2 out of 4 stars
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In today's society, changing hair accessories may be viewed comparable to wearing make-up, but hair extensions date back to Cleopatra’s blue-tinted tresses. As the husband of a braid and beauty shop owner, François Attadédji is no stranger to women's hair accessories, including extensions, weaves, wigs, and braids. In his informative study, It's Not Only About the Look: Women's Love of Hair May Never Be Fully Understood, Attadédji explores the reasons why women change their hair. His interviews with women of various ages, ethnicities, regions, and social classes reveal an assortment of factors that influence their personal hair choices.
With careful attention to detail, Attadédji expounds on various reasons women wear hair accessories. Thinning hair due to aging or health issues, the influence of social media, the desire to feel younger, and presenting a professional appearance are several factors women listed. Throughout the book, Attadédji objectively contrasts the care, maintenance, and expense of natural hair with hairpiece alternatives. Interestingly, both black and white women cited convenience as a primary reason for wearing different types of hair accessories. "It's clear and neat that wigs, weaves, extensions, and braids are not a black or a white thing. They are a woman thing."
I was impressed by the comprehensive nature of Attadédji's interview process. Although he asked many of the same questions each time, he personalized the interviews rather than simply checking off a list. I especially liked the interviews he conducted with salon owners in New York City, Las Vegas, and Indianapolis. I found it interesting that their overall consensus was that customers opt for various hairpieces instead of their natural hair to please men. I also appreciated Attadédji's candor regarding his previous assumptions and what he learned in the process. One example he cited was the realization that white women wear alternative hair as much as women of color.
On the other hand, Attadédji's desire to emphasize certain issues becomes repetitive, which I dislike. For instance, he repeatedly lists the same specific hairpieces: wigs, weaves, extensions, and braids. This is unnecessary and monotonous; readers are capable of remembering the specific accessories from one chapter to the next. Additionally, considering that the book is 83 pages, the grammatical errors are excessive.
Due to the editorial issues, I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers interested in varying perspectives regarding natural hair as opposed to wearing hairpiece alternatives. The book contains no profanity.
It's Not Only About The Look
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