Sunday, June 21, 2009

Black Woman's Guide to Beautiful Hair Review

I'm reading this book by Lisa Akbari. I'll be updating this post as I read along. So far, I am impressed by her. She even has a youtube channel and apparently, has become a doctor. I am impressed with her experience (conducting studies, her salon, her clients, etc) and her detail of why you should do such and such method. Sorry if my notes aren't clear. This is mainly for me to remember what I read.

Her first suggestion is to get a hair kit. With everything you need for your hair (after evaluating the effectiveness of the products you own).

- detangle
- pre-rinse to remove dirt. 1 to 3 minutes.
- shampoo in the shower for better results.
- Shampoo with PH 5.5 is not drying.

- towel dry first
- don't comb through hair. Let it sit
- When deep conditioning, heat for 15 minutes, re apply, 10 minutes, re apply

Styling. Rollersetting is the safest style and from now on, I am personally going to roller set my hair any time my hair is not in braids or weave. Last time, I made the mistake of telling them to style my hair with heat... A chi flat iron that allowed me to see how much my hair was breaking and a hot comb that was very painful. God, how I abuse my hair!

Rule for heat. Air dry hair for 5 minutes before blow drying. Don't use heat on hair that has not been washed. Never go over 150 degrees.

The second part of the book is about hair mentality. Stop thinking negative thoughts and an explanation of negative habits. I'm kind of skimming this section. I like this quote though... "stop the insanity". Its also a Susan Powter quote, one of my favourite fitness gurus. Stop the insanity. Stop doing things out of habit that are NOT working and THINK. I really want to read this section because unlike some other books, Lisa really takes time to describe and explain things and how to reconstruct your thinking, but this is a library book and I just want to get through some good information.

However, I am considering BUYING this book for keeps.

She has a section on the scalp. Which I am also kind of skimming for time's sake. But something caught my eye.
- Greases like Sulfur 8 or Glover's Mane seem to work to help with itchy scalp, but then they make the problem worse. They tend to clog the surface of the scalp (I know Sulfur 8 is made with Petroleum, but I've been using it any how) which keeps in bacteria (maybe I need to start using apple cider vinegar rinse every other day to prevent the mal-effects of the Petro?). Oils assist in healing. Grease does not.

Next section is about your hair (the first section was just an intro starter kit). Again, skimming this section.
Good information and insight about chemically treated hair. Among her advices, she says
- we should never go more than 7 days without washing our hair.
- We cannot ever scratch our scalp (she talks about scalp damage a lot and how its even worse if we use chemicals on a damaged scalp).
- sit under a cold dryer to close pores before putting chemicals
- PH is very important. Chemicals have a PH of 11 to 13. Rinse with water, and it goes down to 7. Your hair is 5.5, so you need a shampoo of PH 5.5.
- Pretreatment is necessary because of inevitable overlap of chemicals. This can be done 48 hours prior to chemicals.

She later talks about new growth management. Which is basically the same things you should be doing, but you act like you are doing them twice. Once specifically to your new growth and then to the rest of your hair.

Phew! I've reached the Conclusion of the book. This was a very good book. I want to spend more time with it. I might go out and buy my own copy, but I'll wait until I read more of these type of books. I've only read 3, and this is by far the best one for me. Let's see how the other will measure up.

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