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Hair Care Book Reviews

We are a society of the iPhone, Internet, and other technological things. We have become so engulfed in this society that we forget the simples things like picking up a book. Yes, I can go to the Internet and type anything about natural, coily, and kinky hair, but nothing beats the knowledge of the hair experts and authors of literature.

Here are many books about natural hair, how to care for her, how to grow her, different styles, and the enriching history behind our nappy roots. Enjoy!

hair books

Sometimes we just need to slow it down and do the research from books. These books are not only filled with useful information, but they are great investments for your own hair care future and will fill in the missing pieces that you just cannot get from the internet [Read More]

The Natural Hair Bible: The 10 Commandments of BlackHair Care

When Good Hair Goes Bad: Tips and Tricks for RestoringYour Gorgeous, Healthy, Natural Hair 

Curly Halo: Your Natural Hair Care Reference Guide+Workbook

 Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America
Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps

Highlights: This book encompasses the enriching history of our nappy roots. From black hair in bondage, crossing over to the changing politics of hair, and ending up to the present day of team natural taking over is explained in this book. Not only is there important historical milestones in African American history, but the evolution of black hair is also declared as well.

My Review: Hair Story is a really easy read for those who get lost in history. This was quite the page turner, just to learn more about black hair. I knew about the history of African Americans, but I learned so much about the messages hair carried in Africa to politically incorrect notions about black hair. What I liked most about the book was the evolution about black hair and knowing that black hair will always thrive, even today and in the future.

Ayana D. Byrd is a graduate of Barnard College with a Bachelors in political science. She has shown herself in Honey, InStyle, and Rolling Stone.

Lori L. Tharps attended and graduated from Smith College, receiving a Masters in Journalism from Colombia University. Presently, she is a correspondent for Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Curly Girl: The Handbook (2010) Second Edition
Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender

Highlights: The Curly Girl Method or "no poo" method is explained deeply in this book. The Curly Girl products consist of: sulfate-free shampoos, botanical conditioners and gels, and no silicones or parabens. Curly Girl explained daily routines for different curl types (Botticelli, corkscrew, zigzag, cherub, and corkicelli), based on the spring factor. Curly Girl gave tips on how to trim your own hair, styling options for specific hair types, how to care for curly kids, and creating your own products for your own hair health.

My Review: I absolutely love this book! I tend to pick it up every now and again just to get a refresher on recipes to try and how to fully do the Curly Girl Method. The tutorial pictures were so helpful, along with the advice for those with curls and not just general hair tips. The process to care for coily and kinky hair seems very helpful, especially with the styling options and how to care for the hair.

The curl confession let the curly girls know that they are not alone. Once they learn how to care for their hair properly, health and length will come.

Lorraine Massey is the founder and co-owner of Devachan, a stylish salon and spa in SoHo in New York City. She channeled her passion for curly hair by founding a group of stylish salons in New York and California that drew curly girls from near and far.

Michele Bender is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, Working Mother, and Health, where she was a contributing editor. She lives in New York City.

Better Than Good Hair
Nikki Walton, Ernessa Carter

Highlights: Telling her own hair story, Nikki sets this book in motion with the purpose to help other with their hair journey. She gives step-by-by styles, routine guides, and a products guide/recommendations. There are also articles on natural hair with career, beauty, love, children, and accessories. The stages of the natural hair journey is explained from the Big Chop to the awkward years of being natural to being all grown up and a veteran in your hair journey.

My Review: I love the quote, "...most of all, a true curlfriend loves her and loves her hair!" There is so much encouragement, love, and support filled in this book. I also love how Nikki highlighted other naturalistas, authors, blogs, and websites. Honestly, this is a must-read book! This was the first book I got to help when I first started my natural hair journey. This is just a great reference to have to share with your friends and family. I surely have!

You can purchase from Nikki's website, http://www.curlynikki.com/ or Amazon. 

Nikki Walton is a licensed psychotherapist with a Masters in Psychology from the University of North Carolina and she is the founder of her website.

Ernessa Carter is a graduate of Smith College with a Masters of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. She is the founder of the website www.fierceandnerdy.com. and the author of 32 Candles, with more information at www.32candles.com 

The 5 Hair Archetypes: Your Guide to Growing Long Hair
Sharifa Barnett
Hightlights: With the subject of growing long hair, The 5 Hair Archetypes approaches this topic to help you understand your hair based on your current routine. Whether you love to weave it up, use heat for styling, or mix up your own products in your kitchen, the book gives great insight on how to use your current routine to establish healthy hair by suggesting regimens for each archetype. There is a quiz to find out what archetype you favor the most as well as discussions on common hair problems and how to correct them.

My Review: I honestly read this book twice a year, April and October, so I can retake the quiz just to find out if I am still the same archetype of if I evolved to another one. The 5 Hair Archetypes is a must read for all women: curly, coily, relaxed, nappy, straight, etc. The book is written in a way that Sharifa is really having a one-on-one with you and I really like that. This approach of suggesting regimens based on your archetype or current routine is what I like that best. She doesn’t tell you what not to do, but she teaches you how to achieve your hair goals based on where you are at in your hair journey.

Sharifa Barnett aka “MsKibibi” is Jamaican, with degrees in Psychology and Law. She is also a licensed attorney. After growing her hair to waist-length, she founded her site KibibiHair.com that revolves around women with relaxed and natural hair sharing each other’s hair journey. You can also check out Sharifa’s journey, her book, the quiz, and other tips on http://www.5hairarchetypes.com/. 

 Curly Girl: More Than Just Hair...It's An Attitude (2001) First Edition
Lorraine Massey

Highlights: “It’s your head, not your hair, that needs straightening.” Curly Girl Confessions sections were great reads and understanding on women speaking about their own hair journeys and curly hair stories. Curly Girl (2001) breaks down the different types (Corkscrew, Botticelli, and Wavy) of curls and the regimens that they should follow in order to have healthy curls.

My Review: I loved that Curly Girl (2001) has  fun pictures to give it more personality and a pull for me to continue reading. There is so much self-love and tips on how to really love the hair on your head. The routines and the styles made me really happy! However, I did not like that there was a small section about African American Hair (that's what the book said, not natural or black hair) and how to care for it. I suppose that's why there is a Second Edition of Curly Girl to add more routines and styling options for coily and kinky hair. I would just say go to the Second Edition.

Lorraine Massey is the founder and co-owner of Devachan, a stylish salon and spa in SoHo in New York City. She channeled her passion for curly hair by founding a group of stylish salons in New York and California that drew curly girls from near and far.

Curly Like Me: How To Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong

Teri LaFlesh

Highlights: "Your energy is best spent learning to work with your hair, rather than fighting against it." Curly Like Me gives tips and encouragement on how to wear your own curl in its own natural curl pattern. It give a regimen to styles natural hair without disrupting the curl pattern. Curly Like Me also gives tips on how to understand the curly girl hair and structure.

My Review: I really like the vibe of this book, making it easy to understand and to apply the tips to your own hair and hair care regimen. Although the pictures were in black and white, this book really gave an honest outlook on how natural curly hair operates. Curly Like Me has given me lots of tips that I use in my own hair regimen today. I do appreciate her website and the list of ingredients, just in case I can't find them on my own.
Teri LaFlesh is very honest and transparent with her journey and her pictures. She has a website called Tightly Curly and she gives an extensive list of ingredients that are good and bad in your hair products.
Hair Talk: Stylish Braids from African Roots
Duyan James

Highlights: Giving tribal meanings and ritualistic uses, Hair Talk declares that braids are not just a mere and simple fashion. This book gave the audience the idea that braiding is a work of art sculpted in grace and authority. Hairstyles like kinky/Nubian twists, pixies, goddess braids, hair lacing, and more was shown in this book. There are different ways to do these styles with synthetic, pony hair, human hair, and yarn. Pictures were also shown with each description of the styles. This book engulfs that braiding is a proud historical practice of our culture.

My Review: I love this quote from James, "We used the palms from the trees, shredding them into fine yellow threads. And deep in the jungle there stands a tree, the Cotar tree, on which grows a particular fruit. We used the juice of this fruit to dye the palm strands black. And that was the beginning of hair extensions and colored hair as we know them today." I love that fact that you get to read and learn the historical references and each style, there are step by step instructions in each braiding technique, and the pictures are displayed like a hair show. I love it!

Duyan James is a Liberian native with a braidery in Washington, DC.

The Secrets of Going Natural: A Hair Raising Revelation
Zenobia Jackson
Hightlights: Throughout The Secrets of Going Natural, at the end of each chapter is a Reflections page that allows you think stop and think about what you just read and also write your own thoughts as well. She dwells on the notion that having natural hair requires mental toughness, gaining knowledge of your true self, and really accepting true beauty. She gives tips and methods for those who are transitioning and also answers questions that many transitioners would have before or while they are going through that process. She gives products advice and also breaks down the truth about perms.

My Review: I love how The Secrets of Going Natural begins with the history of what “nappy” is and how black hair was to be a crown for a woman, but the Western society depicted black hair as “tangled,” “matted,” and “very hard to brush out.”

Zenobia Jackson, aka “Lady Z,” is from Tunica, Mississippi. From her fellowship with God, she founded Every Woman A Queen Ministries, where she has the passion to teach on self-love, natural hair care, spiritual purpose, and more. Zenobia continues her on in her personal journey for natural hair care in order to help women to realize their natural beauty. She graduated from University of Mississippi with her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and also General Studies and Humanities. For more, check out her website http://zenobiajackson.com/. 

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Desire My Natural is my personal blog.

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