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Curly Girl: The Handbook

Curly Girl: The Handbook - Lorraine Massey, Michele Bender A cute little book that I read through in about an hour. This book has some revolutionary ideas regarding caring for curly hair.1. Never Use a Brush. Apparently, curly girls are to comb through their conditioned hair with their fingers and gently pry apart knots. A brush or comb is not to be used because it destroys the curl formation.2. Never Use Shampoo. The sulfates in normal shampoos damage and dry out curly hair, so curly girls are instructed to use sulfate-free "cleansers" not "sham-poo" on their hair.3. Let conditioner REMAIN in your hair. The book gives step by step instruction to cleaning your hair and, against all instincts, it instructs one to leave conditioner in one's hair and not wash it out. The book doesn't get into using leave in hair conditioners rather than just letting conditioner sit in one's hair, but apparently this makes all the difference.All of these steps and more are intended to make your hair curly beautifully. The book discusses and shows the 7 types of curly hair and even gives tips on trimming one's own hair.What I liked most about this book is that it doesn't seem like a plug for Massey's salon and services. Even though throughout the book, there are different testimonials of women telling about their experiences of their hair and how they have come to love, accept and treat their hair (usually with Lorraine's expertise,) never once does the author suggest a product in her product line. In fact, there is an entire chapter of "concoctions" that one can cheaply and easily make at home. The tone of the book is up-beat, positive, and genuine, which was empowering and comfortingOut of curiosity and the desire to have the gorgeous, glossy locks photographed throughout the book, I am going to try these tips and see what happens. Update 8/2/2011:I seriously can't believe it. I have been using some of the techniques in this book and my hair looks amazing!What works for me: I haven't brushed my hair since Friday and use my fingers to comb through my conditioned hair in the shower. My curls come out defined and gorgeous. I use a paper towel to dry my hair (no towels and no turbans!) and my hair looks great. I started off by trying to cleanse my scalp with a conditioner as the book suggests, but yesterday I cracked and used shampoo. I purchased some sulfate free shampoo (which also suds) and used that this morning and so far so good.What didn't work for me: Leaving conditioner in my hair. I tried this on Saturday and Sunday and it just felt gross and build-upy to me. I've switched over to rinsing most of it and leaving a tinsy bit of conditioner residue and then re-applying a leave in hair conditioner after the shower (to be fair, I switched over to a kerastase leave in which may also have contributed to my hair's improvement.) Also, I am not really a "gel" girl and I like mousse in my curls so I use that instead of the gel suggested in the book. No crunch, just soft, non poofy curls :-)My curls are soft, defined and shiny today. This book has totally changed my relationship to my hair. Love it!