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Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong Paperback – May 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


* LaFlesh, who maintains the popular web site, has resplendent, long curls on the cover of this informative and inspiring book for people whose hair texture is tightly curled or coiled. But as her photographic hair journey depicts, this was not always the case. She discusses the damaging hair-styling practices that she used in her quest for manageable hair, sprinkling her book with humorous anecdotes. Through research and trial and error, LaFlesh discovered a hair-care regime that works with her natural curliness, and the result is beautiful, healthy hair. She offers readers practical advice on proper tools, products, and styling techniques, avoiding caustic chemicals and heat. LaFlesh's tips on styling biracial children's hair will be a godsend to their parents. There is also a technical section on hair structure. VERDICT The styling methods may not work for everyone, given the variance of textured hair, but this good introduction to holistic hair care will be embraced by the novice as well as the hair obsessed. Pair it with Paula Begoun's Don't Go Shopping for Hair-Care Products Without Me for a well-rounded beauty and grooming collection.—Ajoke Kokodoko, Oakland P.L. (Library Journal, May 1, 2010)

From the Back Cover

"Curly Like Me made me laugh, with and at my hair. It allowed me to secretly cry over a childhood spent wondering, 'why won't my curls behave, or my hair wave in the wind.' Today I embrace my texture, the unique perk of being biracial, and live for 'natural is the only way to go.' Thank you, Teri, for your book, which every girl of color with curly hair who has spent years with hot combs, chemicals, and frizz, should read."
Rain Pryor, author of Jokes My Father Never Taught Me: Life, Love, and Loss with Richard Pryor and winner of the NAACP Theatre Award

"Curly Like Me is down-to-earth, fun to read, and chock-full of useful information for curly girls everywhere. Kudos to Teri LaFlesh for showing the world that curly hair can be a blessing, not a burden."
Lori Tharps, author of Kinky Gazpacho and coauthor of Hair Story

"A great hair guide for coily heads that is easy to read, fun, relatable, understandable, and full of tips and advice that will make living with humid-sensitive hair enjoyable."
Mireille Liong-A-Kong, founder of and author of Going Natural: How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair

"You'll read this excellent how-to guide to get Teri's envious beautiful curls, but you'll love this book because you'll have Teri's gentle and endearing voice in your ear for a journey to acceptance of your curly-haired self!"
Heidi W. Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and co-host of Mixed Chicks Chat

Very curly hair isn't like any other type of hair—and it requires totally different care.

Curly Like Me is the off-the-grid, do-it-yourself owner's manual for tightly curly hair. Discover the techniques you need to celebrate your curly hair—not fight against it. In this book, you will learn not only how to care for your curls but to cherish them, while saving you time, effort, and money.

  • How to wear your curls in your own natural curl pattern
  • The best products, tools, and ingredients for curly hair
  • How to understand your hair—a guide to curly hair structure and behavior
  • More than 250 photos and illustrations
  • A special chapter on pain-free curly hair care for kids

Let Curly Like Me empower you to take charge of your hair so you can embrace your beautiful curls and set them free.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047053642X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470536421
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Teri LaFlesh came by her super-curly hair being half-black and half-white. She grew up both as a mulatto in Kentucky (it was stamped on her school transcripts) and as a black kid in an all-white family in California. She even spent some months in early childhood living among the Moonies with her mom. Teri experienced how very curly hair is dealt with in both her black and white households. Like many people of mixed-African heritage, she has curls of various sizes, ranging from waves to coils narrower than the width of a pencil. Because her hair was so varied, and so curly, it was chemically straightened ever since she could remember. And since it was relaxed, she had short, crunchy hair that fell apart. She didn't know what her natural hair looked like for nearly twenty-five years.

Most of her life was spent fighting with stiff and broken hair, once even accidentally dissolving it all with a relaxer. Through nearly thirty years of trial, error, and research, she figured out what her hair had desperately needed all along. Finally understood, her natural curls now reach well past her waist. One of her big goals is to see that no one else with hair like hers ever has to go through with theirs what she did with hers, so she created and wrote Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong (due out May 17, 2010 from Wiley--and available now for pre-ordering). She lives near Seattle with her husband Jon Crump, two cats, and (probably too many) giant houseplants. Her hair is often rained on, and now it doesn't mind at all.

Teri has been writing and illustrating since childhood. While painting and putting together freelance books after high school, she worked various odd jobs, including a factory in Kentucky. Years later, she created freelance botanical illustrations while earning a bachelor of science in botany from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To check out some of Teri's artwork, you can visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

211 of 217 people found the following review helpful By L. Baynham on May 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I write this review as I sit here with my conditioner-laden, oh-so-defined teeny weeny afro in air dry mode. I've just finished reading "Curly Like Me" and I want to scream from the rooftops: "I've uncovered the Holy Grail of natural afro-textured hair care!!!"

If you're 1/10th as skeptical as I am when it comes to claims of a great hair technique, you'll want to know my credentials to see whether or not I'm qualified to make such a bold claim.

I'm biracial. My father is black and my mother is white. However, growing up, when asked the infamous "What are you?" question - all you mixed chicks know what I'm talking about - I would always apologetically suffix my reply with "...but I just don't have biracial hair". My brother has jet black big loose curls, but from infancy I was dubbed the one with the "bad hair" (not by my loving parents however, just the rest of the world). I believed it mind, body and soul. Why else would my evil hairdresser aunt force a relaxer on me when I was but a preschooler? Something must be very very wrong with my hair, I thought, since even with a relaxer it was an unruly Simba-mane. (I really did look like I belonged on The Lion King).

So, up until 10 months ago, I thought I couldn't live without the relaxer. Then one day several months ago, I decided to stretch my standard every 3 or 4 month relaxer fix by doing straw sets since it was so damaged. Time kept going and soon I was 6 then 7 months post, but with no thoughts of going natural. Then on month 8, a funny thing happened. For the first time, I really felt my new growth as I was washing my hair, what's this? Then I looked at it...CURLS?!?! Tight small spirally things growing from my head? YES! MY HEAD!
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By jnet on January 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so excited when I discovered Teri's method, especially with the claim that it should work with most Afro-textured hair even if you don't have looser curls. As long as your curl pattern is still in tact you should be good to go, right?! Great! I read the book in one sitting and dreamt of a future head full of nicely defined, rain-proof coils. My daydreams included one where I'd run into Teri in Pike Place Market or something (since we both live in Seattle), I'd ask for her autograph and we'd compare our Rapunzel-length, Seattle-weather-resistant locks. Okay, I know that sounds crazy but I'd recently gone natural, was fed up, and my frustrations fueled my daydreams.

Anyhow, I digress. After many attempts, first following Teri's method by the book, then trying the many variations found online, I came to the conclusion that this method just wasn't my cup of tea. I have a nice, perfectly formed coil pattern when my hair is in its natural state but like many other reviewers I ran into issues with dryish, breaking locks. Sometimes it looked and felt filmy. There were just too many versions of this method and not only had I lost patience but I'd lost too much hair (and I wasn't willing to part with any more).

What I did take away from this book was an pleasant reintroduction to my natural coils which I hadn't seen since I was a kid. Teri gave me the confidence to go natural and the confidence that I could grow my hair to great lengths. She also put me on a path to find OTHER methods for achieving my hair goals.

Unbeknownst to me there's an entire community of black women growing long hair (very, very long hair) who don't use Teri's method. Their methods vary so one has more style choices; I mean what if you don't want to deal with the shrinkage?
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Wonder girl on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book! While I'm not directly bi-racial, my hair is exactly like Terri's due to white ancestry. I wish that I had known about using conditioner to keep my curls when they dried. My hair is short now because I cut 10 inches off to have relaxer free hair, but my curls are there and they feel great. I'm going to buy another book and give it to my bi-racial niece whose hair is a little looser than mine, but would definitely benefit from this book.

While books like curly girl are good, it left me frustrated because leaving a little bit of conditioner in my hair left me with fuzzy spots. This book filled in the pieces that were missing! Terri, thank you for this book, and thank you for going through what you went through to get your beautiful curls back. I get so many compliments from everyone even though I have a dreaded layer cut.

I would recommend this book for anyone who has curls when their hair is wet but turns to curly frizz when dried. I would recommend this book to kinky kinky tightly curled hair as well because this book preaches keeping moisture in your hair, and ALL curly hair need this. Good book!
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Gillian Nalletamby on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Whether you buy this book straight away or think about it for a while ... after you read this book, you'll realise like doing regular exercise, changing your career or leaving that loser boyfriend of yours, that this is something you should have done months or years ago. It really is a life changing book and when you have curly hair, you realise it is more than hair, it's an attitude and way of life.

After reading the book in one sitting, what strikes me about the book is that looking after curly hair is relatively easy and the less you do with it, the more likely you are to have beautiful curls. If you think about the money you have spent on useless hair products over the years and throwing away money on hairdressers who were clueless about how to cut and style curly hair, this book is such a worthwhile investment.
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