It's obvious that the author truly cares about the holistic nature of leaving black hair in its unaltered state. She begins by telling her own hair story and what it was like growing up with "plenty of hair" that was thick, plentiful and difficult to comb, not unlike the experience of many children. As with most of her generation, she straightened her hair and tried to manage it with various methods, including hot combs, relaxers and the oh-so-popular-at-one-time Jheri curl.
Because she "walked the walk," it's easy to relate to her hair stories, good and bad.
If you don't currently wear your hair natural and have no idea where or how to begin, this is a good starting point because Ms. Keymah offers advice on how to go natural, basic care and maintenance and the tools you should use.
One of the best aspects of this book is the wealth of photos. It's not always easy to find step-by-steps on how to create different looks, especially if they're intricate. Natural Woman/Natural Hair offers plenty of guidance on how to recreate the styles in it. You'll find much more than a simple wash-and-go. If you want ideas and inspiration, this book provides it.
Interspersed with the pictures are FAQs that she answers and poetic stories about black hair. She doesn't shy away from mistakes she made, and tries to help readers avoid them.
Styles You'll Find in the Book
Styles are broken down into those suitable for short, medium and long hair, as well as those perfect for anyone transitioning. You can also see at a glance which looks are more time-intensive, so if low-maintenance defines you, you know to steer clear of those and look for the "little or no effort" hairdos.
She models some of the styles herself, but there are other models, including men and children, so if you want a comprehensive style book for every member of your family, consider this book.
Some of the styles you can recreate include:
- Two-strand twists
- Cornrows with Afro puffs
- Palm twists
- Flat twists
- Braids and knots
- Zig-zag cornrows
- Twist rolls
- Spiked Afro
- And more.
What's especially helpful is how she demonstrates several variations based on one style, such as twists. You should find enough styling options here where you don't have to worry about wearing the same 'do over and over again, unless you want to.
Who This Book Is For
If you're a longtime natural who's never at a loss for styling ideas, maybe this isn't the book for you. If, however, you're brand new to natural hair or just considering it, this is a good resource, mainly because it offers different style options. The only drawback is that women with TWAs or other short 'dos won't find as many ideas to try; most of the styles in this book feature medium length to long hair. It does help you to develop a routine and start you on the road to actually paying attention to the ingredients in the products you buy, however. Overall, newbies to natural hair may find it more helpful and informative, but it's still a positive addition to any hair care library.