Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: That Hair Thing And The Sisterlocks Approach By Dr. JoAnne Cornwell

Dr. JoAnne Cornwell is a hair care specialist and the originator of the trademarked natural hair care system called Sisterlocks. She formerly worked as a stylist in the hair care industry. Dr. Cornwell is an Associate Professor of African Studies and French at San Diego State University.
In Dr. JoAnne Cornwell's book That Hair Thing the second edition she reveals how she developed the sisterlocks technique. Dr. Cornwell shared her personal journey towards self acceptance and discovering her natural hair. She documents her childhood experience growing up in her grandmother's beauty salon. She shares with the reader her hair journey with chemical relaxing her hair to going natural. She challenges African American women's perception about going natural. Is afro textured hair as beautiful as straightened relaxed hair?

An important section of the book is chapter five which covers the topic: a conspiracy of silence. Dr. Cornwell challenges the ignorance about natural hair and the conspiracy of silence. She discusses wearing natural hair in the workplace. There are perceptions that kinky and coily hair is too ethnic for the workplace. She cites that African American women typically cover up their hair with extensions and wigs.
In other sections of her book, she educates about the symbolism of textured hair within black culture. Some African American women perception is that their textured hair is not beautiful. Another key point in her book is in regards to self love and self hatred. Self hatred is a learned behavior that is past down from generation to generation. This is a new day and age where African American women are free to wear their natural hair in the workplace, in the courtroom and boardrooms. Dr. Cornwell's encourages African American women to self love and to appreciate their natural beauty.
In the last chapter of her book she explains the sisterlocks approach. Her business model has attracted thousands of women nationally and internationally. Dr. Cornwell defines sisterlocks as not only a hairstyle but a lifestyle. Sisterlocks is a growing movement.
I enjoyed reading this book. Textured hair is beautiful whether it is curly, kinky, coily or locked hair. Her book is liberating and a must read for African American women. The book challenges and educates in regards to how we perceive ourselves and what we misunderstand how the world sees us. It will give you a new revelation that it is not only hair but it is about self love.
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