A Dominican Hair Salon Relaxes A Black Woman’s Natural Hair Without Consent

A Georgia woman got more than what she bargained for when she visited Lucy’s Dominican Hair Salon in Marietta. Initially, the woman went for just a wash and blowout. However, in addition to what she requested, natural hair received a relaxer treatment without her consent, reports Fusion.

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Employees at the salon added a chemical relaxer to the shampoo that was used to wash her hair. At first, everything seemed fine, until the woman tried to curl her hair back up again. She tried to put it in wet twist, but her hair failed to curl naturally like it normally would. She later contacted the salon regarding the mishap, and they told her that the chemical relaxer was indeed added to the shampoo without her knowledge.

Anyone with natural hair knows that adding a relaxer to chemical free hair is very detrimental to its natural curling threads. According to the victim, a representative from the salon told her adding the chemical to the shampoo is a standard process of the procedure. Which is to say that it’s used to manage or straighten hair more easily.

In Facebook post, she details her experience:

In response to the woman’s comment, another salon mentioned in the ordeal, Lizbeth Dominican Hair Salon posted something on Facebook in defense of the woman’s claims.

Unfortunately, these events hint at racial biases people back in the Dominican Republic have in relation to hair texture and melanin. For centuries, the island has succumbed to racist attitudes, which revolve around the notion that those with Eurocentric features like lighter skin and straighter hair are superior to those who look more of African descent or Haitian.

READ: A Dominican Salon Specializing In Natural Hair Is Redefining Beauty On The Island

In an article titled My Struggles as a Black American in the Dominican Republic by Morgan Miller for Quarterly Americas she details this experience. “In a country of complex racial dynamics, where straightened hair is a social currency and billboards depict curly-haired women with the headline your hair deserves better,’” she writes. “Natural or curly hair, colloquially referred to as pelo malo (bad hair—also a term used in the black American community), is sometimes viewed as a marker of Haitian identity.”