All The Deets Behind ‘Queen Sugar’ Star Dawn-Lyen Gardner’s Dramatic Hair Chop

Dawn-Lyen Gardner

Photo Credit: Instagram/@MonaeArtistry

When it comes to this hair slay, this summer has been all about major transformations. Our faves have been giving us big chop and color life all season long. The latest to join the “new hair, who dis” club is Queen Sugar star Dawn-Lyen Gardner. The actress is known for rocking waist-length beachy blowouts and free-flowing textured looks.

[SEE ALSO: Watch How To Recreate This Janelle Monáe-Inspired Bridal Updo]

Now, she’s joined team bob with a brand new ‘do coiffed by celeb stylist Monae Everett. “I think I want a big change,” Dawn-Lyen told Monae before enlisting her services for her biggest chop to date. “I want a look that a look that allows me to embrace my natural curls and still be able to rock it straight,” she said.


Monae, who styled Dawn-Lyen’s hair during the ATX Television Festival last month, was more than up for the challenge. We connected with the celeb stylist to talk about what went into Dawn-Lyen’s chin-grazing transformation.

“My goal was to give her natural texture a modern and free look,” Monae told Hype Hair. “We did a character study based on a forthcoming role to create a look that would allow her to bounce back between hair textures. We came up with a no-fuss layered bob for maximum versatility.”

Monae said Dawn-Lyen was all in for the big chop and shared all the deets behind the new look.

Starting on freshly shampooed and conditioned hair, Monae used Ouidad’s Advanced Climate Control Detangling Spray before combing out Dawn-Lyen’ hair.

“I then went in section by section, taking most of the weigh off in the interior,” she shared. “I ended up cutting off about six inches.”

For the bob’s shape, she added, “I also wanted to draw attention to her beautiful bone structure, so I cut layers shortest around her cheek bones and added bangs for a bit of edge.”

Once cut, Monae went back in and did what she calls “rake and shake” on her hair. “Parting small sections, I layered Ouidad’s VitaCurl Define & Shine Styling Gel Cream with the Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel” and finger combed through to add definition.”

Monae then dried Dawn-Lyen’s with her go-to BabylissPro SteelFX blowdryer. “I used a diffuser to play up volume without disturbing her curl pattern.” For added volume, she lightly sprayed Mongongo oil to loosen curls for even more volume.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. founder of Sadiaa and editor for HypeHair.com.