Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review - Coils & Curls: The Hair Product Handbook

Hey Kinkies!  Well, you guys already know that I am passionate about [natural] hair, as well as reading, so I was happy to have been given the opportunity to read and review "Coils & Curls: The Hair Product Handbook."  This book was written by Nicole Harmon, Cosmetic Chemist and Founder of Hair Liberty.  

What's your first impression of "Coils & Curls" Kinky?  Although I learned a thing or two, I can't say that this book is totally for me.  Now don't get me wrong, there are a few great hair care tips, which I will later elaborate on, and it's give you tips on what to look for when purchasing a product; however, it seems that the focal products were those that contain ingredients that a lot of naturals opt OUT of using.  Given that it's supposed to be a handbook to assist in the buying process of your hair products, that was a bit disappointing.

The book starts off talking about  the make up of hair, deciphering product labels (which we all should be doing), breakage risk for each of the four hair types, and porosity level of the four hair types.  The book then walks you through choosing the right shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, and deep conditioner for your hair.  I think there's some great tips in the aforementioned sections.  She goes on with recommendations of hair care products, none of which are truly consist of 100% natural ingredients; and key ingredients, where only a small portion are actually natural.  

Some of the great things about the first unit of the book are the "staple product formula," some butter/oil recipes, key questions to ask when picking a product, and  the special considerations at the end of each chapter.  The special considerations consists of summaries of the chapter topics, as well as some do's and don'ts.  The staple product formula helps you to decided whether or not you can afford to incorporate pricey products into your routine.  You factor in the cost of the largest bottle you can afford, the number of ounces used each time, the number of times used per week, and the size of the largest bottle you can afford, in ounces.  I think it's a great concept, especially for product junkies that don't want to go broke.  

In unit two, the focus shifted to hair care how-to's for the relaxed, naturals, and those that are transitioning.  She talks about old school methods used vs. the new school, more modern choices; step-by-step tutorials; protecting hair when swimming; and a routine to follow for no breakage.

Nicole makes some great points throughout the book, such as:
  • "Your product choices and styling techniques will determine if you love or hate your hair."
  • Looking at the first (top) five ingredients, which may be the most effective in the product.
  • "You will find the best products for your hair by reading the labels.  Not just the front of the bottle that uses hyped up words like "nourishing", "replenishing", and "restoring", but the back of  the  bottle where the ingredients are listed."
In reading this book, I thought of how it would be beneficial to me and my Kinkies.  The great thing about the book is that it touches on some do's and don'ts, questions to ask yourself when trying to pick the right products for your hair, and the tutorials.  However, I just wish that there was more of a focus on the all-natural and/or Ayurvedic ingredients and products, again, given that this is a book to aid us beauties in picking hair products.  While I understand that the book may not be catered specifically to us natural beauties, I think talking more about all-natural hair products and ingredients would have been great.  Natural hair is everywhere now (commercials, movies, regular TV shows... the workplace) and more products that are all-natural are being made.  So with that said, I think there could have been a bit more discussion about it.  

The catch phrase for the book is "helping the product junkies of the world buy SMARTER, sort through marketing HYPE and save MONEY!"  Coincidentally, some of the products featured in the book, in my opinion, are full of hype and would cause you to [possibly] waste your money.  (Sorry, that's the 'I prefer natural and worthwhile products' part of me coming out.)

Is it a quick, easy read?  Yes.  It's only a few pages long, I read it in about two hours (with distractions).  Would I recommend it?  I can't fully say that I would, at least not at the price listed on the site ($14.99, I'm not sure if this includes shipping and if taxes are added on).  Would I use my copy again, as a reference?  Definitely yes.  Again, I did learn a few things and there were some helpful tips; however, I just wish that there was a well-rounded focus on other ingredients and products, those that don't contain sulfates, silicones, and other chemicals.  If you're in to some of the big name, somewhat popular companies, where their products aren't 100% natural, then this may be a great book for you.  Even if you're not, you may still get something out of the book, as I did.

If you do get a chance to read this book, come back and share your thoughts.  I would love to hear your perspective!

Where to buy: Hair Liberty (this book will be on Kindle in the upcoming weeks)

Feel free to also check me out on Facebook, Kinky Kinetik, Twitter, Tweet Kinky and YT, KinkyKinetik.

~Keep it Kinky~

Disclaimer: I was sent this product for the purpose of a review and I was NOT paid to do this review. The above review/opinions expressed was based on MY experience using the product. Kinky Kinetik is not affiliated with Coils & Curls/Hair Liberty/Nicole Harmon and is thereby not responsible for your experience with the product.

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