Woman publishes book on hair

Published 10:13 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Suffolk resident who hosts a fitness show that airs on a Suffolk channel has co-written a book about how to manage black hair naturally.

Alexis Perkins, like many black women, has had her struggles with her hair. When she was younger, a texturing treatment caused all of her hair to fall out. She tried to go natural before without success. She understands when her fitness students say they can’t come to class because they just got their hair done.

“Historically, for African-American women or for mixed women who have curly hair, it’s always been difficult to know what to do with our hair,” Perkins said. “We didn’t know what to do to our hair to make it beautiful.”

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But natural hair for black women is making a comeback, Perkins said. She pointed to model Maria Borges, who last year wore her hair natural during the Victoria’s Secret fashion show — the first time a black woman had done so.

Perkins and a friend, Tyshawna Witherspoon, decided to write “Kinks to Curls” together after they went natural with their hair and inspired other women to do the same. When their process worked on Perkins’ sister, whose hair Perkins described as very curly, they decided to write a book.

The authors describe how chemicals are damaging to hair, how to put it up at night, how many days it can last and all of the step-by-step instructions for caring for hair naturally.

Perkins said the book could also be helpful for parents of mixed-race children, whether their own or adopted.

Black women with natural hair have a lot more flexibility, especially when it comes to exercising, Perkins said. It’s almost a different lifestyle.

“It is more than a hairstyle,” she said. “It touches on your lifestyle and what allows you to be flexible.”

Natural hair is also more cost-effective, Perkins added.

She said she believes she and Witherspoon have more credibility, because they are active.

“We do work out five days a week,” Perkins said. “I am a fitness instructor. When a black woman gets her hair done and says, ‘I can’t come to class tonight. I just had my hair done,’ I understand.”

Perkins’ show, Fuzion Fitness, airs at 4 p.m. every day on Charter channel 190 in Suffolk.

“Kinks to Curls” was published by Morgan James Publishing. Perkins said she’s excited to have her first book out there, which launched for online sales this week.

“I always had publishing a book on my bucket list, but I didn’t know it was going to come in this form,” she said.

Place orders or find out more about the book at www.kinkstocurls.com.