The Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey
by Lorraine Massey
Published: January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback (148 pages)
Lorraine Massey, a professional hairstylist and passionate proponent of curly hair, celebrates the curly girl way of life, from hair care to carefree attitude. Beginning with The Curly Girl's Twelve-Step Program (Step Three: I will accept that the scalp and hair are two different entities with completely different needs, and I will treat them accordingly), "Curly Girl" is an illustrated how-to, support group, and tongue-in-cheek manifesto all in one.
The Curly Girl Handbook is all about how to properly take care of naturally curly or wavy hair. I found some great insights while reading the first chapter like the preference for straight hair is a subtle form of racism and that 65% of women have curly hair. Yet most hair products are made for women with straight hair and thousands of hair straighteners are sold every year. I felt a big shift in attitude as I was reading about my own curly hair and how I should accept my hair (and ultimately me) for who I am and stop trying to change myself. I related a lot to the stories of women throughout the book that felt different and ugly. There’s a quiz at the beginning of the book to help you find out if you need a paradigm shift in your life. I answered yes to half of the questions. I didn’t think it would be that many. I answered yes to things like almost always being unhappy with the way my hair looks, having constant frizz, and blow-drying my hair then not washing it for a week. I dog-eared so many pages of this library book and referred to it so much that I went ahead and bought it. I refer a lot to the homemade hair product recipes and I want to try them all. So far, I’ve only made the Lavender Water to spritz your hair to recurl it and I love it.
The book helps you identify your curl type and the specific hair-care routine that goes along with it. I have wavy hair! I have always wanted wavy hair like Megan Fox and I have wished for the longest time to find some way to harness my pretty waves. I’m going to grow my hair out again and I’m feeling more pretty and confident every day. I thought it was so funny how she describes hair stylists straightening girl’s hair for a special occasion and then curling it with a curling iron. That’s how my hair was done for my wedding!
The writing is kind of cheesy. The author sticks in the words “curl” “mane” and “hair” in lots of places that they don’t belong. And there was a lot of focus on long curly hair – not a lot of extra tips for short curly hair. But other than that I love this book. I’ve stuck to this hair-care method for 4 months now. I love that I don’t have to worry so much about my hair. It’s looking better and better every day.
The before picture was taken in May 2012. The after picture was taken 4 months later in September 2012. I took a lot more photos and kept daily updates on tumblr if you want to see them. It took a lot of time and some adjustment to get it like this!
The thing I get asked the most is what products I use. The book is pretty specific about it’s requirements for shampoo, conditioner and gel.
These are the products that I use and love:
- Shampoo – L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Reparative Smoothing Shampoo
- Conditioner – L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Reparative Smoothing Conditioner
- Gel – L’Oreal EverStyle Alcohol-Free Strong Hold Defining Gel
Major changes I made from reading this book:
- No brushing. I go through my hair with my fingers while it has conditioner in while I’m showering instead of brushing.
- Use a t-shirt instead of a towel to dry my hair. A towel will catch and pull your curls apart and make it frizzy and dry.
- No shampoo. I used conditioner instead of shampoo for a month. I use sulfate free shampoo now because my hair type does well with it.
- Use gobs of conditioner. Curly hair is dry and that’s why it will frizz out – it’s trying to get moisture. Use lots of conditioner to moisturize it and your hair will be curly instead of frizzy.
- Use the right products. I use alcohol free gel in my hair, silicone-free conditioner and sulfate-free shampoo.
If you have naturally curly hair, you need to read this book!
Content Rating: None.