Review: Curly Like Me

Curly Like MeCurly Like Me
by Teri LaFlesh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Curly Like Me / 978-0-47058-614-3

I always thought I had "very" curly hair, simply because that's what everyone said to me growing up. Thanks to Teri's book, however, I realize that the straight-haired people around me were working from small reference pools - my hair *is* curly, but it's not "very" curly like Teri's, whose hair forms such tight ringlets that a pencil can barely fit through them.

I enjoyed this read immensely - the author spends a great deal of time explaining the biology of curly hair and why it's a completely different kettle of fish to straight hair, and she has this incredibly affirming message for loving yourself (and your curly kids!) and taking care of your hair. The point is really brought to bear that hair has to be cared for carefully - as it's not "alive", it can't heal or repair itself, and it's not okay to treat your hair roughly "just this once" because it's never just one time.

The hair care advice here is fantastic, but I'm afraid that the really important stuff is definitely limited to VERY curly hair. The foundational suggestion - leaving conditioner in your hair and not rinsing - simply will not work with my hair; I had a greasy slippery mess of a head, and my hair did not absorb the conditioner like Teri's apparently does. Still, this book needs to exist for everyone with very curly hair, so I don't hold the fact that my hair didn't fit this book against it.

Despite everything, I still got a lot of value from this book. The scientific explanations are great, the breakdown of shampoo and conditioner components is very useful (although readers should know that Teri does recommend silicone, which is apparently a touchy subject), and the writing style is lovely and uplifting. I also really loved all the many pictures and illustrations - so much care went into this book and it obviously shows.

If I had one criticism of this book, it's that several sections repeat themselves, since the book was written so that each chapter can be taken as a whole, if you're impatient and don't want to read straight through. It's understandable that would lead to some repetition, but it was noticeable at several points. It's a small complaint, though, and overall I'm glad I bought this book.

~ Ana Mardoll

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