Thursday, November 15, 2012
Dominique Dawes' Hair Story- 'I am Finally Natural!'
History lesson. Before there was Gabby, there was Dominique. One of the great icons of my generation, the talented and beautiful Dominique Dawes was the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics and the first Black person of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics. I'm honored to bring you her natural hair story. CurlyNikki: Dish on the hair! I'm loving the curls! Dominique: I am finally natural! Finally natural. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would go natural, mainly because when I was younger, I was always told that my hair was unmanageable... that it was dry, that it was brittle. You know, all the things that those with certain textures of hair are told. I never seemed to be able to get past shoulder length with my relaxed hair, it would always get to my shoulders and start breaking off and I’d have to chop it off and start over. So approximately 2 and half years ago I got a weave to attempt to grow it out. Within that time I started working with a number of different hair stylists that would install partial weaves that left the top of my hair exposed. Never a fan of weaves, I’d always notice people wearing them, and I didn’t want to be that person. Luckily, I found an amazing hair stylist to put in a full weave and during that time, my hair was able to rest. I of course never got my hair relaxed during this time and it grew and grew. Last year my stylist asked, 'have you ever just thought of wearing your natural hair?' And I laughed because I thought she was joking! And she was like, ‘What? Why wouldn’t you wear your natural hair?’ and I said, ‘because it’s dry, it’s brittle, it’s not manageable. I’ve been hearing that since I was a kid so I never imagined going natural.' As she did every two months, she took the weave out and conditioned my hair. But this time, she took me to the mirror and showed me my natural curls and coils. I fell in love with my hair right away. But I hadn't embraced it. I was in the midst of headshots and interviews at the time and it wasn't... 'comfortable' for me. But at some point, I remember I was out of my weave for like 5 days and just before I was due back in to have the weave installed, I called my stylist up and I said, 'you can burn that hair because I’m done with it, I love my hair!' She knew she was losing a boat load of money because I always bought the top quliaty of hair as well as made appointments every 2-2.5 months... but she was so happy for me. I felt liberated and empowered beause I was embracing a part of myself that I never thought I would embrace.
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