Daily Archives: December 24, 2008

My name’s Katherine. I’m a curly girl.

Book #27 – Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey

I have a feeling that every woman can relate their history in relation to their hair. I’m not a particularly looks-conscious person, but even I have trouble coming up with a concise overview of what life has been like with my locks.

I have thin, curly, red hair that is unlike that of any of my immediate family. When I was a kid, strangers used to come up to me in stores and ask where I got hair. Neither my mom or grandmother knew what to do with it. No, actually, this isn’t quite accurate. In texture, I have my dad’s hair. My dad always kept his short until he started to lose it in his 40s. He’s solved his hair problems by shaving his head bald. I don’t have that luxury.

I had a short hairdo until I was in my 20s. Since then, I’ve floundered around trying to find an easy way to keep my longer hair healthy and looking good. First, I tossed out the fine toothed brushes and combs. Then I gave up on hair dryers. These were two steps I discovered on my own through ten years of fighting with my hair. My hair was…better, but still often a crap-shoot. I don’t mind having curly hair, but sometimes it’s a tad unruly.  I’ve tried products that were supposed to give me manageable curls and no frizz that only gave me product-coated frizz. Then I read something intriguing in PastaQueen‘s blog. A book called Curly Girl advised her not to shampoo her curly hair. Huh.

Curly Girl‘s basic tenant is that you should love your curly hair and accept that trying to make it straight isn’t going to work. Massey, a curly girl herself and a successful salon owner, provides advice on how to make it so those curls are somewhat presentable. Amid the women’s magazine frippery, there’s daily plan for hair care including tossing shampoo in favor of using conditioner only. I’ve been following the plan for about a week now. My hair has definitely been curlier then usual and I haven’t decided whether it’s a good thing. "Washing" my hair takes longer, but it’s better off for the rest of the day.

One aspect the book doesn’t cover is how to deal with curly hair and physical activity like sports. We’re told to give up elastic bands, but not really provided with a restraining alternative.  And I doubt that a little shake will turn my hat-head back to tumbling tresses.  Still, the beauty of any plan is in it’s flexibility, and I’ve yet to  see how pretty this plan is.  I haven’t thrown out my nearly-new bottle of shampoo yet.