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So you’ve finally made the decision to go natural. Your last relaxer or texlax treatment was months ago and you’re waiting for the new growth to chop those ends off, or maybe you went full-on Michaela Coel buzzcut. And now, naturally (no pun intended), you have questions. What products should I use? What’s my hair type? What is a sulfate, and should I be avoiding them?
While the journey is different for every head of hair, there are some tried and true tips and tricks that will make the ride much smoother. Fortunately, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel because there is plenty of information available from professionals and other naturals on just about every natural hair topic. And we’ve come up with 15 books filled with recipes, styling ideas, and practical advice specifically for the transitioning natural.
If you’ve started your transition and you’re not sure where to go from here, we think you should add these books to your TBR list.
1.The Kitchen Beautician: Natural Hair Care Recipes for Beautiful Healthy Hair by Dezarae Henderson and Halima Martin
This hair “cookbook” contains useful recipes for the transitioners looking to go the all-natural and organic route. Recipes include shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and more. All of which can be made with love from your own kitchen, and many of which are edible (if eating hair products is your thing?).
2. The Book of Natural Hair Questions and Answers by Yesenia Hernandez
Licensed cosmetologist Yesenia Hernandez answers some popular questions about natural hair and locs from a stylist's perspective, inspired by years of consultations. Have a specific natural hair question? It may be answered here.
This how-to guide is designed to take the reader through every step of the natural/curly hair process. Author and NaturallyCurly co-founder Michelle Breyer tells the story of “The Curl Revolution” through curated information from experts and the NaturallyCurly community. Readers will come away with the ability to identify their hair-type, build an ideal hair-care regimen, learn about product ingredients, and more.
4. If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair by Phoenyx Austin
Health, nutrition, and beauty expert Dr. Phoenyx Austin, M.D. touches on holistic and nutrition based hair care as well as information on Afro-textured hair. Specifically, what separates it from other hair types, as well as how to care for it.
5. Homemade Natural Hair Care (with Essential Oils): DIY Recipes to Promote Hair Growth, Shine & Repair (Shampoo, Conditioner, Masks, Aromatherapy, Hair Loss Treatment- 100% Cruelty Free) by Carmen Reeves
The recipes in this book for natural hair products feature essential oils as the main ingredients, adding aromatic qualities to your products while promoting a healthy hair and scalp. Readers will also learn how to discern which essential oils are most suited to their hair type and the properties of each essential oil.
6. The Science of Transitioning: A Complete Guide to Hair Care for Transitioners and New Naturals by Audrey Davis Sivasothy
This book, written exclusively for naturals who are transitioning from relaxers, explains how relaxers affect the hair and scalp and how to keep your hair healthy during the transition.
7. Curly Girl: The New Handbook by Deborah Chiel, Lorraine Massey, and Michele Bender
Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender bring curly readers an all-around guide on how to handle curly hair gently. From home-made products and daily routines, to Q&A’s and haircuts.
Although this hairstyling and maintenance book was made primarily for parents who don’t have Afro-textured hair who have children with Afro-textured hair, these styling tips can benefit the transitioning natural or those who have children who are transitioning.
9. Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayanna D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps
A chronological and historical look at Afro-textured hair care from a political and cultural point of view and how we carry some of these ideas in modern American culture.
10. Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong by Teri LaFlesh
This personal and anecdotal book features hairstyling tips for transitioning, the best products and tools, and the story of the author’s natural hair journey with photos.
11. Know Thy Curls: The Ultimate Product Ingredient Dictionary by Sylvia Kerali
A natural’s guide to popular product ingredients, featuring what each product does along with a hazard rating. It also includes a product log to record how your hair responds to certain products and ingredients.
12. Mane Principles: Your Guide to Kinky Coily Natural Hair Care by Kimberly Elise
Film and television actress Kimberly Elise shares her experience going natural as an actress in Hollywood as well as some of her favorite products, recipes and natural hair tips. The book is written for the new natural, focusing on maintaining moisture, preventing breakage, and deciphering lists of product ingredients.
13. Better Than Good Hair: The Curly Girl Guide to Healthy, Gorgeous Natural Hair by Nikki Walton
Founder of CurlyNikki.com, Nikki Walton, along with tips from natural hair experts brings readers a how-to book on transitioning featuring step-by-step instructions on hairstyling, tips for coloring grey natural hair with henna, advice for parents of natural kids, and more.
14. The Black Hair Manual: A Pocket Guide for Choosing Your Best Hair Products by Breanna Rutter
Shopping for products as a new natural can be straight up overwhelming. This manual is all about products and is meant to point you in the right direction as far as understanding what products and ingredients will most likely work for Afro-textured Hair.
Need some transitioning hairstyle inspo? Author Samantha Harris, also known on YouTube as Ahfro Baang, brings full illustrations and photographs to demonstrate 60 ways to style your hair— there’s something here for every curl pattern.
Are you reading any informative books during your transition? Were there any from this list that caught your attention? Leave a comment telling us about your fav natural/curly literature.