A braidery is more than just a shop where you get your hair done: it is a spiritual space, a meeting place, and a cross-cultural intersection, and the site where the past and present are woven together and traditions come alive. Duyan James, a Liberian native with a braidery in Washington, DC, presents a colorful, fascinating, and gorgeously photographed guide to the art. Complete with stories, folklore, and traditional hair care secrets, Hairtalk provides a full sense of the history of the many braiding styles that have become a staple in American culture. Pore through 51 styles for adults and nine for children—including some with synthetic and natural extensions—and learn all of the basic braiding techniques. But most importantly, James and her 12 African braiders from all over the continent provide a compelling account of the tribal meanings and ritualistic uses of each unique look, expanding the value and significance of braiding beyond mere fashion.