Like Mitt Romney’s tax files situation, Gabby Douglas’ hair controversy just doesn’t seem to want to go away.

In fact, in a recent interview with, Gabby’s mother, Natalie Hawkins, says that this wasn’t the first time her daughter’s hair had come up.

“I started hearing about [her hair] earlier this year actually. I started trying to be proactive about her hair before all of that happened. What is funny is I had someone come do her hair before the Olympics. We put all this effort into getting her hair done and they still didn’t like it!”

Hawkins, who made news earlier this week when it was reported that she had filed for bankruptcy, also says Gabby’s coach and host family in Iowa are partly to blame.

“At this level in her career, hair is somewhat secondary. It was actually her coach who told me that. I was trying to get her into a hair appointment and I wanted to move her training schedule around and he said to me, ‘She’s beautiful. You don’t need to change her hair. We need to focus on training. Hair is secondary. We make time for that after training. Don’t mess with my training time.’ ”

And, says Hawkins, “I don’t think people realize sometimes that she doesn’t live with me. She lives with a white host family and they don’t know anything about taking care of her hair. And there’s no black salons in their area [in Iowa] – not one. We had to work really hard to find a stylist to come and do her hair.”

Hawkins says it’s tough to keep hair looking good when you’re constantly tumbling on it and training for hours on end.

“It’s really been African-American women that have come out and attacked her. They don’t know about gymnastics. She has to keep her hair in a ponytail 28-30 hours a week. In gymnastics you’re tumbling around on your hair. You’re falling backwards on it. You’re doing “timers” and your hair is constantly snagging on the mat, and for our hair, that’s very detrimental. You’re going into foam pits – and any hair stylist will tell you that foam on African-American hair is destructive. It breaks the hair horribly.

“We had to come up with creative ways to keep [Gabby's] hair looking good. We’ve tried the short hair style, we’ve tried long. We grew her hair out because she preferred long hair. I’m not going to make her cut her hair just to please someone else,” concluded Hawkins.


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24 thoughts on “Mom of Gabby Douglas Speaks About Hair Issue

  1. gabby dugles on said:

    i like gabby and her hair alot and i wish i could be like her people should not make frun uf gabby its mean there probibly gist jellis keep on rockin gabby

  2. RENO2AC on said:

    Margoaux68@hotm, it was a personal attack on her and that is all I’m going to say because they topic is too stupid for further comment.

  3. nittybeat1 on said:

    I have to commend Ms. Hawkins for even offering an explanation but it shouldn’t be necessary. People are always going to have something to talk about and if Gabby’s hair and Ms. Hawkins bankruptcy is all they have to talk about, they have way too much time on their hands. How many of us women haven’t left the house with our hair not up to parr or how many of us have had to file bankruptcy…get over it and just be happy for Gabby and keep it moving. If I could leave home one morning with my hair not done and come back later that day a millionaire, I think that’s a sacrifice I would make too.

  4. msmojazz38 on said:

    This is a damn shame, you dont need to explain anything to simple minded people! This young lady just won gold for gymnastics and she’s also the first Black woman to win the all around! Go Gabby!!!!

  5. lelind98 on said:

    As an African American woman and mom, I do not see anything wrong with her hair. When we were kids we always had one or two ponytails in our hair. What in the heck is the big deal. She is an adorable girl just the way she is.

    I feel so much pain that her mother feels she has to make excuses for her daughter wearing a ponytail. My God, what are we doing to this family. We should be embracing them with love, but yet some of us are tearing at her character with messy petty crap.

    I apoligize to you Gabby and your family because you have witnessed at an early age that adults get older but they don’t necessarily grow up. Keep your head up and know that all adults are not as ignorant as some of the idiots that have chose to waste their energy tearing down one of their own.

    I love you and all that you are doing, little sis. Keep your head up and wear your hair any darn way you please!

  6. wandita1 on said:

    Why this woman is intent on apologizing for her daughters hair is beyond me. First of all, Gabbys coach was spot on. Because of his persistence maintaining a first things first attitude we’re now looking an Olympic champion. Secondly, I don’t think Gabbys hair looks much different than some of those so-called natural styles that some of us are sporting these days. In fact, compared to a few I’ve seen recently, Gabby’s hair looks better. Why we as African Americans so prone to attack our own leaves me wondering what will it take for us to become a unified people. I guess the crab in a barrel mentality is still alive and well.

  7. Spencer52 on said:

    Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player in the history of the game and guess what? He didn’t need not one strand of hair to accomplish this feat. Do you see how ridiculous this argument is? She is an athlete, not “America’s Next Top Model” we are so caught up in looks these days, maybe if stop watching so many TV ads about how the world says you should look and pick up a good book we wouldn’t be so trivial and shallow minded. Gabby has the gold medal all the haters have most likely is one or two fake gold chains or a gold tooth that needs to be removed because it’s so old.

  8. AULRVI on said:

    I agree with her mother that too much emphasis has put on her hair but I live in Des Moines, Iowa where Gabby trains. Black women here have beautiful hair. There are plenty of good black stylists, she just might have to leave all white West Des Moines where she trains and got to the inner city or east side.

  9. jcmc78 on said:

    It is unfortunate OUR USA OLYMPION GOLDEN GIRL is faced with this critisim about her hair. Gabby’s hair is just Beautiful. We as Africian American Women do take a lot of pride in OUR hair Our Crown but there was nothing wrong with her hair. Sister Hawkins FYI there are numerous excellent AA hair stylist right here in IOWA. Yes maam! This is however a mute issue as Gabby can select whomever she wants in the world…maybe even one from IOWA. Let us all bury this issue and Lift Gabby and her families up. Gabby gave GOD the Glory and God has Gabby, her famlies, her future and yes …even her HAIR under total control…Sista Hawkins…you raised your baby right. We love her and know she will continue to walk in the steps the Lord has ordered for her. Keep walking in the LIGHT GABBY….GOD has got you….AMEN!!!!

  10. BigXer on said:

    Sometimes, priority rules. Gabby was getting ready for the Olympics, not a Beauty Contest. It was more important for her to get herself ready to compete, than to get her hair done. Which one paid off. There are too many perfect people out here who are concerned about the little things in life, and pay no attention to the BIG PICTURE. This young lady has proven to the world that she is the best, and all people have to say is, look at her hair? Don’t you think that there was enough pressure on her to perform, being the ONLY African American to compete? All I have to say is, Gabby, let them run their mouth, and you run your business. I am truly proud of you, and wear them Gold Medals with pride, because you earned them.

  11. on said:

    I don’t understand why people are getting upset and calling people haters and small minded because they made comment on her hair.

    Her hair could have looked better and braids always work. We should always try and look our best especially if we are going for the GOLD.

    She is still beautiful regardless and we are all proud of her! She’s a minor not worrying about her hair just concentrating on doing what she does best.

    Many people notice her hair and many people didn’t but the people who did notice and made comments shouldn’t be bullied.

    I don’t think that this is a personal attack on her. Her family could take offense or not.

    She will always be GOLD!!!!

    We luv u GABBY hair and all-

  12. pac4me on said:

    You shouldn’t even be having a conversation about this childs hair or explaining why it is what it is – she’s 16 years old and just became a 2012 Olympic Gold Metal winner – those other 16 yr olds who have a nice permed head of weave are out there doing absolutely nothing. Let her keep her focus where it should be – on being the best American she can be – later for some hair!!!

  13. How could this even be getting discussed?
    Oh I know why, bcause most of the young sister’s that commented about that young sister’s hair, have blue contacts, weaves and are using chemicals to burn their hair straight . Some have even lost their minds with the blonde look. And all this to get attention from her Blackman that makes her feel like she has to be other then self to get his attention. Sad! But (Al Sharpton) is even doing his thing.

  14. systearns on said:

    Personally I think it is ridiculous to worry about her hair. Who wants their hair done and they are swinging and sweating for it to look a hot mess all over again. Really? She got a gold that was most important. Go Gabby

  15. PinkPoodle on said:

    We’ll never know who started this issue about Gabby Douglas’ hair. The Internet has become the new White Sheets; therefore, anyone can pretend to be something they are not. Every Black woman I talk with says, “Anytime we’re doing strenuous activities, our hair will sweat and become frizzled and unmanageable.” Gabby is working her butt off, flipping, leaping and jumping across floors and poles. Even if Gabby’s hair was done minutes before the game started, it will become messy.

    Personally, I think the haters who wanted to distract the young sixteen years-old Olympian, started this issue about Gabby’s hair. Who in their right mind would even think of something so silly? Unless, they are the competition or related to the competition who knew an impressible sixteen year-old could easily become distracted. Stop the hate!

    Great job Gabby! You are so BEAUTIFUL!

  16. mccarroll59 on said:

    Ms. Hawkins you don’t have to explain your daughter’s hair to anyone. She’s a beautiful yound lady and she’s made history. So-called sistas that have complained about her hair are not true sistas and just provide comedy for bigots while showing their own self-hatred and ignorance. This is exactly why many consider us “Crabs in a bucket” because we are our own worst enemy!

    Eric R. McCarroll

  17. clevelandgirl22 on said:

    I think Mom is great for explaining what is going on. I just can’t believe how IGNORANT some of our sisters are. We have a young, beautiful, talented young black sister who is representing her country and her ethnicity on an international basis and the sisters who can’t even SKIP past the kitchen, let alone perform the magnificent physical feats that this child has, have the unmmitigated gall to comment about her hair. Small minded and ignorant aren’t strong enough words for these folks who need to get a life of their own, but I don’t want to get banned for being too vulgar. This, unfortunately, is a common trait of our “crabs in the barrell” mentality, not to mention plain old jealousy. Too bad your mothers didn’t teach you about saying only nice things about other people or keeping your mouths shut!!

  18. Spencer52 on said:

    I have a difficult time trying to understand why some people are so small minded. How this extremely talented young lady wears her hair is no one else’s business. It’s her hair!!! Here we have a beautiful young teenager who happens to be black making history and all these small minded people are worried about is her hairstyle? Stupid would be too nice of a word for them.

  19. chaquille on said:

    Thank You mom for explaining but people with common sense don’t need you to explain….I am black, my hair has not been done(permed, curled) since the beginning of May when I turned 50 years old….I lke to swim during the summer and I have also started to work out…To hell with hair…..Go Gabby!!!! OBAMA 2012

  20. dbell93 on said:

    This hair thing is so insane. Anything to dampen the beauty around an african american doing good. I think Gabby is a beautiful young woman inside and out. In a country where shows like “Big Brother” “Kendra on Top” and “Jersey Shores” making it big, I should not be surprised that the media picked up this and ran with it. Ugly does as Ugly is. The people on this band wagon shoud look inside their hearts and get a thorough cleansing there. That’s where the ugly is.

  21. BonnyBird on said:

    I agree with the coach…”At this level in her career, hair is somewhat secondary”. Trust me, she’ll soon be able to afford any stylist she wants – Go Gabby! ~

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