Thursday, January 13, 2011

:::Blog Has Been Moved to a New Site >>>!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry to leave you all hangin'...I thought I put this up already, but I didn't = FAIL.

I moved my site to so please check it out & make sure you SUBSCRIBE!!!!!

You can follow me on Twitter, too .... @HGKWW

Thanks for the support!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Q: I have a problem with my scalp. I started trying the co-washing thing and my hair loves it, but sometimes there's a white film on parts of my scalp. When my hair dries, it flakes up a little bit. Is this a bad reaction to the conditioner?

A: It sounds like you simply haven't been rinsing the conditioner out of your hair well enough. I doubt your scalp is having a bad reaction to the conditioner. You just need to make sure that you are getting all of the product out of your hair or else you'll experience residue build-up. One thing you can do is experiment with different conditioners. Here are a few ways to avoid and remove product build-up from co-washing, or even just shampooing.

  1. Wash your hair in SECTIONS. If you haven't done this before, the difference will be life-changing. Depending on your patience and hair length & thickness, you should part your hair into 4-6 sections before washing it. Not only does it make the hair easier to manipulate and minimize tangling, you will have better access to your scalp. Not having to navigate blindly through your hair will help you target common problem areas, such as the crown of your head and the area behind the ears. Many people experience product build-up in those areas since they are easy to miss.
  2. CLARIFY YOUR SCALP using a clarifying shampoo. These shampoos are more drying to the hair than others so I suggest you focus them on where they are needed most--your scalp. Clarifying shampoos break down build up and make way for your conditioners and moisturizers to work their magic.
  3. Use a CLARIFYING CONDITIONER when you are co-washing. They are designed to not leave behind any residue as normal conditioners will do over time. You still need to be sure to rinse well, but it makes the job a little bit easier.
  4. Try an APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (ACV) RINSE after using your conditioner. In addition to removing build up from the hair, ACV rinses can help the hair cuticles to lay flat, helping to prevent split ends and lock in moisture and nutrients. Your hair will also get a boost of shine!!! You simply spray or pour the ACV rinse on your hair once you have rinsed out the conditioner.

    Apple Cider Vinegar Mix
    1-2 tbs apple cider vinegar
    2 cups room temperature distilled water/rosemary water/spring water

Monday, December 20, 2010

HGKWW ::: Warning...Warning...PROTEIN OVERLOAD

Y'all can't laugh.

I'm serious.

I'm going to share a horror story with you. It was traumatizing and old emotions are resurfacing as I recall this past experience, so bear with me. *deep breath*

A few months ago, I got really busy with my apartment hunting and re-locating to Washington, DC...& I didn't notice that I was low on my moisturizer. I figured I could just use my Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner for a day or two until I made it to the store. A "day or two" turned into a week or so. Terrible idea. I forgot that the Cantu Leave-In is protein-based and my hair is very protein sensitive.

When I took my hair down for the weekend, my hair was snap-crackle-poppin'...dry. brittle. stiff. AWFUL. I was scared to manipulate it because I just knew it was all going to break off in my hand. I know. Horrible. Poor me.

This is called a PROTEIN OVERLOAD.

Symptoms? Your hair will feel DRY & BRITTLE. It TANGLES EASILY & if not handled ASAP, you could experience BREAKAGE.
    Solutions? It is important that you AVOID PROTEIN-BASED PRODUCTS until you have restored the protein-moisture balance in your hair--best done with the help of a MOISTURIZING DEEP CONDITIONER.

    I try to tell my friends who have had Protein Tragedies that yes, your hair needs protein, but not all protein conditioners and treatments are created equal. For example, Aphogee is a really hard core protein treatment and I've heard quite a few horror stories.

    People who have chemically treated hair (relaxers, dyes, etc.) are in need of protein treatments more often than those with natural hair since those processes break down the hair. Protein is also key for transitioners--it helps strengthen the line of demarcation and prevent breakage. For natural hair, you have to pay attention to how you hair responds to know if you're protein sensitive, protein needy, or somewhere in-between.

    Need some lighter sources of protein? 

    Aveeno Nourish + Condition Leave-In Treatment

    Garnier Fructis Fortifying Conditioner Long & Strong

    Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner

      Friday, December 17, 2010

      HGKWW ::: Beware of Hair Routines!!!

      Here is a story a reader emailed to me recently:

      I'm honestly not a fan of protein treatments. One day, I bought a 2oz bottle of aphogee protein treatment on my way to a Dominican salon in New Brunswick. Disclaimer: This is a horror story. Jess, I took it to these ladies thinking that because they had a license to run a shop that they would know how to use this product. Jess...this product made my hair like feel like a potato chip/styrofoam. I didn't know hair could be so crispy!! I literally held my breath while waiting to wash because I thought my hair would fall out. It made my hair hard and crispy!! I don't know what I was expecting, but certainly not that. The aphogee protein treatment is super intense and super foul smelling. That experience was so off putting that I stopped going to the salon indefinitely and didn’t try the whole protein thing again for 8 weeks. I also find it hard to restore the moisture back into my hair once I apply the protein treatment. I’m giving protein one more try. Then I’m done.

      So a couple of things came to mind after reading this...

      ONE. In order for hair to be healthy, it has to have a good balance of protein and moisture. If your hair is screaming "I'm thirsty!!!" then give it something to quench its thirst! If your hair is complaining about feeling a little weak lately, then give it a boost of strength! That means give your hair moisture when it needs it & protein when it needs it. In another part of this email, the reader clearly expressed that she has problems with her hair being dry. She needs to be focusing on restoring the moisture balance and not protein right now. So don't give up on protein, honey bunches!!! Just know when to apply it.

      TWO. Certain products cater to different extremities of hair needs. I know I talk about moisture all of the time, but protein is something that your hair does need. You just have to be careful not to overdo it and become a victim of a PROTEIN OVERLOAD.  If she wanted to make sure her hair was getting the needed amount of protein, a light protein-based conditioner could have been sufficient. Many protein treatments are directed at people who need some major protein rebuilding in their hair (people with chemically treated hair so this might be a common mistake for recent transitioners). If your hair suffers from dryness, too strong of a protein-based formula could throw your hair balance in the wrong direction.

      THREE. Watch out for hair stylists that just do whatever the customer wants without any sort of consultation or suggestions. They should have known everything I am telling you now and pointed my dear reader in the right direction. 

      FOUR. Why was the reader applying the protein treatment at that moment in time? Was it because her hair told her it needed more protein? Or was this some routine she had created and was trying to stick to? There are so many blogs and books and other sources of information that insist that you make a hair routine and stick to it. I'm a little more lenient. My "routine" is more of a guide. Yes, there are things that need to happen in a timely fashion. But 9 times out of 10 I have reached up to touch my hair and thought "Hmmm....maybe it's time for a such-and-such." Just because I usually wash my hair on Tuesdays won't stop me from doing an emergency wash on Monday. LISTEN TO YOUR HAIR. That's one of the best things you can do. Do not be a slave to your hair routine!!!!

      A great read on balancing the moisture and protein in your hair: HERE!!!!!!


      HGKWW ::: Q&A IV

      Q: I've been neglecting my ends and now they are split like crazy!!! What can I do to fix them? Are there any ways that I can repair them and avoid having to cut my hair?

      A: You are not going to like what I am about to say. I know you may see commercials for hair products that promise to fix this and mend that. I am sorry. But once your ends are split, there is no going back. The only way to get rid of split ends is to trim them. Anything else you see that claims to negate what I am telling you? It is only temporary and you will eventually have to cut your split ends off regardless. 

      Don't hold on to split ends!!! I know it hurts to see length go, but if you try to keep your split ends around long enough, the split can travel up the shaft of the hair and soon there will be an even bigger issue at hand.

      On the good side: Maybe this will serve as motivation to give your hair the attention it craves. Any split ends and damage to your ends that results from your neglect, is most likely irreversible. Preventing split ends is one of the best ways to help with length retention.

      Remember to:
      Keep your hair moisturized.
      Wear a satin scarf or bonnet at night.
      Minimize heat usage if you cannot avoid it completely.
      Manipulate the hair less often.
      Wear protective styles.
      Trim hair when it needs to be trimmed!!!

      Thursday, December 16, 2010

      ::: HGKWW ::: What's YOUR type? ;-)

      I'm sure you have noticed that not every chick you see with natural hair has the same curl pattern in their hair. And I wouldn't be surprised if you asked someone with a different hair type for some advice or a  quick tip & when you tried it, the results weren't quite the same.

      One important step in learning how to care for ur natural hair is understanding the characteristics of your hair type. I was trying to plot on the best way to break this down for my readers & ran across this wonderful article on the Hair Type Classification System posted by

      I encourage you to check it out!!!

      What's your type?!

      ::: HGKWW ::: Healthy Hair Is "Good Hair"

      The "good hair" discussion has been coming up over and over again lately.

      I cannot stand when people classify "good hair" as a certain hair curl pattern or length. & it hurts my heart to see women feeling discouraged about their natural hair journey because they are having hair-type envy.

      I have people tell me all of the time that they can't go natural like I did because they don't have "good hair" like I do. Let me tell y'all one thing. I work HARD to get my hair to look decent everyday. I don't just roll into bed at night & roll out in the morning looking fresh & ready to go for the day. This isn't magic. I constantly experiment with hair products and styling methods. This wasn't innate knowledge. 

      I also dislike the story that many Black women like to tell about how they know their hair is unmanageable without a relaxer so they've been getting one since they were 6 years old. *serious face* You were doing your own hair at age six? Do you TRULY remember how your hair was when you were that young? Who told you your hair was impossible to deal with without chemical alteration? I'm pretty sure you did not come up with that on your own. Don't let other people stick their negative conclusions upon you. 

      Now. If you so choose to get relaxers because that is the best for you and that is what you are comfortable with? Fine. I'm not going to gather my fellow kinky ladies & stand outside your home to protest. But please do not tell me that you get relaxers because you don't have "good hair." Please don't. If that is what you believe, then keep it to yourself.

      Don't tell me you can't wear your hair in its natural state because you do not have "good hair." That implies to me that your definition of what makes hair good is all skewed and mixed up.

      So how do I define "good hair"?

      Healthy hair is good hair.

      The end.

      Just because you get a relaxer to make your hair more manageable for you, does not mean it is healthy if you do not take the necessary steps to maintain it.

      Just because your hair has a looser curl does not mean your hair is automatically healthier.
      It takes time to learn how to handle your hair when it is natural. Especially since by the time most of us were old enough to handle our own hair, we had relaxers slapped on to our scalps to save us from the plaguing struggle of having to work with our kinks and curls. *insert sarcasm here*

      Just be patient. If you see someone rocking a style or if someone recommends a product & when you get home & try it, you have a tragic outcome, don't be discouraged. Don't pout & declare that you have been skipped in the distribution of good hair genes. Everything doesn't work for everybody. Everything does not affect everyone the same way.

      Love your hair. Embrace it. Take the steps you need to in order to keep your hair healthy and you too can flaunt your "good hair." xoxo