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Curly Girl: The Handbook Paperback – January 13, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Say no to shampoo, unplug the dryer, and find your inner curl

Celebrate the beauty of curls in a buoyant how-to, manifesto, and curly girl support group all in one.

Beginning with hair's true nature and underscored by Lorraine's Shampoo Epiphany - handle your hair as gently as you do your best cashmere sweater - it's all here: the care, the styling, the cuts, the dos, the tips, the products, the remedies, the attitude.

Tight coils and soft wavy tresses, African American curls and curly kids - this is what to do to look and feel your best.

Includes: Curly Cues and Quizzes, Daily Routines for Corkscrew, Botticelli, and Wavy Curls, Homemade Lotions & Potions, Q&A's for No More Bad Hair Days, Twelve-Step Recovery Program that will change your life, one shampoo at a time.

Plus: I Used to be Straight....And 22 Other Curly Girl Confessions

About the Author

Michele Bender is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, Working Mother, and Health, where she was a contributing editor. She lives in New York City.

Lorraine Massey channeled her passion for curly hair by founding a group of stylish salons in New York and California that drew curly girls from near and far. Today she cuts hair for charity and is at work on a new book.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Pap/DVD edition (January 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076115678X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761156789
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Please be aware that for some reason Amazon has not created a new page for the updated second edition of this book, therefore any pre-December 2010 reviews will not take into account the improvements made in the updated version.

I have both the first and second editions of this book. As a curly haired curl with straight-haired parents, it wasn't until I bought the first edition of this book that I had any idea how to properly care for my hair. The main features of Massey's method are not using sulfate-based shampoos or any products containing silicone, styling the hair by scrunching with non-drying gel after washing, and preferably towel and air-drying the hair, or at least attaching a diffuser to your hair dryer. There is more information than just that in the book, including recipes for home-made hair products and specifics for how to cut and colour curly hair, but that is the skeleton of her approach. Although the hair-cutting information is meant for stylists, when my hair was very long I used it to cut my own hair and gave myself the best haircut I've ever had. Since using her methods I get a lot more compliments on my hair.

While the basics of the approach remain the same, the second edition of the book represents a significant increase in the amount of information shared. The book is about a centimeter taller and thirty pages longer and the formatting in the second edition (ex. smaller font and less empty space) means each page has more information. There is less silly "fluff" features (although some remains) and in a very helpful addition, a short 25 minute DVD means you can see the techniques demonstrated. The second edition has new information for curly haired men and children, and about grey hair.
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One afternoon as I was browsing the shelves in my local county library I suddenly saw the words, "Curly Girl" and I was intrigued enough to check it out and bring the book home.

All my life I have battled, hated, and been ashamed of my *ugly* naturally curly hair. I am the only curly girl in a family of people with stick-straight hair. When I was a child, my mother always complained that my hair looked "like it was combed with an egg-beater." I so wanted to feel long, swinging hair on my shoulders that I pinned scarves to my head. My mother always threatened that if I didn't take better care of my hair; i.e.,control its unruliness, she would cut it off. And just before my 3rd grade field trip to take a boat cruise in the harbor, that is exactly what she did! I was humiliated to discover that with the ocean's humidity I looked like a poodle! In my teens I slept on rollers as big as orange juice cans and even subjected my hair to a home-straightening kit, which ruined it and caused it to break off and thin. In my 20's I learned that if I kept my hair cut really short and used a big round brush to blow-dry it, my hair would be smoother. But the results never were exactly as I'd hoped and never lasted. Give me a rainstorm, fog, sweatiness, or too much handling, and it would all come undone. For years I wouldn't allow my husband to touch my hair for fear that my hair would revert to its natural state. (Not too romantic, heh?)

About 15 years ago at my *staight-haired* sister's urging, I tried using a diffuser when blow-drying my hair. Unfortunately I knew nothing about technique.
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Format: Paperback
"Where there's a wave, there's a curl," says Lorraine Massey. And she should know. Not only did she start a group of hair salons that cater to curly heads, but she was the author of the original Curly Girl handbook that began the "curly revolution" in our nation!

In the ten years since the original Curly Girl book came out, Lorraine has gathered even more curly know-how, which she shares in the newly-released, curlier-than-ever version of the Curly Girl: The Handbook. I learned a lot of new tips and facts in its pages. Did you know that hair is 97% protein, thus the protein intake in your diet directly affects your hair's health? The illustration of a hair's cuticles using pine cones was easy to understand ("smooth = moist cuticle, open = dry, frizzed cuticle"). And for the first time I realized why curly hair is never as glossy as straight hair (its shape doesn't reflect the light as well!).

I also noticed a lot of things that hadn't been in the first edition of the book, but that I'd learned along the way about my own curls. Lorraine's "jet-set" method of putting in extra gel for travel and not shaking out her curls until she arrived is exactly what I do--and I well remember the days of cranking up my car heater to dry my curls on the way to work! The expanded information on not only choosing a hair stylist but cutting your own curls proved very helpful for this girl who's always taking the scissors to her curls, too.

It was great to see real, live curly girl models gracing the pages of Curly Girl instead of just curly celebrity types. Another thing I really appreciated is that even though Lorraine now owns her own DevaCurl product line, she didn't push it in the book.
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