Salon Review: Dominican Essence

11th Earl of Mars/ flickr

11th Earl of Mars/ flickr

I’m probably gonna write a lot, so I’ll jump right in with the review and make this as straight-to-the-point as possible.  I visited Dominican Essence salon yesterday morning and had a great time. I left looking and feeling great. Here’s the scoop.

LOOK OF SALON: There’s no way around it, this salon is small. But if you can get over the tight quarters, you will be pleasantly surprised. There are only 2 washbowls and (the day I came in) there were 2 stylists, so you should definitely not come if your in a rush or pressed for time.  Other than that, it seemed like the ladies there were great multi-taskers and they weren’t wasting any time. The upside to salon, however, is that it did have a very homey feel. When you walk-in you are greeted, and even the other women waiting to get their hair done seemed friendly enough. I was in and out, in about 3.5 hrs.

STRICTLY HAIR CARE: I got a wash/shampoo, a deep condition treatment, a blowdry and flat iron. Juanita, the owner, handled me from start to finish,  and she was very gentle and careful with my hair. She took her time to detangle, and before she blowdried me she used an 2-in-1 heat protectant/protein treatment spray (Rejuvenol Pure Collagen Protein Delivery and Heat Protector).

All I can say about the end result is WOW. And I am not exaggerating.  I’ve had blow-outs done before, but never have I had someone that could get my hair to stay straight with no relaxer. My transitioning hair, might as well be all natural, because as soon as I would get home (and def by the next day), it would already start reverting and/or poofing up at the roots – ruining the entire hairstyle.

I left Dominican Essence, got on the hot subway back to Manhattan, then walked to my place in the wind and my hair was still BOMB. lol

Today, it was rainy and windy, and while some of my curl and bounce fell – my hair hasn’t reverted or went straight to hell like I suspected. As a matter a fact, its still silky- and I have some rollers in it right now to put some umph back into it.

Another side bar:  here are some products/brands I saw for myself, as well as some that were listed on their “treatment” lists –> Nexxus, Paul Mitchell, Sebastian, Salerm, Alter Ego. They also offer hot oil treatments.

FYI: All treatments are only $5 extra, with the exception of Alter Ego – $10

PICS: These don’t really embody the swing and silkiness, that was my hair in the aftermath. But you get the point. lol




just a length shot. sorry about the quality. its hard to get those shots on your own!
just a length shot. sorry about the quality. its hard to get those shots on your own!

STYLIST – CLIENT INTERACTION: All I have to say is – Juanita is a trip! She was very friendly, but also blunt. I think I’ve been doing pretty good with my at-home maintenance, because I asked her how my hair was doing and she told me fine — I just need to make sure to do deep conditioning/protein treatments every week. My right side is also shorter than my left (its pretty much all natural, on the right hand bottom side), so I don’t know what that’s all about – sleeping on the same side maybe? But I’ve dealt with it my whole life. Regardless, she said we’re gonna work on it.

Heads up to all naturals and transitioners! Juanita will not try to force you into a relaxer. She actually loves natural hair, and kept commenting on my waves, curls and kinks (I have all three on my crazy head). She even asked me why I was ever getting relaxers in the first place.

I did a lot of research and read plenty of reviews before I went, so I know that DE salon can handle you, if you are relaxed or natural. I believe they use Alter Ego relaxers (although I’m not sure if they use exclusively). Also, you can bring in your own conditioners or products if you are extra picky with your hair.

PRICING: I paid a grand total of $35. For me, that was awesome (considering I also got a treatment)!  This is the cheapest I’ve paid for a blow-out and flat iron (back in VA, the salon I went to automatically charged naturals $45 on up).

For relaxed ladies who just want a wash and roller set (or naturals and transitioners),  the price is $15. On certain days, they even have a deal for $12.

I was a walk-in, so if you want Juanita just wait for her or request her when you get there. Also, call ahead to make sure she is there. I’ve also heard that all of the stylists there do a great job, so don’t forget to consider them (I believe her sister and mother work there as well).



1183 President Street  – Brooklyn, NY 11225

(ph) 718-756-0382

if traveling by train, take the 2 or the 5 to the President Street stop and get off at the Nostrand Ave exit.

You’ll see the salon sign, as soon as you come out of the subway

:: Hope this helps ::


Filed under: My Hair, Uncategorized

3 Responses

  1. OO says:

    Your hair looks amazing!! I can’t believe that was only $35. I see you still have the henna color in there, did she comment on that at all? I’ve tried to go without relaxer, I was up to about 6mths, then my hair started to break, and I got nervous and went back to relaxing :(

    • blackstrands says:

      Hey, thanks!

      I actually did tell her that I did a henna treatment, and she seemed pretty neutral about it. She did, however, warn that it can be drying to the hair – but I also informed her that I mix mine with coconut oil to counteract that (and use a pretty good brand of henna). I didn’t have a problem with dryness at all afterwards – so far I’ve only done the henna treatment once.

      Also, if you were still hoping to transition again – have you tried doing a serious protein treatment. I’ve found that usually stops breakage in its tracks!
      I actually did an Emergence (brand Nexxus) protein treatment yesterday night, to replenish my hair after all that heat. Its kind of pricey for the small bottle, but I think its well worth it, considering I only use it when I need it (over a normal protein conditioner like hair mayo).

      Hope this helps

  2. Nathifa says:

    Do you know where Juanita have moved her shop too

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