Hair, People

Natural Hair Talks with Project Runway Winner Dom Streater

For my first Organix Locs profile it was either go big or go home and then I lucked up with scoring an interview with Project Runway’s Season 12 winner Dom Streater thanks to a genius idea from my other blogging half of a boyfriend, AJ, and the lovely employees at Skai Blue Media. We all know and love Dom for her designs, textiles, and bold mod looks but I couldn’t help but realize how freaking AMAZING her naturally curly hair is! With her little petite frame and all of her hair it’s really hard not to take notice of those springy curls. To get all of Dom’s hair details we sat at a bench in Washington Square Park, off of 6th and Walnut Street, to learn more about her hair journey.

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To my surprise Dom’s hair has not always been curly because just like some of us we once enjoyed the ‘relaxer’ life once upon a time. When she was younger her mother would relax her hair and it still retained plenty of its length which reached about arm pit length. Throughout her years in high school Dom admits to damaging her hair from coloring it numerous times and over using heat styling tools while her hair was relaxed. Then one day she realized how bad her hair sucked and wanted to cut it off for a fresh start. In 2007, during her sophomore year in college, she took a trip to Bubbles Salon in King of Prussia Mall to have her hair cut and styled into a mohawk; talk about a daring plunge from long hair to short! Although the damage was cut from her hair she felt naked without all her hair and ended up buying a hat to make the ride back home more bearable. Now that she’s been fully natural Dom describes her hair as being in the 3C 4A category but really fine. When it’s wet it may look like she has no hair, but once it dries it rises and creates its own volume.

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When looking back on her natural hair journey there are a few hair mishaps that have taught Dom a lesson along the way:

“Straightening without a heat protectant. Yeah, I didn’t discover that until late in the game […]. Then I realized that my hair doesn’t revert [to its curly state] that easily when not using the heat protectant. That was a big one because I had to keep cutting off the straight ends of my hair. And, oh, when I first learned how to properly detangle my hair. Sweet Jesus was I doing that wrong! My mother was doing it wrong. First of all with that comb. You know that comb that you get from the hair store with the fine end and the wide end? And [my mother] would just go from the top all the way down to the bottom. And she was like why are you so tender-headed and I was like I’m not tender-headed you’re not doing it right! So when I discovered a wide tooth comb and detangling from the bottom up, my hair like turned into a whole different head of hair. Then I started detangling my hair in the shower. It completely changed my hair; I had less split ends. It didn’t hurt [laughs].”

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In the beginning of her hair journey, Dom would shampoo her hair every day because she thought that was the only way she would keep her curls looking great but soon discovered otherwise. Her hair would become tangled from it being dry and over cleansing until she learned that she didn’t need too shampoo her hair that often. Sometimes a once a month shampoo and co-washing in between works just fine. Dom currently has her hair on (what I like to consider) a tri-cleansing schedule where she shampoos, or co-washes, her hair on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. She also deep conditions her hair every two weeks.

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Dom has never tried having her hair trimmed while in its natural state and would love to experience it. She’s thinking about doing something to the hair for next fashion week!

To tame her split ends and to keep her hair healthy Dom gets a professional hair cut once a year from Hair Cuttery (yes it’s true) but in between she trims the split ends herself using the search and destroy method every 2-3 months. Before heading to Hair Cuttery she blow drys and straightens her hair for a blunt cut done by which ever stylist is available. With the search and destroy option she has a method for her madness. “I have a light box because I’m an artist so I just do it [search and destroy] in front of the light box so I can see the spilt ends faster. And I watch TV and have the light box in my lap and just cut the split ends off.”

When asked what’s a natural hair trend that she can’t stand, it took her some time to think about it and explained why it was bantu knots. Dom understands the purpose of the style but wearing the actual bantu knots in public is not her thing. It reminds her of the Jada Pinkett from The Matrix movie and personally it doesn’t quite compliment her style. On the contrary, there is one natural hair style Dom can’t live without and it’s the pineapple method (when you place your hair into a high ponytail with the ends hanging out) because it helps to elongate a style. “It’s the only way my hair will look normal in the morning. [Laughs] you know what I mean? It’s the only way I make it through the next day […]. My fiancé hates it because he likes to sleep facing me, but there’s like a whole pineapple [bun] in between his head and my head.”

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Now when it comes to natural hair icons the singer Sade was the first person Dom saw who had naturally long, pretty, wavy hair. “I didn’t see any women of color that had hair like that before. I mean with the exception of Diana Ross so I was like ‘awww’ I want my hair just like Sade.”

To wrap up this fun interview I needed to know what Dom enjoys the most about being a naturally curly woman and she replied:

“The freedom. Yeah, like it was crazy I never realized how restricted I was from doing certain things when my hair was straight all the time, like when I used to flat iron it I couldn’t go swimming. Like that’s crazy! I used to spend hours searching for a swim cap so my hair would not get wet. I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t go swimming. This was not ok. I couldn’t go outside [laughs]. I enjoy the freedom. If my hair gets wet it’s not the end of the world, pretty much it’s whatever. And I feel like it kind of distinguishes you, it sets you a part because none of us have like an exactly identical set of hair so it’s very unique to like who you are.”
Well there you have it from Organix Locs first! To keep up with Dom Streater and all of her fashion and design updates, or to purchase her SS14 collection go to www.shopdomstreater.com
IG: @DomStreater
Twitter: @Domofix

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