The Motley News

Book Review: Curly Girl: The Handbook

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While Noah and I were on vacation, this summer, I found this book at Barnes and Noble: Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey with Michele Bender.

For some reason, I didn’t think I could leave the bookstore without it. While Noah perused magazines, I sat glued to this book, flipping pages with such fervor I went ahead and bought it. For $13.95, this is quite a handy hair reference for your personal library.

This is a 188 page paperback with full color photos and a useful Q&A section near the back. It also comes with a DVD instructional guide, if you’re like me and need to watch the examples in action.

If you’re wondering about the author’s ethos, don’t worry. Massey, a salon owner, uses the first few pages of the book to describe her own hair journey to self love. Her story offers an unflinching gaze at self-image alienation, something most curly haired women suffer from as they try to fit into a society of straight long locs. As a hairdresser, she delivers honest anecdotes about the industry and her navigation through it.

But not only are we reading her personal experiences throughout the the book, there other real women whom she and Michele Bender have interviewed. These validating nuggets of truth are called Curl Confessions and I loved reading all of them!

Scientific, but accessible descriptions of what hair is and what it does, are also offered. Before we can properly take care of our hair, we have to understand hair in it’s most basic form. Massey gives you the dos and don’ts of hair care for curly hair and also takes it a step further by categorizing curls. I found my curls under the “Fractal or Zigzag Curls” and learned how I should wash my hair.

What I love about this book?

  • Your curl is in this book. Massey’s description of curls transcend race and color. So no one curly girl should feel left out of the loop. A curl, is a curl, is a curl! 
  • Massey’s conversational tone throughout the book. The text doesn’t read in clinical cold manner, but in a helpful guide to become a better more self-confident you.
  • Graying hair is also addressed. Although I’m not there yet, it’s good to know what physical changes graying hair go through and how to take care of them.
  • There are sizable sections on children’s hair maintenance and hair care for curly boys! Now Noah has something else to learn!
  • Here at le salon, you know how we do the natural products. Massey has included plenty of homemade hair concoctions! All natural, all easy to mix up in your own kitchen.

*If you dig this review, please be on the look out for our upcoming interview with the author Lorraine Massey. I got to chat with her about hair philosophy and the new Reign of the Curly Girl!

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Author: Charish Halliburton

Writer and Editor for The Motley News

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