On Leaving Fear Behind

img112Dear readers: This post is not hair related, it is an offering to you of a personal experience that has helped me learn. I want to thank you all for being here, reading my words, and believing in what I do. Without you all, none of this would be happening.

Because of you, I have had the nerve to share myself in a way that has been both healing and empowering, you have accompanied me through the journey of the last 5 years of my life, and I am eternally grateful. I can only hope that you have gained valuable insight, inspiration, (great hair;) and knowledge as well……I thank you from the bottom and the top of my heart.

DSC03905This post is about following your heart, making the jump, opening new doors, leaving behind fear. The photos in this post are from our first ShamPHree shoot, several years ago at the buffalo river with a big group of wonderful women, jumping off bluffs in dresses. Photos are by me, with the exception of the black and whites, which were shot by Bob Cochran. I know, I know. You have already seen these photos if you have been reading HTHG for a while now…..They keep popping up. Why? because jumping off seems to be a central theme here at HTHG. ‘Stuck in hair, stuck in life;)’

On Leaving Fear Behind

You are such a selfish asshole. Also, you are a complete idiot. What makes you think that you should follow your heart, and do what every cell in your body knows you should do? I am the fear part of your brain.) You are firmly in my grasp. I dare you to defy me.I apologize for beginning this essay with such a graphic display of self-abuse. But this is the backdrop for my story.

It’s stunning for me to realize how much time and energy I spend beating myself up. Internally, I am constantly in a battle to try to hold down the voice of my own heart for no other reason than bad habit and a well-worn neuropath that depends upon fear. Fear seems to be my path of least resistance.

I spend a lot of time riding this well-worn road in my head, allowing fear to keep me stuck in life, holding me back from the goodness of letting go of old comforts in pursuit of unknown blessings.

img1256 months ago, my heart tried to stop traffic on fear’s busy 4-lane highway. Heart signaled that it wanted me to quit my job as a hairstylist at a salon which I have loved and for most of my adult life. Deep down, I knew that I had to pursue an impractical yet deeply imaginative and uncharted path of a free-lancing renaissance woman. A small but sure voice suggested that I rely solely on my own skills and ingenuity to create a distinctive career path allows me to create and give back and maximize output energy in meaningful directions. Once I heeded heart’s signal, everywhere I looked, I saw signs that it was time to move on.

While I felt deeply sure of this vision in my heart, the prospect of quitting a job I loved and that had provided sure and steady support for me and my daughters really upset me. It just didn’t make sense. Why would I leave something that I love? I truly loved my job. Sure, there were things about it that were frustrating, but that is par for the course. In my inner dialogue, the loud voice of fear shamed me for considering something as selfish and impractical as a heartfelt choice.

I began to spin out mentally. I knew what I had to do, but I was bewildered as the inner brawl between heart and fear played out in my Self. I felt paralyzed and restless at the same time. The rapid-firing fear was a desperate attempt to distract my heart from following the signs and making an imaginative choice. I was terrified to leave the comfort of a regular gig for an unknown world of independence, even though I knew that it was the right thing. Deep down, I was not only afraid of pursuing a new path but even of leaving behind the comfort of my own fear MO, the place where I go naturally……..I tortured myself for 6 months. I was nearing the edge, afraid to jump.

IMG_4548It seemed as though the closer I got to jumping off and following my heart, the louder the fear spoke in me, with more intensity and determination. Like a junkie, my fear-addicted brain panicked at the thought of being abandoned for the warmth and comfort of a heartfelt choice.

After chatting about my conundrum with a good friend, she said in a very matter of fact way ‘It is time for you to move forward without fear.’ Clear and simple………I remembered past advice from yet another friend, who once called the Fear-based radio station which plays in the forefront of our brains and background of our lives ‘K-Fuckd.’ She had read about it in a book. She found that by calling it this name, it became easier to metaphorically change the station. I carried these bits of advice and metaphors under my wings, moving even closer to the edge.

Several weeks ago, I met a woman who seemingly moved through life without the voice of fear to cloud her connection with her own heart, a woman who manifested her own visions with confidence, humility, and grace, creating a vibrant life of connection and purpose. That I though, is how I want to live. What a relief to follow the heart without fear.

Then, I talked to my mother. She listened, nodded, didn’t try and talk sense into me. She told me she believed in me to make the right choice. I silently vowed to remember this and show the same grace for my daughters when they stood on the edge in life.

The next day, I jumped. I quit my job. I vowed to myself to turn off K-Fuckd every time it started rambling in my head. I vowed to move forward with confidence. Say yes, give back, share with others, make connections, and accept abundance. I vowed to thank my friends and my mom for their words of affirmation. I vowed to stick with my heart through ups and downs, be more kind to myself, and to turn off K-Fuckd, or at least keep the volume turned way down.

IMG_4729Letting go of fear is scary. Fear is VERY assertive and sometimes feels like all we have to hang our hats on. Meanwhile, our hearts are speaking, too, trying to bust through the fog of fear. We can choose to listen, or we can choose to beat ourselves up for entertaining the selfish idea that it is appropriate to listen to our hearts. It can take major overhauling, un-conditioning, self-soothing, and rebuilding to allow ourselves to open that gift……the listening to our hearts gift.

Moral of this story: When you are stuck in life, with all signs pointing to ‘jump’ and all that holds you back is the voice of fear…….. breathe deeply, walk sure-footedly to the edge, jump, and let your heart carry you.

xo, HTHG

Woven Braids

7U6A0387Sometimes I get tired of trying to fit my braidspiriments into the Pinterest game. This braided hairstyle, this slice of woven braidsanity, is a breakout braid that I just had to try out, and share (of course!) without heed to the fact that it is strange and impractical and not like the other ones.

IMG_7353I had a week of total boredom tinged with total creative drive a while back, a week that brought to life this woven braid, as well as this other woven hairstyle with grass.

Today, I will take you through the ins and outs of the woven braids.

Woven Braids

crazlesThe gist of this hairstyle is 3 braids going across, from one side to the other, then, 3 braids woven into them going from the front to the back.

To begin with, you will make a parting at the front hairline that goes from one temple to the other, in a curved arch, basically sectioning out what would be the bangs. (if you have bangs, make your parting behind them.)

Now split this front section into 3, from one side to the other. Braid each of the 3 sub-sections, from roots to ends, securing the ends with clear elastics.

Now, you will be saving these aside till the end, so clip them out of your way.

To create your 3 horizontal braids, begin on one side, with a section of hair just beneath the side of your bang section. This section should be roughly the same amount of hair as one of your first 3 braids.

Braid the section until it is long enough to stretch tightly across the back of your head, to the same spot on the other side. Now take about half the same amount of hair from this section and braid it right into the braid, pulling it tightly. Now, your braid will continue, attached to this side, and you will double it back. Pull it back across to the other side, braiding as you go so.

Pull the braid snug against the head as you work towards the first side. When the braid is long enough to reach, take a bit of hair from below the base of that first braid, braid it in tightly so that it attaches at the scalp, and double it back again, braiding back across the head in the other direction. Does this make sense?

Do this once more, to the other side. Add in hair to attach the braid, and then braid about halfway down the free end of the braid. Now take the braid, and pull it across the back one last time to make a total of 4 times. Take a small bit of hair from beneath the base of the last braid, add your braid to it nice and tight, and attach in right to the scalp with a small clear elastic. Let the ends of that braid hang free and join the rest of your hair.

Basically, you are creating one continuous braid which overlaps across the back of the head, re-attaching on each side as it doubles back. If you are having trouble understanding, this tutorial might help.

Now comes the fun part!!!! It is time to weave! Take one of your 3 braids from that front braid section. Channel your inner pie crust lattice skills, or pot-holder loom weaving skills, or any weaving you have ever done……..The key is over, under, over, under. The next braid is the opposite…..Under, over, under, over. Last braid is the same as the first over, under, over, under.

Now, with the ends of the 3 braids coming out the bottom of your horizontal braids, braid them together to finish the style.

WHEW! Jeebus. My brain hurts.

xoxo, HTHG




Earth Punk Hair

Hi Dears.

My daughter Marley gave me the gift of inspiration when she described her personal style as Earth Punk. She had been reading pages from her diary from when she was 6, and had described her style at the time as Girly and Fancy. She remarked at how those words just really don’t describe her anymore. I had a proud mom moment hearing her identify her sense of style with the Earth and Punk.

It got me thinking about the beauty of the unconventional, the undone, the natural state, the free-thinking, and the organic deconstruction of perfection which gives us a look into the process. Expressing ourselves. Experimenting. I’m talking, of course, about hair;)

Earth Punk, to me, is all of these things. The ‘Earth’ part is the regard for what we have naturally, and what we are given by the Earth around us. Our natural state, and the gifts of the elements which we are always surrounded by.

The ‘Punk’ is the DIY part of it, and the free-thinking/alternative seeking qualities…..The rejection of standards and mindfulness to aid in the creation of an authentic life, authentic style, authentic haircut. It is taking matters into our own hands, cutting our own hair, following our own path, and watching the beautiful process as it unfolds.  Mindfulness and DIY are cornerstone ideologies of Punk.

Today, I wanted to share some Earth Punk Hair, to inspire you all to appreciate your natural wild hairs, to think outside the box, and to notice how the Earth plays into your life. The weather outside, the plants you eat, the ground you walk on, the products you use in your daily life, the resources you consume.DSC039427U6A3323 DSC05161 DSC04862 DSC05223 IMG_4787 DSC04140 DSC06488 DSC05229 DSC05298 DSC04941 DSC04961 DSC05582 DSC05690

This weekend, take some time to be mindful of the small ways that you take care of yourselves, and think of some ways to give back to the earth, even if it is just by being grateful for what it provides. Smell a flower, pick up trash, get your hands dirty. Enjoy your hair in it’s wild, natural state. Experiment. Forage for flowers to adorn your crown. Give thanks to the plant that you pick from. Play around. Do some Dirty Girl Hairstyling.

Channel your inner Earth Punk.

Check out our shop if you are needing an overhaul of Mindfulness and Embrace the Natural in your hair care routine. We at HTHG believe that hair is a great place to start .

xo, HTHG

#tankbabesrealbodies Halloween Tank Girl Crazy Hawk

7U6A64747U6A64797U6A8196Hello! Today, we take a quick minute to share another styling trick from our Tank Babes, Real Bodies shoot, where we collaborated with VAIN stylists/artists Jeanne, TT, and Belinda to recreate and celebrate Tank Girl, Fierce Road Warrior-esses and body positivity.

7U6A6934Sometimes in life, we need a really badass mohawk filled with fuzzy things, feathers, and metal shards. Today, we will give you a few tips on how to rock this style, for Halloween or for regular life.

You will need to shave the sides of your head to begin with, or braid them and pin them, leaving the top section free.

Spray sea salt spray into the hawk, then use a texturizing paste to make it nice and tacky and piece-y.

Now, get yourself some afro textured extension hair and some Natural Dyed Guinea Feathers, and some bobby pins.

Starting at the base of the hawk, make a horizontal parting an inch above the neckline. Now grab a puff of your afro hair, and rat it if needed, to make a little ball of hair. Pin the hair ball into the parting, making sure to grab firmly to the hair underneath to secure the hair ball.

Repeat this every few inches, working your way up the hawk.

Once you have added in enough hair to make the hawk look like it is alive and with a life of its own, spray it well with hair spray. Now, add your feathers into the hawk one by one, by their stems. push them right into the hair where you want them. Now spray again. You will be amazed at how well these little feathers want to stay on their own!

Now, add whatever you want to your hawk, and be assured that most anything you stick into those textured hair balls will stay a while. Get creative! build a veritable monster of hair!

What are you going to be for Halloween? Or MAYBE I should be asking your hair?

The dream team of stylists who created the looks for #tankbabesrealbodies can be found here:

Instagram: Belindathebold



Photography by myself, RJH for FilthandBeauty


xo, HTHG


#tankbabesrealbodies Road Warrior Halloween: Splatter Face Paint

7U6A81427U6A64357U6A6419Hello! Today, we take a quick minute to share a styling trick from our Tank Babes, Real Bodies shoot, where we collaborated with VAIN stylists/artists Jeanne, TT, and Belinda to recreate and celebrate Tank Girl, Fierce Road Warrior-esses and body positivity.7U6A6452

This cool trick was an experiment from Belinda, to create paint splatter on Rain’s face, as if she had played a part in an explosion of neon zombies. The experiment was super fun to watch, because it worked so well and looked so cool. And there is nothing more gratifying than using what you have around you to create magic!

To get the look, B used professional face paint, I recommend Ben Nye Magicake Face Paint Palettes and a hair color applicator brush. ( A large, stiff paint brush would also work:)

How to go Jackson Pollock on your Face.

Here is how Belinda did it……..She mixed some of the paint with a little water in a bowl, just enough to make it pigmented liquid. Then, she dipped brush in paint, and held the brush up to Rain’s face. She ran her finger against the bristles of the brush, sending paint splatter perfectly across the face canvas.

She layered colors of splatter…..Yellow and blue over Rain’s face which had already been shadowed with pink. This was a true art piece in action.

Have fun with this one!

The dream team of stylists who created the looks for #tankbabesrealbodies can be found here:

Instagram: Belindathebold



Photography by myself, RJH for FilthandBeauty


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