An aid worker in Afghanistan, Rodriguez writes that her medical skills weren't nearly as coveted as her skills with hair gel. She turned haircuts into cash to help her become financially stable and then helped create the Kabul Beauty School.
In this biography of a beautician-turned aid worker-turned teacher, Rodriguez reveals intimate details about the Afghan women who attended her school -- how they live, which days they have sex and even the cultural details of a Muslim wedding night. Rodriguez even writes about helping an Afghan bride fake her virginity.
The book has garnered controversy since its release. Some students and teachers from the school have cited numerous inaccuracies with the time line and Rodriguez's version of events. In a New York Times article, another founding teacher at the school alleged that Rodriguez moved the school for personal gain.
Despite her sassy style, the American hairstylist spends much of the book crying. She cries when she goes to a women's prison and finds that women were imprisoned for being raped. She cries for her class of beauticians, all of whom are struggling.
As Rodriguez cries, she reveals many details about the women's lives. Some facts gave me a window into the minds and lives of the women of Afghanistan, and yet some stories shared such intimate details that it seemed invasive -- and potentially dangerous. Did the details of her book open doors for these Afghani women? Or have their lives -- already tumultuous -- been completely ruined by this book? A report on NPR from last June stated that several of the women mentioned have either moved out of Afghanistan or live in fear of being discovered.
But thanks to Rodriguez, they all have great hair.