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Curly Nikki

Dominique Dawes’ Hair Story- ‘I am Finally Natural!’

By September 9th, 202195 Comments
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.

Dominique Dawes' Hair Story- 'I am Finally Natural!'

I really love my coils and curls… so much that I’m walking around and telling people to go natural! And when they laugh at me and say stuff like, ‘oh my hair is too brittle’, I say, ‘that’s what I thought too‘. And of course my hair still gets dry, but I really love the texture of it. I will talk to you more after I get back in the States, because you’re
the expert, but I’m on a crusade to find the right products and the
right styling techniques.

CurlyNikki:  I was contacted by CNN to share my opinions about the controversy over Gabby Douglas’ hair and I know it’s pretty much old and tired news, but I have to ask… would you like to weigh in for the CurlyNikki community?

Dominique: My thing is that it’s really disheartening. This young girl makes history, and us in the African American community should be embracing and celebrating what she has done… not just for herself, but for the impact that it’s going to make on our kids, as I did 16 years ago. She told me that I was one of the individuals that helped her recognize and believe that she could not only go to the Olympics, but do what she has done there.  She found inspiration from my performances. So I know that thousands of young kids will get inspiration from her performances. It is a little disheartening that some, not all, in the African American community, instead of celebrating her achievements are criticizing something so superficial.

As gymnasts, we are not concerned about our hair. If you look back at videos of myself at the Olympics, you’ll see I wasn’t so concerned with how I looked and if I was, I may have never made it to the Olympic games.  My focus wasn’t on appearance, it was on achievement.

Dominique Dawes' Hair Story- 'I am Finally Natural!'

CurlyNikki: As a pioneer in your field, what advice do you have for women that are paving their own way?

Dominique:  Make sure you’re doing things for the right reason, also, you have to have a passion for what you’re doing. I always tell people to follow your heart, but also to be very selective in the people you choose to get advice from and to surround yourself with, because you really don’t want to have a lot of noise and clutter distracting you from reaching your full potential and making an impact.

It’s all about passion, all about people and and it’s all about having a vision of where you want to take your life, both professionally and personally. I think people have to recognize that there’s many facets to your life and I never, as I did as a child, never sacrifice everything for one goal. Make sure you’re happy in all facets of your life, such as your personal endeavors, your goals, your hobbies, your physical and emotional health, the relationships with friends and fam, your spouse, your kids as well as your professional life and spiritual growth.  Like I tell people, I never strive to be Super Woman.  I don’t try to do everything exceptionally well, I just try to do them to the best of my ability that day. And that’s key for a lot of people that want to be pioneers. Don’t negelect those other facets because at the end of the day, you’re not going to wish you spent more time in the office, you’re not going to wish you made more money, you’re not going to wish you got that contract, you’re really going to wish that you had more of a balanced life with strong meaningful relationships.

Dominique Dawes' Hair Story- 'I am Finally Natural!'


CN Says:
‘…but also to be very selective in the people you choose to get advice
from and to surround yourself with, because you really don’t want to
have a lot of noise and clutter distracting you from reaching your full
potential and making an impact
‘  <<<<<<< THIS. 
Reminds me of one of my fav Kanye lyrics- ‘…any pessimists, I ain’t talk to them, plus I didn’t have a phone in my apartment’. Lol, y’all know I never miss an opportunity to quote Kanye.  But yeah, I couldn’t agree with that sentiment more.


At any rate, Dominique is amazing and we’ll be checking in with her when she’s back Stateside.  In the meantime, show her some support below, she’s looking forward to reading your comments. Also, keep up with Dominique on her website,, and on Twitter! 


  • Aisha says:

    Thank you for doing this interview Nikki and Dominique!

  • Quel2012 says:

    I'm so happy to see this article and Dominique Dawes!!! I remember me and my cousin making up our own gymnast routines after watching Dominique on tv. Those were the days. Dominique your hair is gorgeous. CurlyNikki thanks for this article. I'm looking forward to more. On a side note, is it me or does she resemble Jada Pinkett-Smith? They could be sisters.

  • thinkingbeing says:

    She looks lovely and her hair is gorg!! I love her advice and i LOVE that song! Not a huge fan of Yeezy but found myself quoting that same line a couple weeks ago!

  • Leroy Brown says:

    like the quote. hair doesn't determine who we are…WE determine who we are. granted she has nice hair, but that's not how we'll remember her…or any other successful person.

  • Jessica Coletrain says:

    Balance! It's crazy how some people put so much into hair when great things are being done.

  • Latrice says:

    I remember watching Dominique do all that flipping on the floor exercise! Phenomenal! And I agree, she is even more beautiful after all these years! Natural hair looks awesome! I was told the same thing about my hair. My mom's hair is much finer than mine with loose curls. So, she and I could not manage my hair when I was young. I got a relaxer at 13 and had the same struggles–couldn't get my hair past shoulder-length. My hair easily passed my shoulders once I went natural. I love that the natural hair community is so supportive and so wide! What Dominique said about balance is RIGHT ON! I try to remember this every day. I am aiming for a job/career change and a move to another state. I needed to read this today! Thank you!

  • Derika says:

    She is beautiful and very wise! Her skin is flawless in pic #2! She is a great role model for Gabby Douglas and other gymnasts.

  • tiana says:

    This article is about DOMINIQUE DAWES! I could give a damn about some teenage bitch and her moody promblems! Hell she's not the only one w/problems!!! So Jasmine G. please stfu & move on bitch!
    Anyway, i LOVE Dominuque's hair. Her and her hair are soooo pretty!

  • mrsgotrocks says:

    I love the pic of Dominque and The First Lady! Ms. Dawes you still look amazing!

  • Loveme says:

    You are SOOOO GORGEOUS! I can't believe you managed to get even more beautiful! I saw you on TV during the Olympics and I was LOVING the hair! I remember watching you when I was a kid like you during the Olympics, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for all you did and do for little black girls.

  • Bridgette Simmonds says:

    What a great interview!!! I know as a young girl watching Dominique in the '96 Olympics inspired me! Love it that you're embracing your curls, Dominique! Have you tried the G Wrap for your evening hair care ritual?

  • Manny says:

    I remember Dominique Dawes when she was in the olympics when I was like 8….I was happy to see her supporting Gabby and being a correspondent with her Natural Hair.

  • Sydney says:

    She-ro! Love that too! Definitely using it!

  • Sydney says:

    Love Dominique! I remember watching her performances as a little 11yr old girl with pigtail braids in my hair. I would prance around the living room pretending to do gymnastics routines 🙂 Love that she's natural (as am I) and I just think she's gorgeous and so well spoken. Loved how much she supported Gabby!

  • Natural83 says:

    Me too! Loved to watch her on the floor routine and the uneven bars! She was fierce!!!!

  • Natural83 says:

    Soooo happy Nikki interveiwed Dominique Dawes! I'm telling you, she was and still is my girl! I took gymnastics back in the day- well it was a cheerleading and tumbling class, but you get the point! Lol Anyhoo, I was always so inspired by Dominique! And I'm even more thrilled that now our new generation has Gabby Douglas to look up too. Dominique is still very gorgeous and I'm so happy to know that she is natural! Woot! Woot! It was so exciting to see her covering the Olympics! I still love me some Awesome Dawesome!

  • Sheena Bassett says:

    Yayyyy that's my girl, i saw her pic somewhere on the net and i was like i know her … i know her, until i saw the name below…. i felt like the older folk when they haven't seen a baby since they were a baby. I watched her when i was younger and admire her very much. I can still remember trying to display her moves she did at the olympics at my prevocactional education (PE) classes and impressing my teacher.
    I love the story on her natural hair journey it reminded me of my journey as well, from the advice of a hairstyler. If its any help the you tube video and researches helped alot for me. Cantu Shea leave in conditioner seems to be the most popular leave-in conditioner and it works great, you can give that a try. I can now just cowash more than shampoo and deep condition once a week. i 've now develop this love of using homemade treatments and conditioners from items out my kitchen (mayo, avacado, milk, egg, etc.) … it now became a weekend treat for me and i love it.
    I hope you find the products that best suits you, i am myself is still searching slowly but surely. Best of luck on your finding and i look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Take Care… much love!

  • MsPooh says:

    You said it yourself…he tried to go hard on you because you turned him down for a date. He's a hater. He was hurt and now he's lashing out. If you're 18 …and he's 10 years older, making him 28…and this is how a "man" behaves…girl, leave that loser for somebody else to deal with! (I would really go there and just crack on this fool, but I won't. A moment of silent prayer for Mr. Hater Man, please…Amen.) The other ladies are right…you do kind of have to develop a thicker skin. If you are loving your natural hair in private, and it makes you feel amazing…then there is nothing stopping you from loving your natural hair in public.

    You are definitely not alone. I think all of us have been in similar situations. I think I was the first person I knew in my immediate family, among my friends and in my church to go natural. I took heat from everybody…my little brother even clowned me about my hair going to my cousin's funeral. Now…everybody is talking about going natural…the women in my church…my friends. I wasn't trying to be a trend-setter…I was just being me…and I refused to let other people's ignorance get to me.

    As your hair grows healthy and strong (and long, if length is your goal), other people will begin to ask you about what you're doing…how you like it…was it difficult, etc. Ms. Jasmine, your haters are meant to be your elevaters (yeah, I know that's not a word, but "elevators" didn't look right…ya know?). Just watch…the very ones laughing at you now will be admiring you later.

  • Brooke B. says:

    I remember watching her when I was younger & loving how she was always poised & confident. To see her now rocking natural hair makes me even more excited, she's a very beautiful woman. Can't wait to see future articles are Ms. Dawes.

  • SavanahRae says:

    I remember wanting to be a gymnast and outside back flipping and trying to split

  • Latisha Jalloh says:

    I love Dominique!!!

  • Ariel K Campbell says:

    Was just thinking about Ms Dawes and Gabby this weekend along with my own struggle to make the decision to go natural. Must be a sign…

  • Rhiana Gunn-Wright says:

    dominque, both you and your hair are so lovely. i was so obsessed with you when i was little, and it's so wonderful to see that you're just as awesome in real life as i've always imagined.

  • hairscapades says:

    I was so excited to see this!! When I saw Dominique in the stands, I was just like, OMGosh, she has aged beautifully!! Seriously, I didn't even notice her hair!!! Now I see that too and I am in awe of how stunning she is!! I've been enamored with gymnastics ever since the 1984 Gold winning women's dream team!! Mary Lou Retton made me want to be a gymnast, though those dreams were never meant to be (I can barely do a cartwheel now! LOL!!), I continued to love gymnastics. And, when Dominique entered the scene, it was so wonderful. Anywho, just so excited that you got this interview and it was a great read!! Can't wait to see more of her on here when she gets back stateside!!


  • D'Jeri Harris says:

    This is so awesome! I remember Dominique Dawes from when I was younger. Shoot my younger sister is even named for her lol

  • Taliah Shiree says:

    It's always great to see Dominique, seeing that she is natural and to see such great words of advice come from her! I have been a fan & she has inspired me since the '96 Olympics and as a little girl, you never forget those people who instill so much hope & passion in you. She did that for me! Hope to see more of you! And thank you for being a great role model & Forever Young!

  • Thetruthisoutthere says:

    ps. if you don't like the sponge tutorials – look for "Toliahli Quick "Finger Coils", define your twa" on YouTube".

  • Thetruthisoutthere says:

    @ Jasmine G. I'm sorry you are going through this hard time – it's difficult for use to understand why others don't think we're beautiful. And amazingly, this is also the solution. Do NOT try to understand why others don't see your beauty!!
    Our "short hair" has always been used by others as an excuse to put us down, hold us back, or keep us out of the competition. There is no rock – there is no hard place – there are only blind people. Do not underestimate the "Power of Attraction". Like attracts like – when you externally embrace your fabulosity, others will recognize and flock like moths to your candle.
    As for your friends – to everything there is a season. High school was the season for cliques and hanging out. College is the season for Enlightenment and Fabulosity, it is the season for attraction, it is the season for new people, new friends, new adventures!
    I was happy to read your statement "in private my hair makes me feel amazing"! Werk it girl!!
    As far as YouTube goes, which tutorials are you looking at? Are they women with your hair length? I've seen some of the most amazing tutorials for short hair – one that comes to mind involved massaging a household sponge over the hair to bring out the most beautifully clumped coils. I was like, "what the fasheezy?! That's brilliant!!"
    Take care of your hair, love it as it is. Protect and nurture it and it will flourish!

    Be blessed!

  • Dee says:

    I remember watching Dominique Dawes for years every time gymnastics came on TV whether it was worlds or the olympics. I've been a fan of hers for years. She is a true inspiration for women and I am so happy that she has embraced her natural hair. She looks fantastic and I could not be more prouder to be an American or a black women in America with great representatives like her. Welcome to the Curly Nikki community.

  • Deanna H. says:

    Dominique and Gabrielle are truly exceptional and inspirational African American women. I applaud their successes in life and truly admire the example that can be for the women in our community. She made some VERY poignant points about have a well-balanced life and surrounding one's self with a supportive environment full of meaning, instead of trash. Thumbs up on her acceptance of her coils and curls!

  • Megan M. says:

    She is doing her thang African American, natural, gorgeous and an Olympian okay I see you girl. Man I wish I was an gymnast lol!

  • Ludny Charles says:

    I totally agree. This is why my overall confidence has grown. You do have to develop VERY tough skin. Boy oh boy did I have too lol.

  • poetsgroove says:

    She kicking it with Michelle?!!! Go girl I aint mad at you!!!

  • Mary says:

    So classy! I love her reaction to Gabby's win. She was happy to pass the torch instead of hogging it. And I've always loved her eyes. I wish I could make mine so dramatic.

  • Yolanda J. says:

    Jasmine, I think a lot of us have gone through this. What helped me was that I had a real strong support group. If you don't have one, then if you can afford it, once a month or two, go to a natural hair salon and you will begin building a support system there. One stylist that I had been going to has hosted a natural show where I live. So, stop loving yourself in private and past that lovely smile on your face and go out and put your fierce attitude on. Once you are out of the "ugly" stage of your transition (and I am going through it twice as I transitioned a couple of years ago, now I am growing locs). I fortunately have found that a lot of people (men as well) love the look. You will find that as well. Just keep learining your hair and loving all of it whether long or short, curly, frizzy or the like. Others will see that and will respond accordingly.


    😉 LOL!

  • Carla says:

    Hehe. Lundy, my boyfriend called my mini for Ronald McDonaled the other day (strictly joking because he loves natural hair and encouraged me to go natural). I laughed so hard! Going natural has taught me to be tougher…no matter why you do people will have an opinion about it. Jasmine stay strong and true to yourself! At the end of the day just knowing that will keep your head above the naysayers 🙂

  • Carla says:

    Ooooh Dominique Dawes! I grew up watching you on television and always rooted for you not only because you were one of the very few women who looked like me but because you always (continue to) process such determination and positivity! Keep up the great work and my generation is so glad to have you around to support and encourage Gabby as well as those who will come after her 🙂

  • frizzycurlz says:

    When I saw Dominique while watching the Olympics, my husband just gave me a look with a smile waiting for my scream of, "awwwwww she's natural!!!!" What a beautiful surprise that was as I also remember watching her compete in the olympics.

  • abrunnin says:

    1st & foremost: Kanye is the TRUTH! When I saw Dominique at the Olympics I was like "omg! hair! love it" I just now noticed her make up. lol! So awesome to see us making history and supporting one another in gymnastics.

  • dpearson227 says:

    I loved seeing Dominique sitting in the audience. Her curls are beautiful!

  • Nikkiyah Roberts says:

    As I scrolled down and her face appeared, I yelled at the screen "DOMINIQUE"!!!!!! This is hands down my favorite celeb article since I have been reader…WOW! Dawes was definitely an inspiration to the 80s babies and many more after her…her floor exercises, beam work amazing. As a kid I would jump off the couch and throw my arms up and back with my hands angled trying so hard to emulate that end pose:) Dawes was always such a natural beauty so it seems fitting that she rounds that off by showing off her natural hair texture…she only looks more beautiful (if that's possible??)! I am smiling so hard right now…great article CN.

  • Esther Komolafe says:

    Great article.

  • Andrea says:

    Hi Dominique! GREAT post! I've missed seeing you around and have always wondered where you've been after getting your Olympic gold. I remember seeing you when I was growing up in absolute AWE of every routine you did, wondering why my mom never put me in gymnastics like you! Lol! So great to see you doing well! Love the hair! 🙂

  • Kimberly says:

    I love you Dominique, you are such a beautiful and wise young lady. I hope going forward that you are able to cherish relationships and focus on other things because it sounds like you sacrificed a lot in your young age and I can understand that with the field that you are in. Be an anchor for young Gabby if she is a wise young lady who listens, you've been there, done that and you have a lot of wisdom and it sounds like you've learned some great lessons. You are definite quality and God bless you and every endeavor you partake in your life.

  • nola707 says:

    Jasmine, I'm sorry to hear that someone is giving you a hard time for your choices. Please know that a man that is so immature is not someone you wanted in your life anyway. Keep browsing Youtube and forums like Curly Nikki for information on how to treat your protein deficiency and remember that long hair does not always equal healthy hair. You will always find support from the Natural/Curly Hair Community and not just in regards to your hair journey. I'm old enough to be your Mother but if you ever need someone to talk/chat with, please reach out to my via email. Keep your head up. It WILL get better!

  • Raven says:

    Dominique is my friend in my head as well. I just didn't want to share it with everyone, but I can tell you since we have a friend in common. 🙂

  • Raven says:

    LOL!!! I remember the name Awesome Dawesome! I put that in my comment as well before seeing this. Great minds think alike 😉

  • Raven says:

    (Let me get my fangirl squeal out) Okay…let me calm down before I attempt to type and none of this makes any sense. I have been a fan for years!!!! OMG how many times did I pretend to be her while I did my own made up routine in my grandmother's yard. I don't know if any of you saw her interview after Fabby Gabby won gold…it was priceless. So often people feel "some kind of way" when they feel others are in their space, but not Dominique. She was so excited/elated/truly happy for Gabby. What a treasure! Now…on to hair…just beautiful! Dominique you truly are Awesome Dawes-ome! (I took it way back)

  • Pecancurls says:

    Jasmine, I am so sorry that this arse is causing you pain. Sounds to me like he is throwing a toddler tantrum on the play ground If he can't have what he wants (in this case you) he will manifest his hurt by putting down the object of his desire. Don't think for one minute that it is a reflection on you. It has more to do with HIS insecurities. He might be 28 chronologically, but I have seen 8 years olds behave with more maturity than that. Sounds like you are not missing out anything by not going out with him. Anyone who would hurt has not earned the privilege to have you in their life. As you are entering this new chapter of your life in college think about all the new friends and adventures you will have. Get support from like minded folks whether it is on line, natural hair hook ups, etc. Put yourself and your happines first.

  • Pecancurls says:

    Awesome interview Nik!! Dominique, you look fabulous! Like fine wine you have become more beautiful over time. :)Your hair is on point. Your pearls of wisdom are fab. I am working to make sure that I have a balanced life. Over time I have had to shed some relationships that I have come to realize were not that strong, but those that have weathered peaks and valleys with me are still standing with me.

  • Bridget Daniels says:

    I remember watching Dominique when she competed in the Olympics. She was so amazing and I was so proud. Now, I look at her beautiful hair and great personality and again I am thinking that she is so amazing and I am so proud.

  • Nicole Washington says:

    Dominique I am so proud of you as a person!! I love your natural hair and that you made the choice to Rock it!! Stay encouraged on the natural hair journey and enjoy the versatility

  • Hilary B. says:

    Aww, I love this!! I love her hair story and her advice is so great. As far as the quest for the right products and techniques, it's a ton of fun and CN is THE place to start 😀 Can't wait to hear more from her

  • prettyparticular says:

    IKR…she went from gorgeous to gorgeouser (I DO know that's not a word, lol). And I'm with you on the additon of Mrs. Obama in the photo!

  • BaldieBeautiful says:

    same here smh

  • Ludny Charles says:

    You are a brave young woman just because you don't want to cut even after everyone is giving you a hard time. I think that is all you need to get through this rough time. You are doing a great job. I just don't take it personally. I laugh with them. My brother sent me a text after I BC'd in 2010 with a list of names. 'Sisqo, Ronald McDonald, Ron Artest, Dennis Rodman, Harriet Tubman…and so forth'. All the names of people who I now resembled lol. I just sent him a big old LOL and kept it moving and smiling. My father told me to not walk next to him in the street lol. I could've been sad and felt down but I just turned it into laughter and jokes. That's the only way to 'survive'. Once your hair gets longer and they see all the awesome versatility with natural hair, they will DEF come around. That same brother who clowned me saw I was eyeing perm boxes (not for me of course) and told me to stop playing as he pushed me away. See…they come around 🙂 Stay strong and LAUGH!

  • lovebrownsugar says:

    Love this!! Good interview Nikki – reposting!

  • Leisa Monique says:

    Kudos to you Jasmine for being true to YOURSELF! Being true to who YOU are is the way to get to where you want to be. The cool thing is that you're doing it at a time when Natural hair is being embraced by women everywhere so you definitely have the support you need to stand up to fools like the one you mentioned.

    When I made the transition to natural 14 years ago there was no Curly Nikki (at least I didn't know about her if there was) or other natural hair communities. The criticism I received was enough to send anyone over the edge and with no support from other naturals well, it was rough. What got me through that time was 1. my stubbornness 2. my luv affair with my hair 3. the uniqueness of having natural hair at that time and 4. I decided to be true to me!!

    You may feel lonely but know that you are never alone. You have your natural hair sisters all around you and if you ever need any encouragement just find me on twitter!

  • Mel says:

    It's always great to see people you were fans of grow up to be well-rounded balanced individuals with their heads on straight!! She is a testament that hard work and dedication truly pays off when the focus is on the whole self. Dominique's hair is beautiful and so is she. She is also doing a wonderful job co-chairing the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. I wish her all the best!

  • Jeannette says:

    Welcome to the natural hair community Dominique!!! I'm loving her hair too 🙂

  • Leisa Monique says:

    And before Dominique Dawes there was Wendy Hilliard the FIRST African American to represent the U.S in Rhythmic gymnastics…in 1978! We have some amazing women in the African American community! Congratulations to all of these ladies! We celebrate you!

  • Kudos says:

    I.LOVE.HER! Everybody loves her! I was at a bar watching the games, when they showed her everybody broke out in cheers and applause!! I was like… "She's natural!!"
    Appreciate the advice, and love your hair!

  • Wanett says:

    I have ALWAYS been a fan of yours, Dominique!! I've been on YouTube watching your old performances and proudly showing my children the Gabby Douglas of my day! I am so happy to see you here sharing your story and I was overjoyed to see your beautiful natural hair when you were doing your Olympics coverage.

    Thanks for the great advice and even greater memories! You are woven into the fabric of my adolescence is a great and positive way!!

  • Davina W. says:

    Good interview. She reminds me of JPS.

  • KF519 says:

    Great interview! I saw her on tv and immediately noticed her natural hair. So glad she made the decision and it looks great! 🙂 Also, she's a very intelligent young lady…loved her answers.

  • Lena Townes says:

    Great article!

  • nylse says:

    Dominique has an inner beauty that transcends how she wears her hair; I love the way she carries herself and the confidence that radiates from her. I saw her on NBC doing a segment with another male black blogger and while I hate all the discussion around Gabrielle's Douglas' hair, she made it classy. I love her Christian faith and that is evident in how she carries herself and how she speaks. I love the advice she gave Gabrielle Douglas – keep God first and surround yourself with wise people.

  • Adena J. White says:

    Thank you for this interview, Nikki! I was looking forward to reading about Dominique's natural hair story as soon as I saw her beautiful curls.

  • Jasmine G. says:

    This gave me a little inspiration. You see, for the last week or so this guy has been making fun of my hair, simply because I turned him down for a date (he's almost ten years older than me, and I'm 18). Now usually I wouldn't care; I had heard just about every name from my "friends", friends, and family. But lately, I had been feeling especially alone, being that this is my transition between high school and college (my friend drop was severe), and him ousting me in front of his friends only dragged out my pain. and now I feel that I'm being made fun of left and right. Now I can never perm my hair or wear a weave again. I would rather cut of my left arm before I succumbed to that horror again. And in private my hair makes me feel amazing, even though only being a year natural with a protein deficiency my hair is shorter than most girls giving hairstyle tutorials. I just wanted to ask, how can I get myself out from between this rock and hard place?

  • 3rdXsthecharm says:

    I remember those bow legs! Such an inspiration to so many, and still is. Love her!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, you never heard that term before???!!

  • ClosetConfections says:

    GREAT interview! I was told similar things about my hair growing up, but I now know that my hair thrives under the right conditions. And I love her words about being selective about the company you keep and whose advice you listen to. No truer words were ever spoken!


  • Marquia says:

    Absolutely love Dominique Dawes! I've been inspired by her since her Olympic win, and her hair is gorgeous!!

  • nikkinukka1 says:

    i love me some dawes!!!! ive always admired her when i was younger! she gets more and beautiful as she ages!!!! #awesome dawesome!!!!

  • Gaye Glasspie says:

    Dominique your hair is fabulous. I love your story and I remember watching you and screaming like it was yesterday! Bravo!!

  • sunt97 says:

    She is gorgeous and both she and Gabby shouldn't be looked by the hair, but by their achievements just as she said. Great post.
    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  • Caramelcurls says:

    I adore Dominique Dawes! She is such an inspiration to women everywhere. I remember watching the Olympics in high school and I was so glad to see her represent. She speaks openly about her faith and seems to have a good head on her shoulders. I am sooooo very proud of her and Gabby Douglas–GO GIRLS!

  • Anike Clark McKoy says:

    This was a great interview. Kudos to Dominique! Welcome to the natural side of life. *giggle* Loving your hair and everything that you have accomplished in your life. I can remember when I first saw you compete like it was yesterday. I was pretty young, but I'll never forget it. The first time I saw you do your floor exercise at the Olympics, I had never seen anything like it, and I knew you were going to do big things. You are awesome! Congratulations on all your accomplishments.

  • Rachelle Hardy says:

    "She-ro"!?!? I am so stealing that!

  • Napolean Dynamite says:

    Yesss! So happy to see Dominique Dawes is natural and beautiful! I'm a sports fanatic so quite naturally (lol) I love the Olympics! God continues to use us all for his glory. He did it with Dominique from '92 to '00 and now he is doing it again with Gabby in the sport of gymnastics. I never saw (and still don't see) anything wrong with Gabby's hair anyway, she's wearing a ponytail with hair clips like every other gymnast. So, yeah…moving on! Black women in the lime light have the perfect opportunity to educate other cultures on "black hair" and I love it when they take the opportunity to do so!

  • S. F. says:

    Great article. Love her. One more natural for our team.

  • Jungfrau says:

    Lovely interview. Dominique looks great and her hair is beautiful. I have been a long time admirer of hers. My niece (now fifteen) wanted to be an Olympic gymnast like Dominique when she was younger, however she grew to be really tall and had to give up on that dream.

  • Stay says:

    Hey Dominique! Always been a fan, the kids in middle school used to say I looked like you! 🙂

  • Pennie Cuevas says:

    Man I remember when I was young and busting my ass in the kitchen pretending to be a gymnast 😛

  • Miss Anne says:

    And Dominique, your curls are fabulous!!! you look super! xxx

  • Miss Anne says:

    Awesome read!!! currently in that place where I'm trying to find happiness in all parts of my life. It's taking a little longer than I'd like but I know it will come together. The important thing for me is not to let one part of my life suffer while the other is thriving. I'm taking it all one step at a time but I'm getting to that place and the goal for me: Love and Happiness.

    Thanks Nikki for sharing this!!! x

  • Jada07 aka moodindigo7772 says:

    So awesome! I remember watching Dominique compete; not just in the Olympics, but in pretty much every televised gymnastics event, Her floor routine was ALWAYS my favorite thing to watch. Congratulations of going natural. You are beautiful inside and out!

  • Ludny Charles says:

    "My focus wasn't on appearance…but on achievement." —> Tell it girl! And another great quote, "Don’t negelect those other facets because at the end of the day, you’re not going to wish you spent more time in the office, you’re not going to wish you made more money, you’re not going to wish you got that contract, you’re really going to wish that you had more of a balanced life with strong meaningful relationships." I remember her back in my younger days too and she def peaked my interests in gymnastics. She was my she-ro then lol. I am so glad to see she is around and doing GREAT things. Hey Dominique!! *waves hands* Your hair is lovely too btw 🙂

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    Big fan of Dominique! Thanks for sharing her story, Nikki. Totally an inspiration!

  • Ashley Watkins says:

    AMAZING article and an AMAZING woman! I am inspired at my 25 years of age! God bless her and thank you CurlyNikki for the great article!

  • Anonymous says:

    The only thing missing from this interview is her hair regimen and favorite products!


    Thank you Nikki for getting Dominique's story!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been a fan of Dominique since 1992

  • Anonymous says:

    I have always been a fan of Domnique she has represented the DMV for well. I had no idea she was natural, her hair looks great.

  • NikkifollowingNikki says:

    How did Dominique get prettier?! Love this. I feel like I'm in the 90s again…only better because Michelle Obama is in this post as well….and iPhones. #freakinout

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