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November 24, 1994|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE

"Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who've Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Became too Ruff"

Author: Lonnice Brittenum Bonner

Info: Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1991. $10 paperback. Fully illustrated.

KINKY AND LOVIN' IT: For African American women suffering from "nappy hair phobia," Lonnice Brittenum Bonner offers an alternative that turns kinky locks into good-looking tresses without chemical straighteners.

Using a generous sprinkling of humor, Bonner, a former reporter for the Oakland Tribune, chronicles her journey from the days when she was a "hair outlaw" and her bangs were stuck to her forehead, to her new attitude and philosophy that not only is black hair good hair, but it's also beautiful in its natural state.

That's the real meaning of this book. For too long, Bonner says, black women have tried to live up to unattainable ideals of Caucasian beauty. She says it is time for black women to look to themselves for role models and the ideal beauty.

Throughout the book, Bonner tells of the years when her locks were "straightened to an inch of their life," her Afro moments and the days of the braids and weaves, as she sought an easy, direct route to "bouncin' and behavin' " hair.

However, through working with her hair, Bonner has found that there is no easy route, no quick fix--except cutting it all off--for broken, overprocessed heads. But her styles and conditioning tips can help black women move gracefully away from chemicals.

The 98-page book includes chapters on the anatomy of a hair follicle and shampooing and conditioning, with how-to photographs of several styles.

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