Tubis, Rolos and Redecillas in the Dominican Republic

Dedicated to my wonderful wife who is so beautiful she doesn’t need beauty salons

In the Dominican Republic, women taking care of their hair plays a significant role in the culture. Beauty salons in general are a huge part of the social fabric. Pedicures, manicures, eyebrow cleaning, hair coloring, drying and of course all the gossip that takes place in the salon is a big part of being Dominican. These same activities are often done in the home with sisters, mothers, friends and so on. In researching this topic there seem to be some political and racial issues mixed in, but I won’t be discussing that today.

For today’s entry I am only going to focus on tubis, rolos and redecillas.

When I first came to the Dominican Republic I saw women wearing the colorful rolos in their hair and found it exotic and attractive. I had no idea how important the process was. The hair is first washed and treated with various hair products, then combed and stretched over the rolos. This is often done outside the house, on a balcony, etc. That is just the beginning! Then the hair must dry. This can be done sitting in the sun or under a dryer. But then what?

The goal is to straighten out curly or wavy hair, which some object to for racial reasons, but I won’t comment on that here. After the hair has undergone this treatment and dried, it is then wrapped and pinned into a “tubi,” which looks like a beehive, thus the name. It is all then placed under the redecilla (hairnet) to protect it. One of the unusual things about this is the women rarely let the hair out of the redecilla. In my neighborhood I have seen many women in rolos and tubis, but it is a surprise when I actually see their hair free. Often the hair is long and quite beautiful…but you dont see it often.

My wife has explained all this to me many times and she laughs about how some people never remove the tubi after all that work. All I know is that it is quite a ritual and my wife is beautiful with or without treating her hair and with or without tubis and rolos.

Published by jimboyce44

World Traveler, Educator, Father, Husband, Son

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