Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong

Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong

Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong

The simple secrets to growing your curls healthy and long.Tightly curly hair isn’t like any other type of hair, and it needs totally different care to make it happy.Do you spend countless hours—and untold dollars—on weaves, perms, salon visits, and products that promise to change, heal, or make your hair more manageable, only to end up even more frustrated? Do you wrestle daily with hair you can’t get a brush through? Do you struggle to keep from hurting your child when you comb through her

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  • L. Baynham said:
    October 16, 2015 at 2:13 pm
    209 of 215 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    My only regret…that I didn’t know about this sooner!, May 6, 2010
    By 
    L. Baynham (London, UK) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong (Paperback)

    I write this review as I sit here with my conditioner-laden, oh-so-defined teeny weeny afro in air dry mode. I’ve just finished reading “Curly Like Me” and I want to scream from the rooftops: “I’ve uncovered the Holy Grail of natural afro-textured hair care!!!”

    If you’re 1/10th as skeptical as I am when it comes to claims of a great hair technique, you’ll want to know my credentials to see whether or not I’m qualified to make such a bold claim.

    I’m biracial. My father is black and my mother is white. However, growing up, when asked the infamous “What are you?” question – all you mixed chicks know what I’m talking about – I would always apologetically suffix my reply with “…but I just don’t have biracial hair”. My brother has jet black big loose curls, but from infancy I was dubbed the one with the “bad hair” (not by my loving parents however, just the rest of the world). I believed it mind, body and soul. Why else would my evil hairdresser aunt force a relaxer on me when I was but a preschooler? Something must be very very wrong with my hair, I thought, since even with a relaxer it was an unruly Simba-mane. (I really did look like I belonged on The Lion King).

    So, up until 10 months ago, I thought I couldn’t live without the relaxer. Then one day several months ago, I decided to stretch my standard every 3 or 4 month relaxer fix by doing straw sets since it was so damaged. Time kept going and soon I was 6 then 7 months post, but with no thoughts of going natural. Then on month 8, a funny thing happened. For the first time, I really felt my new growth as I was washing my hair, what’s this? Then I looked at it…CURLS?!?! Tight small spirally things growing from my head? YES! MY HEAD!

    I began lurking on afo-textured hair care forums and other sites and began soaking up the knowledge from the ladies in the natural hair community. But, I feared that my hair wouldn’t dry curly, that it would just turn into a hard matted Simba-poof; plus there was NO WAY I wanted to cut my hair.

    About six weeks ago I heard about Teri LaFlesh and her method for the first time as I was lurking on a hair forum. I went to her Tightly Curly website, and I saw this biracial chick with hair to her butt. My instinctual reaction: jealousy and shame. All the feelings of my childhood rushed back. As a child, I would see biracial children with beautiful curls, soft and flowing or tight and spirally and I would be overcome with jealousy. I would see their hair flow down their backs whereas my relaxed ends seemed to be allergic to touching my shoulders and broke off at the sight of them.

    What could this little hair queen teach me, I wondered. Surely our hairs have nothing in common! Then I saw her photo history; then I was floored. Her hair used to be a matted, relaxed Simba-explosion, like mine! Not a pretty cottony afro, not kinky spirals, but an evil, crunchy broken poof! I came to see that with her many hair disasters she could relate to me, and I began to become a Tightly Curly convert.

    Fast forward a few weeks later as I waited with bated breath on THIS book to be released. At the end of April I snapped it up and bit into it like a…like a…like a person who really wanted to bite into something!

    One day when I was reading it, I tried my Herbal Essences Hello Hydration on a bit of my hair where the relaxer had broken off to see if it would make curls and dry like that. I didn’t think it would work. But it did!!! I began to see that other natural chicks with even tighter curls had done the method and experienced success. The scales began to drop from my eyes and I began to appreciate that there really is no such thing as “bad hair” after all. I came to appreciate that any hair that is healthy, happy and loved by its owner is “good hair”, and I wanted good hair too.

    Though the Tightly Curly Method is explained on the website, it is explained in greater detail in the book. I especially love the “Choosing Shampoos & Conditioners: What to Avoid” sections in the book as, since I don’t live in the States, only a few of the recommended shampoos and conditioners are available. The book empowers me to find my own POOs and COs with in the recommended guidelines.

    Teri has also gone to a lot of trouble uncovering hair and ingredient myths. Also, she describes on a molecular level what you’re really doing when chemically altering your hair. I’m no scientist so I can’t attest to the accuracy of her statements. However, I can say that what she had to say was scary enough to make me never want to hurt my hair with relaxers again. Ever.

    I had originally planned to transition for another 6 months or so. But less than a week ago, when I was nearly done with the book, I was convinced that there was no reason for me to hold back. So, on that fateful Saturday afternoon of, May 1, 2010, I cut, I conditioned, I defined and I left in…

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  • jnet said:
    October 16, 2015 at 2:54 pm
    63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Heed the Message, Not the Method, January 6, 2012
    By 
    jnet (Redmond, WA United States) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong (Paperback)
    I was so excited when I discovered Teri’s method, especially with the claim that it should work with most Afro-textured hair even if you don’t have looser curls. As long as your curl pattern is still in tact you should be good to go, right?! Great! I read the book in one sitting and dreamt of a future head full of nicely defined, rain-proof coils. My daydreams included one where I’d run into Teri in Pike Place Market or something (since we both live in Seattle), I’d ask for her autograph and we’d compare our Rapunzel-length, Seattle-weather-resistant locks. Okay, I know that sounds crazy but I’d recently gone natural, was fed up, and my frustrations fueled my daydreams.

    Anyhow, I digress. After many attempts, first following Teri’s method by the book, then trying the many variations found online, I came to the conclusion that this method just wasn’t my cup of tea. I have a nice, perfectly formed coil pattern when my hair is in its natural state but like many other reviewers I ran into issues with dryish, breaking locks. Sometimes it looked and felt filmy. There were just too many versions of this method and not only had I lost patience but I’d lost too much hair (and I wasn’t willing to part with any more).

    What I did take away from this book was an pleasant reintroduction to my natural coils which I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. Teri gave me the confidence to go natural and the confidence that I could grow my hair to great lengths. She also put me on a path to find OTHER methods for achieving my hair goals.

    Unbeknownst to me there’s an entire community of black women growing long hair (very, very long hair) who don’t use Teri’s method. Their methods vary so one has more style choices; I mean what if you don’t want to deal with the shrinkage? What if you prefer your hair straight? There’s a long-black-hair method for just about everyone. Just spend a little time perusing YouTube and you’re bound to find someone. (My favorites are LongHairDon’tCare2011, KimmayTube and BrittneyNGray). Most importantly, for me at least, these methods are far less time-consuming than Teri’s and give me far more stylistic choices. I can go curly or straight. If you’re skeptical, I can tell you that the thing that all these methods have in common (including Teri’s) is that they don’t advocate the use of chemicals, or the heavy use of heat (some heat is allowed); all require attention to keeping your hair moisturized and protected, especially while sleeping. As long as you follow these “rules” religiously, especially the moisturizing and staying away from chemicals, you should be able to retain more length. I’m personally using the flat-iron once a month method, moisturizing with olive oil and protective serum nightly, and mine has reached collarbone length with virtually no breakage. With commitment it doesn’t take long to turn your hair-health around.

    So, in short, Teri is still a “Hairo” of mine but I just prefer to use other methods. I just wish she’d done more experimentation with a greater variety of kinky hair types and acknowledged some needed variations.

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  • Wonder girl said:
    October 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm
    48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Works for multi textured curly hair!, May 9, 2010
    By 
    Wonder girl (Killeen, TX) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong (Paperback)
    This is an excellent book! While I’m not directly bi-racial, my hair is exactly like Terri’s due to white ancestry. I wish that I had known about using conditioner to keep my curls when they dried. My hair is short now because I cut 10 inches off to have relaxer free hair, but my curls are there and they feel great. I’m going to buy another book and give it to my bi-racial niece whose hair is a little looser than mine, but would definitely benefit from this book.

    While books like curly girl are good, it left me frustrated because leaving a little bit of conditioner in my hair left me with fuzzy spots. This book filled in the pieces that were missing! Terri, thank you for this book, and thank you for going through what you went through to get your beautiful curls back. I get so many compliments from everyone even though I have a dreaded layer cut.

    I would recommend this book for anyone who has curls when their hair is wet but turns to curly frizz when dried. I would recommend this book to kinky kinky tightly curled hair as well because this book preaches keeping moisture in your hair, and ALL curly hair need this. Good book!

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