Dubi Dubi Dos and Don’ts (Video)

Sunday in Havana

Ed. Note: Welcome to Hair Week on the Tiki Tiki! We’re talking all sorts of hair issues — cutting it off, straightening it, loving it, being frustated by it…Let’s pretend we’re in a salon and chat….

OK, nenas…let’s talk about those rolos. Who hasn’t walked around, even if it is just outside en el portal, in her rolos? Wuh, remember sleeping in them?

Who doesn’t remember seeing at least one prima — if not her own self in the mirror — with a head full of mayo and/or avocado? And, we’ve all seen women with heads full of shiny pins, hair wrapped in that Caribbean staple: The dubi-dubis. Which, let’s be honest, can make anyone look like they’re ready for shock treatment.

Some people consider rolos and dubis in public such an affront that there even is a Facebook group entitled Coalición Anti Dubi-Dubi y Rolos en Lugares Publicos (The Coalition Against Dubi-Dubi and Rollers in Public Places.) Nearly 41,500 people “Like” this page.

But while we chide those who dare walk outside in moños, the dubi-dubi does have its proper place, for it has given wavy-haired girls the sleek look they desire…and without the damage heat and chemicals causes. (We all can’t get Brazilian Blowouts, right Marta? Or chop our hair off.)


So, brave and fabulous Tiki Tiki reader, Mariel Ruiz-Armitage, a Puerto Rican who was raised in Orlando, has volunteered details about her own dubi dubi ways. And when you get through Mariel’s answers, be sure to look at the pictures and video at the end of this post that I curated on how to dubi-dubi.

And then tell us, do you dubi-dubi?

OK, here’s Mariel:

TT: When did you get your first dubi dubi? Who did it?
MRA:I must have been a tween when I was first introduced to the art of the dubi by witnessing my older female cousins walk around the house, and often, unashamedly out in public (GASP!!) with the ginourmous rolo on top of their head surrounded by a an army of un-matching bobby pins & aluminum ones.

TT: Why is the dubi dubi so fabulous?
MRA: The dubi is fabulous because it flattens out your wavy hair without the damage that heat from constant blow drying and flat irons inevitably produce.

TT: Does it take long to do?
MRA: It doesn’t take but a few minutes to do once you get the hang of wrapping your hair as neatly as possible around your head. This can be challenging for those with long hair because you will have to wrap around more than once. The trick here is to keep the hair TIGHTLY pinned to your head as if stretching out the waves. Also another trick: Do the dubi in BOTH directions to even things out.
The dubi usually has to be worn for several hours to get the best effect, so I would do a lefty dubi for half the time, and then take it off and comb it back on, but going in the opposite direction for the rest of the time.

In Full Dubi-Dubi

TT: Is the dubi dubi just a Latina thing..do you know?
MRA: You know, I’m not sure, but years ago, I had an American friend that saw me dubi, and she was amazed by this well-kept secret. We went out and got her some big pins of her own and she learned how to do it and loved the results.
We would laugh about it because her new hair regimen was a 3-step process:
She would blow dry, hot curl and then dubi!

TT: Do you currently straighten your hair? If so, how?

MRA: Guilty. I own a CHI flat iron that is on its last legs. Of course, I’m not as good as a professional.
I try to get to the salon as often as possible. I am lucky to have a wonderful Dominican hair stylist around the corner from where I live that knows JUST HOW to blow dry my hair perfectly and finishes the look with the flat iron. I sometimes “dubi” to make it last longer.
I have naturally wavy, loose curly hair. On days when the horrible Florida humidity is low, the curls look great. Thus, I LOOOOVE the few days of “winter.” My friends and I call those “good hair weather” days!! We flaunt the curls then.

TT: Why do you straighten your hair?
MRA: I feel “prettier” with straight hair… for some reason, it makes me feel thinner?! Sad, I know.

TT: When we were talking about the dubi, you wrote on our Tiki Tiki Facebook page: ” Shh! I still secretly duby every once in awhile to make my straight look last longer in this Florida humidity- my half americano husband thinks it’s funny. ”
Why secretly?
MRA: Have you seen how silly one looks sporting about 50 shinny pins coming off your head!? I bet I could get extra cable channels if I stand near the TV.

TT: Do you hide in your house when you do it?
MRA: Oh yes. I am not a proud dubi wearer. Although back in Puerto Rico it is perfectly normal to do ALL your daily errands with a dubi or a head full of rolos. I never understood this because I rarely saw them showing off the actual result of the dubi/rolos.

TT: You live in Florida, do you still see women walking around with the dubi-dubi in public?
MRA: Every once in a while, but more so rolos. It makes me smile… makes me think of Puerto Rico.

Dubi-Dubi Done. Gorgeous.

TT: Will you forever dubi-dubi?
MRA: I don’t do it daily… but yes, I know this is a very special “trick” that most don’t know about. It’s part of my heritage and if I ever have a daughter, she’s getting her own set of pins.

Mariel Ruiz-Armitage was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico and has lived in Orlando, Fla. since she was 10-years-old. Mariel is an executive administrator who loves to manage and coordinate events. You can read her blog here.

Share, por favor!

By Carrie on October 6, 2010 · Posted in the habla habla

6 Comments | Post Comment

Tweets that mention On the Tiki Tiki: Dubi Dubi Dos and Don’ts (Video) -- Topsy.com says:

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tiki Tiki Blog, Tracy López. Tracy López said: Today I learned what a "dubi" is RT @TikiTikiBlog On the Tiki Tiki: Dubi Dubi Dos and Don’ts (Video) http://goo.gl/fb/iGE1I [...]

Posted on October 6th, 2010

Tracy says:

Well, I enjoyed this post and I learned something new today. I never heard of or seen dubi. The rolos – yes, I’ve seen. I tried them once or twice but it never came out right.

For smooth curls I just use a leave-in conditioner or de-frizz product and then tie my hair back in a messy bun when it’s still damp. That usually does the trick. For straight hair, I blow dry and use a flat iron. If I let my hair dry naturally, it’s wavy which is fine in autumn and winter, but humidity can make it not so great.
Tracy´s last [fabulousness] ..Pollito Asado Lollipops

Posted on October 6th, 2010

TikiTikiBlog says:

Coming up on tomorrow’s Hair Week post, a Venezolana talks about her bad hair childhood, and accepting her… http://tikitikiblog.com/dubi-dubi-dos-an

Posted on October 7th, 2010

Latinaish says:

RT @TikiTikiBlog: Coming up on tomorrow’s Hair Week post, a Venezolana talks about her bad hair childhood, and accepting her… http://f

Posted on October 7th, 2010

Carrie says:

Tracy, I learned something too. I learned this look had a name: the dubi-dubi. One of my most beautiful cousins always did it and I am going to call her and ask her if she still does — she’s in her 50s now. She also used juice cans as rollers too!

Ay, I love the cultura.

Posted on October 6th, 2010

Dariela says:

I didn’t know that was the name either! We call them “pinzas” in Venezuela and when I was very little and I didn’t like my afro I wanted straight hair but my cousin that had very straight hair wanted it curly so I got the pinzas treatment and got the rollos. We got a cute picture of that ;)
Dariela´s last [fabulousness] ..Baby Food Storage

Posted on October 18th, 2010