Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Book Review | Ultimate Black Hair Growth II

Earlier in June I went back to Georgia to help out my mom. She had had surgery and was not allowed to drive. One day she wanted to go to the library because they had completely remodeled it and opened it again. We scoped it out and then got ready to go. We stepped outside, saw that it was raining, then stepped right back in to wait it out. I decided to see what haircare books they had so I could read something while we waited.

I was excited to find that they had Ultimate Black Hair Growth II by Cathy Howse. I read pretty deeply into it before the rain cleared so my mom checked it out for me and I finished it before I went back to Florida. Here are my thoughts on the book:

Cathy Howes' book lays the foundation for much of the haircare information online today. This book was published a little before a lot of the hair care blogs, forums, and youtube channels existed. I see Howes' ideas of more frequent washing and constantly keeping "our" hair moisturized echoed a thousand times throughout these media. Howse explains that the scalp needs to be healthy and clean because that is the source of hair growth. Furthermore she points out that the shape of African American hair makes it more dry, thus the need for regular moisturizing.

There are holes in some of the information. Perhaps it is my inquisitive nature but at times this book does not explain the "why?" behind concepts. Howse advises that we avoid shampoos that lather too much as they are similar to detergent and dry the hair. This is true but how would one know that the shampoo lathers to much without buying and trying the product? We now know that sulfate is responsible for the extra lather and simply checking the ingredients label will let you know if the shampoo "lathers too much."

There really isn't much specific reference to ingredients at all and I think that is a very important element. In my early regimen days I found out that I was using products loaded with protein and they were breaking my hair off! Thinking of breakage which makes me think of ends, Howse does not trim her ends at all and does not advise you do so either. This differs from a lot of the advice in the black hair care community. She also suggests that the elements do not cause ends to dry out it is simply the hair being dry of itself. So, if you keep your ends moisturized you should not need protective styles.

Howse also mentions another "Hair Care OG" in her book, Wanakee. Wanakee is all for trimming and protective styles so you know "shots were fired." lol. In fact, a lot of shots were fired as Howse spends a chunk of the book defending her method.

In the end I am happy I read a piece of self hair care history. I recommend others read this book and glean from it what they will.  

Check it out here:
What hair books have you read lately? Comment below! 

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