Dreadlocks Feature: Gwen from Wisconsin, USA

Name: Gwen (Gwensday) Miner
From: Milwaukee, WI
Occupation: College Administrator/Zumba Instructor
Natural Since: February 1999
Loc’d Since: September 2000

Long Coloured Dreadlocks

Long Coloured Dreadlocks

DIYLocs: Why did you go natural and decide to loc your hair?

Gwen: Lauryn Hill  became my hair idol as I observed the many styles she would wear her locs in. That and my 6 inch afro was getting to be too much to manage with three toddlers running around the house.

DIYLocs: What method did you use to loc your hair and how long did it take to install?

Gwen: I used the comb coil method to loc my hair and it took just under 3 hours to install. I selected this method because I felt it was the best choice for my hair texture and it was presentable for my profession.

Gwen's Long Dreadlocks

Gwen’s Long Dreadlocks

DIYLocs: How long did it take for your hair to loc up?

Gwen: It took my hair about 8 months to loc up permanently.

 

DIYLocs: Would you do anything differently if you were to go back in time and start your dreadlocks again?

Gwen: Yes! I would have worn a scarf more often than not to combat embedded lint and I would have budgeted more for professional maintenance.

Gwen, ready for a fashion show.

Gwen, ready for a fashion show.

DIYLocs: How often do you retighten your hair and what method do you use to retighten your roots?

Gwen: I retighten my hair quarterly or in the front as needed for special occasions. I palm roll my new growth until it becomes long enough to part in the middle; I then interlock it, entering the tip of the loc from alternating sides up to about a half inch away from my scalp.

 

DIYLocs: What is your current hair regimen over the course of a month?

Gwen: I use Nappturalistic Beauty’s Buttery Almond Moisturizing Deep Conditioner once a month after I wash my locs (in the shower) with her Ayurveda Hair Growth Shampoo Bar; I then towel dry and apply her Hydrating Daily Leave In Conditioner and seal in the moisture with her Hair Growth Serum Blend. I will braid it and let it air dry or if I am in a hurry I will sit under my dome dryer on medium for an hour.

Results of a Flexi Rod Set on Locs

Results of a Flexi Rod Set on Locs

DIYLocs: What is your go-to dreadlocks hairstyle and how do you do it?

Gwen: I pull my hair back into a pony tail and tie it into a bun or I let it hang free.

 

DIYLocs: Has loc’d hair been easier or harder than relaxed or loose natural hair?

Gwen: For me loc’d hair is a godsend! Much easier.

Custom Cut and Colour by Thierry Baptiste

Custom Cut and Colour by Thierry Baptiste

DIYLocs: How did you colour your locs and has your hair changed as a result?

Gwen: I did previously use a box kit (4, actually) to color my hair when it was shorter. As it grew out, I cut it off because I did not like the hard, wiry texture it gave my hair.

 

DIYLocs: Has having dreadlocks affected your personal or professional life/relationships in any way?

Gwen: In the beginning, everyone – and I do mean EVERYONE – had something to say about my hair as it grew into the delicious mane you see in the pictures. Now that my hair is to my waist, people seem to forget what they’d said before. Professionally, I never had a problem from my employer. I did, unfortunately, encounter an older black co-worker who told me I should get a perm because I looked like a “n*gger doll”. She had no edges, so I couldn’t take her seriously…

Obligatory Car-Locs Selfie

Obligatory Car-Locs Selfie

DIYLocs: Any encouraging words for people who have just started the journey?

Gwen: You are beautiful, no matter what your hair decides to do and it WILL have a mind of its own, but one day I promise you will be #delivert. Listen: IT. IS. JUST. HAIR.

After a 6" haircut

After a 6″ haircut

DIYLocs: Thanks for doing this interview. Is there anywhere we can keep up with your hair journey online?

Gwen: I don’t officially document my hair journey online per se…but you can always observe it via the many selfies I post in Instagram@: @Gwensday or on Twitter: @gwensday_jones