Interview With Lady Godiva, Author of “The Lady Godiva Hair Extreme Length Program Guide”
I welcome the opportunity to do written interviews with Black women authors about their books. This interview is with Lady Godiva, author of The Lady Godiva Hair Extreme Length Program Guide.
Khadija Speaking: Lady Godiva, before I say anything else, let me thank you for graciously taking the time to respond to these questions. As I warned you when we first discussed the idea via email, not all of the questions will be “softball” ones. There will be at least one challenging, “hardball” question—the sort of things that I always wonder about when I read books dealing with certain topics. Let’s start with some basic questions.
Question: What made you decide to design a program and write a guide book about growing Black hair to extreme lengths?
Answer: Thank you so much for the opportunity to discuss the program! As a longtime reader and frequent commenter, I’m especially honored to be here.
When I see black women out in public with broken, dry hair or even balding, it makes me so sad. I used to have damaged, rough and unkempt hair myself, so I remember exactly how painful it was to get dressed to the nines, but still feel unattractive because of my hair. I remember the shame I felt over it.
I felt then and continue to feel now that long hair is a universal hallmark of femininity. I know that many other black women feel the same way I did… they struggle with growing out their hair and could benefit from my advice.
On a larger level, you know that I care deeply about the condition of black women in America. Nothing pleases me more than to see a black woman looking fabulous, feeling confident, and accomplishing her goals. I want to contribute to that success, to the degree that I am able. I want to help women to grow healthy long hair that they can be proud of! How wonderful would it be if 90% of the black women in this country had long healthy hair down their backs? There would be a lot less hair flipping from other races of women going on then, that’s for sure!
Question: How long did this project take from idea to publication?
Answer: I first got the idea that I should write this book from reading one of your blog posts about ebook authorship! I did a period of research about the different ways I could pursue this… and the actual writing of the guide took me less than 90 days. The other elements, such as getting the website complete, and getting the supplements formulated etc took longer than I expected. From start to finish it was about six months.
Question: Did you look to other Black hair care books for inspiration?
Answer: I had read some black hair books in the past, but to be honest most of what I found there was not helpful to me. I had learned bits and pieces of healthy hair advice over the years from several sources. Some things were helpful, others detrimental. It took me years of effort to separate the wheat from the chaff. I then tested, tweaked and combined these disparate elements along with my own discoveries into one cohesive program. Women don’t need to reinvent the wheel like I did; they can just read my book!
Khadija Speaking: I notice that, in your book, you repeatedly emphasize the impact that dietary factors have on hair growth, in particular the importance of fresh produce and specific nutrients.
Question: Why is nutrition so important in terms of hair growth and length?
Answer: Nutrition is essential because the body can only do what it has the raw materials to do. Many products exist that claim they will give long healthy hair. Some of these products may well be useful in caring for hair that is already healthy. The very first step, though, that cannot be omitted, is nutrition. If the body lacks access to the nutrients and protein it needs, then growing a head of long healthy hair will not be possible.
As an aside, one reason why long hair is so attractive is because it is an indicator of good health. Men look for healthy women who can bear them strong children. This is a biological imperative. Women who wish to increase their appeal to men will be well served by growing long healthy hair. In order to do that, they need to first remedy nutritional deficiencies.
Question: What do you say to the audience members who feel that they have no practical ways of accessing the level of nutrition you recommend in your book?
Answer: I would say that they are mistaken. I have the Greens ‘n Berries and the Hair Vitamins for sale on the site. I worked with a national laboratory to create a balanced and complementary pair of supplements. For my own growth, I had been taking a cocktail of various pills to fulfill the nutritional quality that these two products provide. I believe the price is extremely fair and affordable. In all honesty, most of us spend more on our morning coffee than I ask for the super nutrition available in these supplements.
Beyond the supplements, I have included directions for growing your own organic food. This information is also useful for women who want to cultivate self-sufficiency and insulate themselves from fluctuations in the price of food. The expense is low, and the time investment is not so high either. It’s all about making your health and beauty a priority in your own life.
Khadija Speaking: One annoying thing that I’ve noticed over the years is that a number of Black hair care products deliberately and misleadingly use hair models who have naturally wavy and loosely-curled hair. In other words, hair texture that is not the “typical” Black woman’s type of hair. This sort of deceptive practice often has consumers of those products looking for the product to do something that it simply can’t do (such as make their hair like the model’s hair).
Question: Since you’re half nonblack, how does the consumer know that the methods you propose in your book are equally applicable to Black women with the “typical” Black hair texture?
Answer: I have seen also that many natural hair products have that deceptive practice. I do not believe that is fair or right for companies to mislead customers that way.
It is no secret that almost all of the black population in America is genetically mixed with the European-American white populace. It is an uncomfortable reality, but it is reality nonetheless. So while I am mixed with European descent, so are almost all of the customers I serve. Many of these women have two black parents, and yet they have a looser hair texture than mine. I have the “typical” black woman’s texture of hair.
What is most relevant to the hair growth techniques in the book is not genetic admixture, but rather hair type. My hair type is 4a. This is very, very common among the black American population and is not appreciably looser or curlier than most black women in our country have.
However, I did go to great pains to specify the potential problems and pitfalls that women with a tighter hair texture of type 4b or c-nap could face. I made changes to my methods to prevent those customers from potentially suffering matting or locking up of their hair. This is a greater risk for women who have that tighter texture. I would hate for anyone to go through matting or dredding. That is why customers MUST follow the book’s directions exactly as I have written them. If a reader tries to make changes to the methods, they run the risk of matting or breakage.
Question: You make the point in the guide book that it’s “more than just hair.” Why do you say that?
Answer: It’s more than just hair because it’s also a tangible aspect of our femininity and our health. The way we care for our hair is a reflection of our self-esteem, and a manifestation of our personal power. As you have pointed out on this blog, beauty is power, and our beauty is a weapon. It is a tool that will either be used in our favor or used by others against us. This is why other women flip and fling their hair in our presence; they are showing dominance over us by showing off their length.
When I unfurl this long hair, let me tell you… I see men just melt. I can have them dangling from a string around my pinkie finger. White men, especially, look at me almost hypnotized. I love the feeling of power I get from my hair. Apart from anyone else’s reaction, I feel beautiful and powerful because of my hair. When I’m in the shower and I feel my hair sweep against my hips, I feel such a sense of accomplishment! I feel so beautiful, and very powerful. I feel like I can do anything on planet Earth that I set my mind to. Every black woman should feel like that.
Question: What do you hope The Lady Godiva Hair Extreme Length Program and Guide Book will accomplish for those who use it?
Answer: Most importantly, following the program will boost readers’ health. Readers will learn how to care for their natural hair and come to appreciate how unique and beautiful it is. They will see their hair accumulate length for perhaps the first time in their lives. This can be a wonderful change for those who have always thought that their hair was a hopeless case. There are a great many of black women who have given up even trying to care for their hair. This is a sad state of affairs indeed. Your hair is a part of your body; it should be cared for and maintained just as the rest of you is.
In addition, women who follow the program will enjoy a boost in their pride. I hope that the sense of accomplishment will give readers a springboard to use for success in other parts of their lives. Just as taking your supplements and following a healthy hair regimen every day will yield hair that grows and grows, doing other daily healthy things will build a healthy life. Working out and cutting stress will whittle your body into a beautiful condition. Working diligently on your studies will build a degree, and working assiduously on your escape plan will create a bountiful life. If you can grow your hair from an inch long to all the way down your back, then you can do anything.
Question: Is there anything I haven’t asked about that you’d like to mention to the audience?
Answer: Yes, in addition to the book and supplements, I have created the Extreme Length Lounge. This online forum is where the tutorial videos are posted. There are boards for all of the aspects of the Extreme Length Program in the Lounge. Nutrition, Moisture, Strength, Protection and Styling are covered from all angles.
The Extreme Length Program addresses all of the factors that go into hair growth. These are not restricted to the care you give your actual hair. Surely many readers here have known of a black woman who suffered hair loss during a stressful period in her life. Reducing stress is critical to growing and retaining beautiful tresses. The Extreme Length Lounge has sub-forums for the other aspects of health that will impact your growth and retention. This includes careers, exercise, romantic relationships, family life and education.
The lounge is a place for BWE minded women to talk to one another, support each other and to work on all of their goals. Members can share and learn together about resources and methods to create a fulfilled and amazing life. I believe the Lounge is the best part of the Extreme Length Program. Membership to the forum comes with purchase of the book or supplements.
Khadija Speaking: Again, thanks so much for taking the time to inform me as well as the readers by giving this interview! I truly appreciate it.
FULL DISCLOSURE ABOUT THE REVIEW COPY
Lady Godiva unexpectedly and graciously sent me a free review copy of her program guide book. This didn’t affect my review; I had already planned on buying and reviewing the book when I received the surprise review copy. And now, onto the review portion of this post:
BEAUTY IS SERIOUS BUSINESS; IN FACT, IT’S A WEAPON
As I mentioned in an earlier post,
Since we’re all adults, we know that looks matter in all areas of life. A lot. In the real world, we are all judged by our appearance. Especially women. For women, beauty is a weapon. A weapon that disarms men of means, power and influence. A weapon that opens doors of opportunity that might otherwise be closed. A weapon that is either working for—or against—each individual woman.
Over the centuries, there’s been a curious reversal. Most marriages were solid structures and only love affairs were ephemeral. Men of influence chose and remained married to their wives for reasons that had very little to do with the woman’s individual attributes. Instead, powerful men chose their wives based on the political status and wealth of the woman’s family.
Generally, as long as her father and brothers maintained their wealth and influence, a wife was relatively secure in her marriage. The political and social price of divorcing or abandoning a wife was prohibitively expensive in earlier eras. Only royal mistresses and courtesans absolutely had to master the arts of capturing and holding powerful men’s interest and desire in order to live well.
There’s been a reversal over the centuries. In the modern West, marriage is fleeting and a woman’s ability to live well is determined by two (sometimes interlocking) skill sets: her ability to provide for herself, and her ability to attract and hold quality men’s interest and desire. A woman who has to do every, single, thing in her life without any man’s help is a burdened woman. Such a woman is operating under a disadvantage in any context, whether it’s at work or at home. Even when there’s no expectation or even serious desire for a liaison, men are more inclined to help a beautiful woman.
Since modern marriages are based on the ever-shifting sands of emotion (and nothing else), it behooves modern women to study the timeless strategies used by women from previous eras. Women whose livelihood depended on their ability to utterly captivate men of means who were surrounded by an endless array of other beautiful women. A woman who wants to:
- stay married to, or
- if necessary, quickly replace a husband with another quality husband
would be wise to study the ways of the courtesan.
It goes without saying that a courtesan’s hair was a significant part of her arsenal.
IF YOU’RE SERIOUS ABOUT CULTIVATING YOUR BEAUTY, YOU’LL ABANDON THE “HAIR WARS”
If you’re serious about cultivating your beauty, you’ll abandon the Hair Wars of natural versus relaxed styles, and choose the type of hairstyle that’s most flattering for your face and head. Natural hairstyles are not automatically flattering for every Black woman. During an earlier blog conversation, one reader gave the example of Black woman top chef (Carla Hall) who has a long, thin face. Wearing a round afro made her look like a muppet from Sesame Street. A hairstyle that was oriented more downward than out (and emphasized hair length) was much more flattering to her facial structure. Choose your hairstyle based on what’s most flattering for you, and not ideology.
Proper nutrition—before problems become entrenched—can do good things for a woman’s beauty. Good things that no amount of after-the-damage-is-done interventions can recreate. A wise woman will learn as much as she can about keeping her hair healthy. The Lady Godiva Hair Extreme Length Program Guide can help you do that. I strongly recommend it!