dominican beauty parlors.''They do good hair,'' said Ms. Griffiths, 23, a student at York College.''The perms are bouncy.''
Joan Mason, a 29-year-old African-American from Rosedale, Queens, treks through the borough to have her hair, a waterfall of dark brown curls, trimmed at Z-2000, a Dominican-owned salon in Corona. Ms Mason is staunchly supportive of salons operated by Dominicans.''They make the hair feel natural, good,'' she declared,''just like you stepped off the cover of some magazine.''
The secret to their success seems to be multifaceted. Most Dominicans -- many of whom are black or of mixed race and accustomed to handling black hair -- set a client's wet hair in jumbo-sized rollers. When it's dry, they blow out most of the curl. This process, according to Dominicans, is less damaging to the hair than the typical method of washing and blow drying because less heat is used.
lita

Houston, TX

#3 Mar 7, 2010
Ms. Vasquez also uses two conditioners: one deep conditioner with which the client sits under the dryer, then another that stays in the hair.''You don't fry an egg without oil in it, do you?'' Ms. Vasquez said, explaining the theory behind the second conditioner.

Another difference between black American and Dominican salons: Dominican-owned beauty parlors are by and large less expensive than African-American-owned shops. A wash-and-set at a Dominican salon might cost as little as $10 or $15, while an African-American salon on average charges twice that or more.

Statistics on the number of Dominican-owned shops in New York are not available, according to Dr. Romana Hernandez, assistant professor of the Latino Study Program at the University of Massachussetts in Boston. But Dominicans, who number a half million in New York City, tend to be more entrepreneurial, she said.''Seven percent of Dominicans own their own businesses'' in New York, she said,''compared with 5.8 percent of other Hispanics.''

The 35-year-old proprietor of Z-2000, Daisy Diaz, estimates that 90 percent of her customers are African-American. Her shop has four stylists, all but one from the Dominican Republic.

Blanca Rodriguez, a Dominican and the owner-operator of Blanca Unisex Salon in upper Manhattan, draws a large black American clientele, too. Asked if her African-American patrons have a preference for Dominican stylists, she said, in Spanish,''I've heard some blacks say that.''

Stylists and owners of New York's African-American salons have been stung by the competition, and aren't above lobbing barbs at the Dominicans.

Theresa Sampson, an African-American stylist, said that many of her clients who fled to Dominican salons had returned with hair breakage.''I don't think a lot of their stylists are licensed,'' said Ms. Sampson, who works at Marion's Beauty Shop on Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst, Queens.

An African-American stylist known only as Ms. Linda agreed.''Their treatments are more affordable,'' said Ms. Linda, who works for R. Juno's of New York, also on Astoria Boulevard.''But my clients return with hair breakage, totally unhealthy hair. You get what you pay for. I think they're putting cheap products in brand-name bottles.''

At Ebony 2000, a black-owned shop in midtown Manhattan, Merna McNeil -- a co-owner -- said that Dominican salons catered to a young inner-city crowd but not to her clients -- professional women.''We treat with more courtesy,'' said Ms. McNeil, who also accused Dominicans of mixing products.''We don't play chemists here,'' she said.''We don't cut corners.''

Denying the accusations, Rosa Olivares, the owner of Family Hair Dresser, said,''I wouldn't have so many African-Americans returning if I caused breakage,'' adding that she used some of the finest hair-care products around. Before she purchased her own shop two years ago, she worked in a black-owned shop in Jamaica, Queens. Blacks would come in, she said, asking if there was a Dominican hairdresser available to do their hair.

Many of the Dominican proprietors and stylists said they didn't feel a rivalry with African-Americans.''In fact,'' said Juana Ramirez, owner of Twin Beauty Salon in upper Manhattan,''when they come in looking for someone to do dreadlocks or braids, we send them to 125th Street.''

That's the right attitude, said Adriano Espaillat, the city's first Dominican assemblyman, who represents Washington Heights, a densely populated precinct with the city's largest Dominican population.
lita

Houston, TX

#4 Mar 7, 2010
''There's plenty of hair around for everybody,'' he observed.''Unless you're like me, going a little bald.''

Photos: Joan Mason of Rosedale, Queens, travels to Corona to have her hair cut and set by Maritza Diaz at Z-2000, a Dominican-owned salon. She said Dominicans make her hair feel natural and good,''just like you stepped off the cover of some magazine.''(Jeffery A. Salter/The New York Times)(pg. B8); Ana Vasquez is one of many Dominicans who own hair salons in New York City catering to African-American clients.(Angel Franco/The New York Times)(pg. B1)
lovelylttc

United States

#5 Mar 28, 2010
I don't think it matters or that it should be based on ethnic identity, but skill. There are some AA-owned salons that are very skilled & talented, and there are some not so much. There are some Dominican-owned salons that are very skilled & talented, and others not so much.
and now black americans & dominicans are joining forces, sloooowly but surely.
Chicky

Decatur, GA

#6 Apr 6, 2010
Many say we should support black businesses and I have no problem with this but black businesses need to be more professional. There is no excuse for black stylists to be repeatedly late, yet not willing to give you a discount on those high prices when they are late. There is no excuse for over-booking and having three people come in at the same hour when you know you have a relaxer, a sow in and a color to do. These types of appts needed to be appropriately spaced out because no woman wants to waste an entire day sitting in the salon. The constant talking on the phone while clients are waiting or eating while clients are waiting is simply ridiculous in itself. And lets not forget about the fellas that come in trying to sell you coats, fruits, jewelry etc. How can you support businesses like this that constantly mistreat you? What goes around comes around and black stylists are finally getting bit in the butt for lack of customer service. Dominicans know about good customer service and they benefiting from it. I've been going to my African American stylist for 10 years and can't count the number of times I've been placed in the chair to have my hair beveled and he tells me to hold on while he trims another customer who walks in the door after me. I don't care if what she wants doesn't take that long, he should know that this is unprofessional...so now that I have discovered dominicans, I have no intentions of going back to misery. And no he's not the only African American hairstylist that has behaved so poorly. One stylist would make me wait while she went and picked up her some Church's Chicken and so forth. She once left me in the salon all alone under the dryer while she went to the grocery store. Upon drying and discovering she wasn't there, I panicked because I thought something terrible had happened. I was about to call 911 when she comes barging in the door with grocery bags in both hands!
Jasmine

North Charleston, SC

#7 May 31, 2010
I ABSOLUTELY AGREE with you 100%. The Customer Service piece is non extistant in the Black Salons. Many, not all;, but many take their sweet time taking care of non business related items while I and others sit and wait. Many times I got the notion that "they were doing me a favor and I should be happy to be squeezed in for an appt. Ridiculous!!!! As I have transitioned from relaxed to natural hair, I've had several Black salons try to convince me otherwise and go back to perms... "because it's easier to maintain". Are you kidding me?!?! My 1st Dominican Salon experience was AWESOME! My stylist was on time... educated me on the products she was using... and most importantly listened to what I wanted. My hair has never been so healthy and my Saturdays have never been so free (no more waiting hours for my stylist).
Chicky wrote:
Many say we should support black businesses and I have no problem with this but black businesses need to be more professional. There is no excuse for black stylists to be repeatedly late, yet not willing to give you a discount on those high prices when they are late. There is no excuse for over-booking and having three people come in at the same hour when you know you have a relaxer, a sow in and a color to do. These types of appts needed to be appropriately spaced out because no woman wants to waste an entire day sitting in the salon. The constant talking on the phone while clients are waiting or eating while clients are waiting is simply ridiculous in itself. And lets not forget about the fellas that come in trying to sell you coats, fruits, jewelry etc. How can you support businesses like this that constantly mistreat you? What goes around comes around and black stylists are finally getting bit in the butt for lack of customer service. Dominicans know about good customer service and they benefiting from it. I've been going to my African American stylist for 10 years and can't count the number of times I've been placed in the chair to have my hair beveled and he tells me to hold on while he trims another customer who walks in the door after me. I don't care if what she wants doesn't take that long, he should know that this is unprofessional...so now that I have discovered dominicans, I have no intentions of going back to misery. And no he's not the only African American hairstylist that has behaved so poorly. One stylist would make me wait while she went and picked up her some Church's Chicken and so forth. She once left me in the salon all alone under the dryer while she went to the grocery store. Upon drying and discovering she wasn't there, I panicked because I thought something terrible had happened. I was about to call 911 when she comes barging in the door with grocery bags in both hands!
Chicky

Decatur, GA

#8 Jun 5, 2010
Jasmine wrote:
I ABSOLUTELY AGREE with you 100%. The Customer Service piece is non extistant in the Black Salons. Many, not all;, but many take their sweet time taking care of non business related items while I and others sit and wait. Many times I got the notion that "they were doing me a favor and I should be happy to be squeezed in for an appt. Ridiculous!!!! As I have transitioned from relaxed to natural hair, I've had several Black salons try to convince me otherwise and go back to perms... "because it's easier to maintain". Are you kidding me?!?! My 1st Dominican Salon experience was AWESOME! My stylist was on time... educated me on the products she was using... and most importantly listened to what I wanted. My hair has never been so healthy and my Saturdays have never been so free (no more waiting hours for my stylist).
<quoted text>
Glad that you are having a better experience with the Dominicans. I absolutely love the customer service. My niece was telling me she had made an appt with her American black stylist the other day only to show up at the scheduled appt and he wasn't there. She called and he said he had forgot about her. See this is the type of stuff I am talking about. I think black stylists have been taking advantage of us because they know that we really didn't have any other places to go but now that is changing and they are getting real scared. And like you said, it's almost like they have that I'm-doing-you-a-favor- mentality. HIDEOUS!
motiph

Mastic, NY

#9 Jun 7, 2010
as long as i am not paying for their addiction i care less who prepare their so i can later sweat it out awe without a doubt lol
Makia

Decatur, GA

#10 Jun 11, 2010
motiph wrote:
as long as i am not paying for their addiction i care less who prepare their so i can later sweat it out awe without a doubt lol
English please!!
motiph

Mastic, NY

#12 Nov 7, 2010
Makia wrote:
<quoted text>
English please!!
ahh thanks Makia for pointing that out that is what happens when you send before you read my bad by the way how often do you have your hair sweat out lol my georgia peach lol
motiph

Mastic, NY

#13 Nov 7, 2010
Makia can your hair be pulled or rubbed lol
DEE

AOL

#14 Nov 12, 2010
SAY, WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT THE COMPETITION,BUT IN MY OPINION,AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE STILL FAR MORE CREATIVE/INNOVATIVE WHEN IS COMES DOWN TO THE ART OF IT ALL AND THEY HAVE CREATED SOME OF THE HOTTEST HAIR TRENDS, AND AFRICANS DO AMAZING HAIR BRAIDING,THAT DOMINICANS CANNOT MESS WITH. THANK YOU.
Meiko

Jackson Heights, NY

#15 Jan 2, 2011
Quickly I will just say both have advantages. Black hair salons are better at hair cuts, weaves and celebrity hair styles. Dominicans are better at wash, sets, deep conditioning treatments, curly styles and quicker at getting you seen. Dominican hairstylists are cool, but sometimes they are known for talking a lot of smack about people in Spanish. They need to remember that at dark skinned people are not fully black and sometimes have spanish roots and can understand their conversations....
motiph

Bronx, NY

#16 Jan 4, 2011
Makia wrote:
<quoted text>
English please!!
don't be jelly of my edgemcation lolnow getbyour kitchen fixed your plumbing is leaking lol
Carol G

United States

#17 Feb 2, 2011
The rumors that Dominican hair salons cause breakage is drama started by black salons who don't want to lose their customers. I went to black hair salons and not only did the customer service suck they could only do the hairstyles that were popular. They basically were vendors for hair care products. I agree with Chris Rock's Good Hair. Perms are hair crack.. Your hair gets addicted to the stuff and if it doesn't get it or its supporting products it goes through withdrawal. I started going to Dominican Salons 2 years ago and I quit the perms cold turkey. My hair has grown to twice it's length and is soft, silky and smooth. It takes me all of 20-35 minutes in the salon and I come out looking lovely. No breakage, split ends and my hair style lasts. I go once every 3 weeks. In between, I wash and blow dry myself and it still keeps its soft silkiness. The african american salons can learn a thing or two. I will never spend another 4 hours in a salon for twice the money and a hairstyle that falls flat after one night of dancin at da club.
Baby Girl

Baltimore, MD

#18 Feb 3, 2011
Carol G wrote:
The rumors that Dominican hair salons cause breakage is drama started by black salons who don't want to lose their customers. I went to black hair salons and not only did the customer service suck they could only do the hairstyles that were popular. They basically were vendors for hair care products. I agree with Chris Rock's Good Hair. Perms are hair crack.. Your hair gets addicted to the stuff and if it doesn't get it or its supporting products it goes through withdrawal. I started going to Dominican Salons 2 years ago and I quit the perms cold turkey. My hair has grown to twice it's length and is soft, silky and smooth. It takes me all of 20-35 minutes in the salon and I come out looking lovely. No breakage, split ends and my hair style lasts. I go once every 3 weeks. In between, I wash and blow dry myself and it still keeps its soft silkiness. The african american salons can learn a thing or two. I will never spend another 4 hours in a salon for twice the money and a hairstyle that falls flat after one night of dancin at da club.
Amen to that sista!
Curl

Essex, MD

#19 Mar 9, 2011
Chicky wrote:
<quoted text>
Glad that you are having a better experience with the Dominicans. I absolutely love the customer service. My niece was telling me she had made an appt with her American black stylist the other day only to show up at the scheduled appt and he wasn't there. She called and he said he had forgot about her. See this is the type of stuff I am talking about. I think black stylists have been taking advantage of us because they know that we really didn't have any other places to go but now that is changing and they are getting real scared. And like you said, it's almost like they have that I'm-doing-you-a-favor- mentality. HIDEOUS!
I was trying to support the black owned businesses, but I have natural hair and I was paying $80 to get it Straight. Now I go to Arelis in MD and pay $25. For all who thinks they water down products ect. Bring your own. They don't care. My hair has grown 2+ inches in in less than three months. Now I must admit. The heat will break your edges a little but your hair will be long, full, shiny and look/feel healthy.
jmc

Princeton, NJ

#20 Mar 18, 2011
stop supporting those rice beans mother$#*^
YOUKNOWME

Baltimore, MD

#21 Apr 4, 2011
Curl wrote:
<quoted text>
I was trying to support the black owned businesses, but I have natural hair and I was paying $80 to get it Straight. Now I go to Arelis in MD and pay $25. For all who thinks they water down products ect. Bring your own. They don't care. My hair has grown 2+ inches in in less than three months. Now I must admit. The heat will break your edges a little but your hair will be long, full, shiny and look/feel healthy.
Good point to point out. They are perfectly okay with you bringing your own products. Do that with African American stylists and you are gonna get some lip service.

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