Gitta's Literary Escapades

Just another reader taking on (modern) classics, best-sellers, award-winners, non-fiction, and (guilty pleasure) chicklit armed with common sense, a brain and feminism.

Curly Girl: The Handbook - Lorraine Massey

Curly Girl: The Handbook (Expanded 2nd edition) - Lorraine Massey, Michele Bender

As other reviewers have already written, the practical tips in this book are good, the rest isn't. The "Curl Confession" sections -- and there are loads -- are childhood memories of hair abuse and hair-shaming. This entire books appears to be aimed towards those closeted curlies (she actually writes at one point: "It's not enough to admit you're not straight") who straighten their hair every day and by every means they have at their disposal.

Even those with straight hair know that blow-drying -- or as Massey prefers to call it "blow-frying" -- is bad. The most useful bits in this book are the sections to help you identify your curl, tips on how to wash it, the do's and don'ts and some hairstyles perhaps. Some do's/don'ts are tailored for long hair only, others solely for short.

The overall tone of being a closeted curly girl (what about men?!) is obnoxious. A 12-Step Programme? Really?! Ah well, the Curly Girl method is good, but as someone who hasn't brushed, blowdried, straightened or over-shampoo'ed her hair in a futile attempt to have hair as shiny and straight as any fashion model, since I was 16 and who hasn't suffered through traumatising events of abuse by the deadly hands of a horrible straight-haired hair stylist (i.e. getting a haircut), this book is not worth the money and hardly worth the time. You can summarise it in a few short guidelines, which you can find online a thousand times for free.

I was tempted to give it 1 star, but it's core message: the Curly Girl method, the information about curly vs straight hair (biologically speaking) and some of the DIY homemade recipes allowed for the extra star.

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