Book Review: The 5 Hair Archetypes | Faces of Black Fashion: Book Review: The 5 Hair Archetypes

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Review: The 5 Hair Archetypes

Happy 2013 Lovelies! A new year is the perfect time to embark on new challenges, create fresh goals and begin a path anew. For 2013, I have decided to begin a hair journey. In three words: I am excited!

I have been a member of hair boards for years after first stumbling upon one following an online search on healthy hair practices. For the past few years, I have enjoyed wearing my hair in very short cuts (think pixie and/or teenie weenie afros). Yet for the past year or so,  I started experimenting with extensions more frequently and noticed that I enjoyed longer hair.  As a result, I decided to grow my own hair. 

Thus, there could not have been a more opportune time for me to read and review Sharifa Barnett's book, The 5 Hair Archetypes. I have been a fan of Sharifa’s hair for a long time and subscribe to both her Youtube channel and her blog. I knew that she had grown her hair from neck length to waist length (how awesome is that!) so I could not wait to read her book. Here's my review below: 

Regimen Building
The 5 Hair Archetypes is chock filled with wisdom for  anyone (natural or relaxed) interested in growing long hair.   Using your archetype ( current hair practices), Sharifa shows you how to  build a regimen and achieve your hair goals. In other words, her advice is tailored to fit your current approach to hair care. Instead of working against your hair care methods,  she shows you how to strengthen the pros and minimize the cons in your hair care practices so that you can best achieve length and health.  For example, if you are an “extensionist” Sharifa shows you how to retain length and maintain the health of your hair with extensions. Or, if you have a low-key approach to hair (“the minimalist”) she shows you a no fuss approach to achieving long healthy hair.    In fact, the book features a regimen guide for each archetype. No need to worry if you’re unsure about your archetype, there’s an in depth quiz to help you find out!

Debunking Hair Myths
Another key aspect to Sharifa’s book is that she debunks negative myths surrounding black hair and growth. She encourages the reader to think differently about hair  growth as she uncovers the untruths behind common misconceptions that often prevent black women from growing long healthy hair.  On debunking the myth that black hair does not grow Sharifa writes, “The belief that black hair cannot grow is not only false and unsupported by science, it’s also an offensive stereotype... The bottom line is that Africans, African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Hispanics, and everyone else who is a person of color can grow their hair and retain length. The key to growing and length retention is not genetics; it’s regimen.” This is just one of the many limiting common hair myths that Sharifa dispels.

Comprehensive Guide
Beginning a hair journey and maintaining a regimen to reach your hair goals can seem overwhelming at times causing some to hesitate in beginning a journey or give up before seeing results. No need! The 5 Hair Archetypes is a great guide book whether you are starting or have already started your hair journey, and will answer many of your questions and concerns that you are bound to have along your journey.  It will provide you with step-by-step guidelines on how to go about deep conditioning, maintaining a moisture/protein balance and addressing common hair problems such as breakage.  Sharifa even  includes a detailed description of her own hair regimen (I'm using it as a guide to build my own regimen) and color photos of the many ways she styles her hair to achieve optimal health and length.  For you ladies who created health goals for the new year, you will be pleased to know that there is a section on exercise and hair care!

I could go on and on about this book.  Sharifa seriously leaves no stone unturned when it comes to hair care.  Along with the topics mentioned above she covers a number of other topics including hair types and textures, adjusting to climate changes, and growth aids and tips. If you are looking for a well-written and well-researched and documented comprehensive hair guide to growing long hair, The 5 Hair Archetypes is the book for you.  

The book is available for purchase HERE.


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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts :)