Monday, March 19, 2012

Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey

Title: Curly Girl
Author: Lorraine Massey with Deborah Chiel
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc (2002)
An expanded second edition of this book is now available

I can't even remember how I found this book beyond that it was part of an enormous internet time suck I had a couple weeks ago. I don't remember what I was first looking up or how I got stuck on the internet FOR HOURS!!! But, I did, and I went to the ole library to check out this book. (The expanded edition plus a few goodies from DevaCurl are wending their way to me now.) Let me say this first: If you have curly hair and you feel like it never looks its best/does anything you want/stops frizzing then you will enjoy this book. As in, stop everything you're doing and get it now!! :)

This is a handbook on how to manage various types of curly hair and how to get more curl from your hair. It's also a slightly bizarre "love your curls" manifesto that made me laugh a bit but never really bothered me while I was reading. Perhaps I would have appreciated the Curly Love more if I had the type of curls that can be absolutely wrecked by a bad haircut but I do not. However, I do now have much curlier hair due to this book.

The book's chapters take you through the nature of hair and how best to care for it (yay, science!), identifying the type of curls you have, a daily routine to care for your type of curls, recommended products (not brands, but ingredients to look for/avoid) and home recipes; then subjects like how to cut curls, color them, helping kids with their curly hair and various styling tips. I hear the expanded edition comes with a DVD with example videos but you can also find videos at this link if your library doesn't have the latest edition.

But does it pass the test? Yes! I've been mostly following the recommended routine for my curl type and I saw a difference immediately and fantastic results in about two weeks. Much more curl, far less frizz and I think it'd be even better if I followed the routine to the letter. The reason I don't is my one complaint about the book: it doesn't come with any tips for long, thick hair. Apparently most curly hair is thinner and, in general, most women do not wear their hair as long as I do. So I get that I'm in the minority here but I can't wet my hair daily (notice I say wet and not wash because you don't use shampoo more than once a week and certain types of curls are no shampoo at all) as it takes HOURS to dry. Brrr, too cold in winter and not necessarily going to be practical in summer. However, as the book suggests, I'm trying various things and "getting to know" what my hair needs to be its curly best. If you've got curls that could use some handy tips then this book is the right place to start.

rating: 4 of 5 stars

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