Candace Kelley's debut work "Coif Cuisine: Natural Hair Recipes & Side Dishes For the Natural Hair & Now" is a true work of passion written from the heart. Her move from casual conversationalist to maker of curly hair products, and then author, was an organic journey highlighted with curiosity, honesty and candor. An Emmy-nominated writer and founder of Curl Prep Natural Hair Solutions, a natural hair care line crafted especially for tightly-coiled hair, Kelley decided to begin this book after encounters with women who wanted to know her curly hair tips and secrets.
Kelley's allegiance to keeping naturally curly, kinky and wavy hair healthy runs much deeper than her two decades of just keeping her own coif well-maintained. As the daughter of a woman who has never, not even once, gotten a chemical perm relaxer, she has always had a chance to behold the beauty of being comfortable with the realities of her hair as a black woman.
Recipe for Hair Success
"Coif Cuisine's" central theme focuses on your ability to influence the health of your hair with products found throughout your home or easily within your consumer reach. A bulk of the book shares ingredients that you can easily find in the cabinets or refrigerator that do wonders for your natural texture, including eggs, avocados and olive oil.
The book is written from Kelley's perspective with a plethora of anecdotes, personal experiences and whimsical colloquialisms mixed with recipes, curly hair tips and cautionary tales. As she urges all of us naturals to “continue to learn our hair” so that we can forge brand new relationships, she also teaches everyone how to naturally condition, clean and even color your natural hair.
The structure of "Coif Cuisine" is straight-forward and easy to jump right into. The chapters are separated in a way that allows readers to take in the book as a whole, or skip to specific sections where they need the most help. Natural hair gals with dry hair can skip right to the “Butters” or “Conditioners” chapters. Curlies, kinkies and wavies can figure out how to get rid of build-up and extra dirty locks with help from chapters about healthy, homemade shampoos and clarifiers.
The book was definitely written with a familiar tone and is no way supposed to be considered an encyclopedic effort, even though there is a helpful list of oils and what they can do for your hair. In addition to the intuitive flow of information, there are also photographs, illustrated images and extra tidbits to spice up the repetition of recipes and tips.
Praise and Criticism
The strength of this "Coif Cuisine" relies heavily on the emotional qualities of the writing. Kelley's personal tales of meeting the Bushman in Jamaica, after randomly seeing his picture in a magazine, or sharing souls and secrets with other natural women at seminars and workshops really breathes life into her narration.
The humor and wit throughout the text is comfortable and makes for a very light and easy read. However, aesthetically, the book does lack the formal presentation most readers might be used to encountering. The text is a bit large, the format is quite inconsistent and the quality of the photos is mediocre.
More Curly Book Reviews!
The curly hair market is exploding, and books on the subject are no different. Check out the "Curl Girl" book review and see what others are saying.
For natural hair girls who are just getting into their beauty regimens, "Coif Cuisine" could be a good place to start. The books simplicity and Kelley's bright personality and humility make it an enjoyable quick read that can get you on the road to natural hair success!
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