Book Review: The 5 Hair Archetypes

*Note: I apologize about the quality of these pics. I’ve broken every memory card I own so I had to use my phone.

Shame on me, this review should have been posted a while ago. I was sent a copy of Sharifa Barnett’s, or Ms. Kibibi as we in the hair blogospehere and Youtube world know her as, book The 5 Hair Archetypes to read and share with you all.

Pardon the flash in the left hand picture.
There are so many good points in this book, my book is full of tabs and highlighted sections.

Price & Availability: The book is available in book e-book format for NookKindle, and iPad for $9.99 as well as in paperback for $24.99.

My Assessment: One of the things I really liked about this book is that, in my opinion, it covers all the healthy hair care basics. After reading it, I really did sit and try to think of one healthy hair topic I’ve read about and learned over the years that wasn’t mentioned in the book and honestly couldn’t think of one. Ms. Kibibi does a great job at laying out the basics in a way that makes it clear and easy to understand. Starting a healthy hair care journey can be very confusing. There is so much information avaiable on the internet but it can get very confusing (and frustrating!) trying to figure out what your hair needs and how to apply what you’ve just spent hours pouring over.

Before explaining the ins and outs of products, regimens, and healthy hair practices, Ms. Kibibi starts out by laying out the importance of setting goals (ch. 1), common hair myths (ch. 2), and excuses (ch. 3) we have all heard and touted at one point. One of the points on goals that stood out to me was: “Setting realistic goals based on your circumstances will keep you from being frustrated and discourtage with the process. This is not a race. You are not competing with anyone. They only person you are competing against and challenging is you” (pg. 36). Sometimes we just don’t set realistic goals for ourselves. Hey, I’ve done it and had to learn the hard way that lofty hair dreams just won’t do. My unrealistic goals only made me feel bad about my lack of progress because I compared my lack of progress to others.

What made this book fun for me were the five hair archetypes that Ms. Kibibi created:

  1. The Minimalist – the woman who “has a low to no manipulation hair regimen.” Whose “regimen is simple and requires little time commitment.”
  2. The Shopaholic – the woman who “buys several hair products, many of which she may not even need.”
  3. The Kitchenista – the woman who “takes a holistic approach to hair care and often implements Ayurvedic principles in their regimen.”
  4. The Gadget Gal – the woman “who uses heat appliances more than twice a week, sometimes even on dirty hair.”
  5. The Extensionist – the woman who loves the versatility of being able to change styles, lengths, and hair color as often as week to week.”
There’s even a fun quiz to help you determine what archetype (or mix of archetypes) you are. I did find the quiz a bit tricky though. The instructions are to either select the statement that you agree with the most or the statement that you disagree with the least, but what happens when you disagree with both statements equally? I was all kinds of confused haha. For example, take questions 15 and 17 below. I hate, hate trying “new and improved” products because most of the time, they’re not improved. Companies take out the good stuff and peddle the new package like it’s an upgrade. Lies I tell you. Neither do I wear extensions or detangle daily. So, I was really stumped. In the end it all worked though so there is a rhyme and reason to the test. Turns out I’m a hybrid, I’m a Minimalist and a Kitchenista, and while I haven’t used any Ayurvedic items in a while (e.g. cassia, amla) I don’t mind doing so and tweaking products (mostly when I need to use up a product). You can take the quiz yourself here!

Once you’ve determined what archetype(s) best fit your approach to hair care, Ms. Kibibi then goes through and explains different product categories, their characteristics, and when to use (ch. 5). I think this chapter is very helpful for newbies (those who hve recently begun their healthy hair care journies) who aren’t sure how to differentiate between product types (e.g. an instant conditioner from a deep conditioner). After breaking down products into plain english, Ms. Kibibi breaks down the elements of a wash day and outlines regimens for each of the archetypes.


One of my favorite parts of the book are two nifty, yes I said nifty, flowcharts that outline ways to figure out solutions for breakage and for thinning hair.

All in all, I think this is a great resource to have for quick clarifications on what products categories do what, how to solve common issues that may arrise (ch. 10, e.g. dandruff, split ends), how to tailor your hair for different seasons, and what to expect when you reach certain lengths.

I think newbies would benefit the most from this book, but veterans or “semi-veterans” might enjoy having it on hand  to refresh their memories from time to time.

I hope this review was helpful!

If you already have this book, what are your thoughts? What’s your favorite chapter? What archetype(s) are you?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Sounds like a great book. I feel that you are a hair expert, so if you like it then I want it!

  2. I've been awaiting for someone to review her book before I purchased. I may have to check it out. Thanks!

  3. Is it for all hair types or just black hair?

  4. I read it the same week it came out. I loved it, but like you said, it is great for newbie's and it is just really a resource for me to keep on hand. I also learned that I am a minimalist (mostly) and kitchenista (on wash days only). I'd definitely recommend this book to someone who want to start or already just started a journey.

  5. I'm in the middle of reading her book and I am really enjoying. I think that I am bit of a minimalist. I keep my regimen nice, simple, and straight to the point. A lot of the info already knew but I like the book anyway. Very informative my next book is the Science of Black Hair.

  6. I'm definitely a kitchenista! I love mixing up things in the kitchen and trying new herbs, powders, oils and such! (My mom calls me a witch doctor cuz I always have a natural remedy for everything lol)

  7. LOL! The extensionist! I'm midway between the shopaholic and the minimalist. I'm going to have to get this book.

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