by Christina


I've run into this problem quite often when it comes to hair styles- I try them and they usually don't turn out all that well :/ There are times when after numerous attempts I can at least get the attempted unique style to look presentable, but it never turns out very close to what I'm trying to mimic.

I admit that when it comes to hair types, mine is an unsual mix of Irish and Cherokee which means that my hair is a cross between super coarse, thick, and straight- to wiry and kinky...all in different areas throughout my head. This has posed a challenge for me, even in my adult life but I have learned to take better care of my hair and take a different approach in styling and what products I utilize.

When it comes to my at-home styling though, I've not found it easy to achieve salon looks very often! Recently however, I came across the perfect solution to my hair style difficulties when I read about a DIY guide created by Monae Everett: Stunning Braids- for Any Occasion, from Work to Weddings. Check out my review of the book below:


What I love about braiding is that it can be as simple or complex as your make it.
— Monae Everett

Monae Everett is a celebrity hair stylist who has also provided her expert opinion for major publications like the Huffington Post and Essence magazine. Her clients include everyone from Mariah Carey to Lauren Graham and Monae blogs regularly at You can find her beauty tutorials on YouTube as well! As to Monae Everett's reasons for coming up with Stunning Braids, she talks about this right at the beginning of her book in the Introduction. Monae shares how she absolutely adores braided hairstyles and this love began at an early age, as a little girl- giving her own baby dolls braided looks! 

September Birthstone Welcome Box


Stunning Braids

Gorgeous Hairstyles for Any Occasion

from Work to Weddings

by Monae Everett


This book is well-laid out in a fashion that makes it possible to achieve beautiful hair looks- even for those with novice hair-styling skills such as myself ;) Stunning Braids is divided into 2 sections: basic braids and advanced braids. With the more advanced braids in the latter section, the looks utilize the basic braids but take it to the next level by mixing it in with different techniques. 

Braids are typically pretty resilient, but pins are crucial to keeping hair in place, especially updos.
— Monae Everett

Chapter 1 starts out with a good foundation for the rest of the book, providing a colorful and detailed guide to which hair brush your should use. This section is followed by "Ties, Clips, & Pins", which breaks down each item into category and types- all with detailed info as to their specific function :) 

To round up Chapter 1, there are a couple of pages devoted to Products in addition to Straighteners and Dryers. Monae takes care to explain thoroughly what each product is utilized for and also shares what items are best to use for heat-styling looks. Once of my FAV sections in the book comes up next in Chapter 2: Braiding Preps!

This chapter shows you how to prep your hair properly with a step-by-step how-to for each style, starting with a quick and easy approach to detangling and ending with Soft Curls; Monae suggests this look is perfect for curly and course hair after it's been straightened and this allows for more texture and fullness in larger braid styles!

On pages 16-38 in Stunning Braids, you will find the basic braids section that the author calls "Braids 101" and I think that it's well-suited. This is an excellent place to start in the book once you've prepped your hair and are ready to go- it's perfect for those who are just starting out with braiding/hair styling or might just feel a tad bit unsure on where to begin! 

One thing that really stood out for me with this book, was how detailed each style is as well as the prep guide that proceeds every style! You are actually able to figure out how to be a braiding "expert" in no time at all with this wonderful guide and I found it to be a lot easier than I thought myself... once I had a little help that is!

The advanced braids section composes the remainder of the DIY guide, on pages 39-134; like the first section of styles, these contain detailed preps and steps to complete- including beautiful pictures of the hair style being modeled. Monae does an excellent job of showing that even the complex and gorgeous hair styles are possible to achieve with a little guidance!

At just around $18, this book is not only a good buy but it's something that is going to actually use. I'd recommend this to any woman of any age or hair type and Stunning Braids would make a great gift too! I LOVE the colorful illustrations of each hair look, detailed step-by-step guide on how to achieve the look, and extra bonus pages filled with great tips on hair tools and prep :)

Skip the Brush Cheek Stick

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60,000+ Beads and Jewelry Supplies

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