As I stated in the pre-review, I am not one for reading books related to hair, natural or otherwise, but this one drew my interest for its generally informative content. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy from Sharifa “MsKibibi” Barnett for review and I thoroughly enjoyed the read!
The text of the book is sizeable so it isn’t a long read. If you have a day off with no plans, then you may be able to finish it in a day. It took me about a day and a half and then I re-read sections significant to my hair journey. The book covers the five major categories, or archetypes, that hair regimens can be lumped into, The Minimalist (no fuss, no muss regimen), The Shopaholic (product junkies), The Kitchenista (homemade products), The Gadget Gal (heat styling, steamers, and other tools), and the Extensionist (weaves, wigs, braids, etc). Included within its pages is a quiz for you to take that can help you pinpoint what category/categories you fall under. The book uses these archetypes to explain the pros and cons of each type of regimen and how to maintain hair health with each.
One thing that I appreciated about the book was how it is divided into three major sections, Change Your Thinking, Change Your Habits, and Change Your Hair, each one marked by a page with the word “change” and its definition and synonyms; evolve, modify, and transform. Each of these section markers highlights a certain synonym that describes the goal of the section. Change Your Thinking, a section focused on letting go of what the reader thinks black hair care consists of and the common and accepted myths attached to that perception, highlights the word “evolve” to indicate the reader must evolve in their thinking and grow beyond what the reader thinks they know to be true and/or correct. Change Your Habits, a section that discusses what the reader may be doing to their hair that may be detrimental to their journey, highlights “modify.” Lastly, the section labeled Change Your Hair, which essentially talks about ways the reader can improve their current regimen, highlights the word “transform.” These connotative definitions of change instill a willingness to accept that the reason the reader’s hair is unhealthy or “not growing” is because of the reader and their hair care practices and that the methods they utilize need to be either altered or eliminated in order to achieve their goal of healthy (long) hair.
What I love most about this book is that it covers information for all stages of a healthy hair journey, from those just starting out to those like me who are well-versed, but need help optimizing their routine. The book addresses a myriad of topics and tips, such as common hair myths, product selection, what a wash day routine should include, advantages and disadvantages of each archetype, common hair problems (thinning, splits, etc) and solutions, complete with a breakage flow chart. As if all that wasn’t plenty, there are also appendices containing detailed information about ingredients commonly found in products and how they work on hair, hair types, ways to care for your hair in different climates, a glossary of terms, growth aids, what styling tools are least damaging, how to overcome plateaus at each length, overlooked practices that may be the source of problems, and more. By the time I reached the back cover, I’d learned more about topics I thought I already knew everything there was to know about and took note of things I need to change in my own regimen that may be hindering my health and length retention journey.
Speaking of taking notes, another interesting feature of the book is that it also has writing sections after crucial topics that contain questions about the reader’s current regimen and–based on what was learned in that particular section–what the reader needs to change today (there was much emphasis on the word “today” to motivate immediate action) to help improve the health of their hair. I found it to be a great way to help reiterate the information learned and organize my thoughts to pinpoint exactly what things I was doing that were unhealthy and what I’m going to do now to improve. One of these writing sections consisted of several pages of Archetype Profiles for the reader to fill out every six months after retaking the Archetype Quiz. The profile requires that the reader have a current photo of their hair as well as a hair inspiration photo, enter their quiz score and the date it was taken, and then answer various information about their regimen at that time. I think it’s a wonderful way to track progress and immediately see what has changed since the last time the quiz was taken and the results of those changes in photos and text. The Archetype Profile is something I think every reader should utilize as a simple, easy way to document what they are using and what they are doing to their hair as well as motivation to continue on the journey to healthy hair.
Throughout the book, MsKibibi inserted her experiences with each and every topic discussed so the reader is able to relate and know that these aren’t just arbitrary facts and figures but what MsKibibi herself has learned with each setback she experienced. I found it heartening to see that someone with the gorgeous hair and length I’m struggling to achieve has gone through many of the same setbacks I have and am grappling with today. It lets me know that I’m on the right track and I can benefit from someone else’s mistakes and aha! moments to optimize my healthy hair regimen.
The only negative things I can say–and this is just nitpicking–I regret the absence of kinky hairstyles in the photo style guide and video links since I’m always looking for inspiration for both my protective and out styles. Not just kinky hairstyles, I believe it would have added to the substance of the book if there were a few styles for everyone discussed in the book, extension styles, wig styles, more varied straight styles, etc in the photo style guide. The video barcode links listed in the book of the hair tutorials would have been a little more relevant to me if perhaps her sister (also featured in the book) could have aided with a few video tutorials of her natural hair. Other than those two minor things, I absolutely loved the book! It’s all the information needed for healthy black hair care in one little book.
Now for the giveaway…
Kibibi Hair has been gracious enough to sponsor our giveaway. We are giving away TWO autographed copies of The 5 Hair Archetypes to TWO WINNERS.
The giveaway will end on February 3, 2014 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Open to continental to U.S. residents only.
To enter you must…
1.) Be subscribed to 2Kinky Ladies (comment below with the email address you subscribed with).
2.) Visit 5HairArchetypes.com and take the Archetype Quiz. Then, post your results in a Facebook status and tag both KibibiHair and 2Kinky Ladies.
The winners will be announced on February 4, 2014