Culture Shock Series – The Tubi Culture

Culture Shock Series is a series of genuine, often amusing, short videos exploring the culture of the country we’re currently visiting, from the mouth of the people who experience it daily.

The Tubi

This week we’re looking into the Dominican subculture that is the salon, and the Tubi that inevitably follows.

If you’re seen Chris Rock’s Good Hair, and liked it, this one is for you.


*Please note that not all views expressed in these videos are shared by us, the writers of WTaB. Rather they are intended as a peek into the actual culture and multitudes of views expressed by locals and expats alike. We tried to get as broad a spectrum of answers as possible, and included any and all answers (at least those that weren’t mumbled) We hope these videos will be amuzing to our viewers, but also a reflection of the culture for those who create it*


What do we think about Tubis?

We’re not sure exactly where they originated, and while they aren’t UNIQUE to the DR, they’re well known here and have become the most common way ladies take care of their hair while they sleep. However, it’s gone beyond the bedroom.

They’ve stirred up some controversy in the past (we don’t mean the Rihanna thing) with the locals whom have put up no tubi signs at some establishments, deciding that the style isn’t very attractive, and like pajamas, shouldn’t be worn out. But when it costs what it does to get your hair done, it makes sense to keep it protected until it’s time to let it loose!

Personally I wish Dominican ladies loved their natural hair and left it alone, and some do, but Chris Rock does a much better job of explaining the worldwide obsession ladies have with trying to get their hair looking as barbie-like as possible (women of all races) and the great length they go to in order to get it that way. If you haven’t seen “Good Hair” yet, I suggest you watch it.

Some ladies don’t get their hair done to look more “western” but just so it’s easier to take care of hair they otherwise think of as “unruly” and have trouble combing.

Whatever the reason, the Salon culture here is strong with the ladies who do spend a lot of time beautifying themselves while chatting about the neighborhood events. It’s similar to a North American salon routine, but warmer, friendlier, and more like you’re hanging with family. A real social event.


    1. Thanks Ted! Learning about local customs is half the reason I travel! Unfortunately, as the ‘american’ ways gobble up the globe I’m finding it less and less exciting. Less and less ingenuity and more and more plastic and branded T-shirts… That’s worth a blog post in and of itself. But this Tubi thing is DEFINITELY ingenious. :)
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  1. I really enjoy the culture shock series and the blog. Your exploration of the Tubi was excellent. As someone who recently married a Dominican and also fell in love with the Dominican people, I say keep up the good work.

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