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No Lye: The African American Woman's Guide To Natural Hair Care Paperback – September 15, 1997

60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"No Lye is a degree granting, home study course in the mystique, magic and proper care of black women's hair. What a blessing!"
--Iyanla Vanzant, author of In the Meantime

"No Lye is not an ordinary how-to book. Tulani Kinard's study on African American Natural hair care is based on her philasophical belief that beauty and self-love is also healthy and biologically sound. A must-read for every African-American women, man, girl, and boy--at least!" --Bernice John Reagon

About the Author

Tulani Kinard is the owner of Tulani's Regal Movement, a natrual hair-care salon in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked as a contributing editor to Blackstress and Black Hair Care magazines and her hair sculptures have been featured in everything from Essence to The New York TimesI. She is cofounder of the International Braider's Network and former president of the National Braider's Guild.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (September 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312151802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312151805
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,072,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By NappyGirl on September 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
NO LYE! is probably my favorite book on the topic of natural haircare for Black women. Although I've owned it for several years, I still find myself pulling it off the bookshelf when I'm contemplating a new style.
Tulani takes a decidedly "Afrocentric" approach to hair styling so you won't find any braid styles that "mimic" European hair (for example, there are no weaves or individual braids w/ human hair ends left free flowing).
NO LYE! is full of useful information about the various "types" of African hair and how to best care for it in it's natural state. It also contains information on hair adornment, proper diet, caring for children's hair, alopecia and dryness/breakage.
The book is full of beautiful black and white pictures of sisters (with and without extensions) sporting braids, naturals and locked styles. Since I'm considering locking my own hair, I found the info in the lock chapter to be inspiring and extremely helpful.
NO LYE is a fantastic all-around reference book for natural hair but many of the styles would probably have to be done by a professional stylist if you aren't an expert braider yourself (I'm not). There is a brief segment on how to braid with extensions but it wasn't detailed enough for me to copy. Aside from twists and short naturals, there aren't many do-it-yourself styles for natural sisters in the book.
In any case, I would recommend this book to anyone that has recently made the committment to natural hair.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Minnesota Raven on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tulani has done an excellent job of putting together the much needed info for caring for natural, chemical free, hair. Why there are so few books on the subject is a mystery to me given the health ramifications involved with continuously using caustic chemicals on ones scalp. But, the need to "fit in" is greater than the need for a healthy life. Well I am finally brave enough and secure in my own heart to know that whatever God gave me is what I have and if it sticks straight up then it sticks straight up. I use this book as a reference guide along with Pamela Ferrell and Lonnice Bonner's books. It helps to re-read some of the sections when you are staring in the mirror with a head full of nappy hair and thinking why oh why don't I just get a perm. Whenever I feel the urge to take that road I read one of my reference guides. Not only for the how to info but the moral support as well. My hair is now 6 to 7 inches and growing like crazy. In other words it quit breaking off and I think that the longer it gets the easier it will be to manage. I look forward to the day I can easily wear buns and do single braids. This isn't far off but until this time I will deal with the twisting and braiding while I wait for a few more inches to grow.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By on November 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I heard about this book in passing and was anxious to read it. I LOVED this book! As a college student who will graduate in a few years I am constantly searching for hairstyles that I can wear on a job interview or hangin' out with my girls. Ms. Kinard's book allowed me to explore some natural hair options for myself (I don't plan on putting a chemical back into my hair ever) and push my mom towards the natural hair experience (it really is healthier). This book is especially helpful if you're coming out of a chemical and want to strengthen your hair, or if you just want to know a little more about the whole natural hair movement. One thing I can guarantee, you won't want to go back to chemically-treated hair after turning the last page.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Reader's Paradise VINE VOICE on April 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are trying to decide what natural style to wear? Should you loc? How much maintenance natural haircare will be, or just plain confused about natural haircare, this is the book to have. Tulani's African-American Womens Guide To Natural Hair Care is a wonderful tool.
In this book I learnt what is the best PH balance for our hair, why my hair might be dry or flaky. Tulani explains how you can make herbal and fruit conditioners from your own kitchen.
Sisterlocks, Flat Twist, two-strand twist, palm roll twist, Comb Coiling, and just about every thing on braid extension and hair wrappings can be found in "No Lye". And those of you looking for the "Root of it all" that's chapter 1, understanding our hair and the composition of it.
Tulani mentions in the book and I quote" Eventually your status as an "educated consumer" will have an impact upon the product manufacturer's research and development process. You will move aeway from products that are popular or familiar, toward products that you know will satisfy your hair's biochemical needs"
I only have one more thing to say this is not a book to be without.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sadly, there are few books dedicated solely to the process of locking hair and its maintenance. It's really too bad since more and more women of color are viewing locked hair as a viable alternative to harsh chemicals, weaves and extensions. At the very least, you would think authors and experts would pick up on this trend and write a useful book just on the topic of lock maintenance alone. But I digress.

Tulani Kinard may not have devoted her entire book to locks, but she comes quite close by focusing enough attention on the subject as to make this book both a highly useful primer and an inestimable ongoing reference guide.

Anecdotally, I locked my hair over the course of two days after finally accepting the reality that my quest for straight, sleek styles had caused me to develop dire and incessant scalp irritation for which I had begun using prescription shampoo (yikes), and a head of hair that was more equine in nature than of the human variety. Read: It was a sad state of affairs.

Needless to say, Kinard's book was invaluable in pointing me to products (and telling me which to avoid) that would help my puerile locks stay, well, locked. She recommended scalp treatments for the anything-but-enjoyable first few months when the committed self-stylist finds themselves abstaining from hair washing so as not to unravel their hard work (trust me, this is the hardest part).
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