Review and giveaway: Curly Girl: The Handbook

Amazon: Curly Girl: The HandbookA serendipitous coincidence happened a couple weeks ago: just as I was asking for your hair care tips, I received Curly Girl: The Handbook in the mail for review. The publisher had contacted me a few weeks previous with a pitch, and I had said yes, knowing that dealing with kids' curly hair is a major challenge. I know, because I have a curly girl of my own.

What's great about the timing (besides the obvious topic fit) is that so many of your hacks are confirmed and expanded upon in this book. The author, Lorraine Massey, is the founder of a group of salons specializing in curly hair and has a head of remarkable curls herself. In Curly Girl, she shares her down-to-earth tips for washing, conditioning, styling, cutting, but most of all, loving and accepting curly hair.

What I like most about this book is that, despite her creation of DevaCurl, a line of curly haircare products, this is not a thinly-veiled marketing brochure. This is education, inspiration, and practical how-to written in an energetic but intelligent style. She talks about the different types of curly hair, how to care for each type, and even offers recipes for homebrewed hair tonics and conditioners.

Diffuser In the book, you'll find all sorts of surprising suggestions, including:

  • ditch your shampoo in favor of sulfate-free cleansers or botanical conditioners
  • ditch your blow dryer (unless you have a good diffuser)
  • ditch the vigorous towel-drying
  • ditch your brushes and combs

There's even a section on curly kids.

In general, I have little interest in beauty books, and I'm not a hair product fiend. But I really enjoyed this book, and I've already put much of what I've learned into practice with my daughter. I'd recommend it to anyone caring for curly hair — either their own or their kids'.

Win it! I've got three copies of Curly Girl: The Handbook to give away! Just leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What's your #1 tip for caring for curly hair?

On Friday, March 4, 2011, at about 2pm PST, I'll randomly choose and announce three winners. Good luck!

The comments are now closed and the winners have been announced. Thanks to all who entered!

Note: Giveaway open to residents of the US only. One entry per person.


  1. Kelly Yale says

    I always leave mine really wet from the shower and take a wide mouth comb to get the knots out. After applying product, I then dry and scrunch it with a towel!

  2. Jen says

    My number one tip for curly hair, since I have super thick, curly hair and my daughters are both curly girls as well is to only shampoo on rare occasions but to condition daily.

  3. says

    OOoh, pick me! My friend would love this for her daughter. She’s always referring to her 3 year old’s hair as an afro it’s so curly lol

  4. Shauna says

    When I’m in the shower, I apply conditioner and then comb it into my curly hair with a wide-tooth comb.

  5. Tiffanie says

    I have stick straight Chinese hair and my daughter has gorgeous soft curls from my husband’s side of the family. I need all the curly girl help I can get!

  6. says

    I don’t brush my hair after it’s dry – also when I brush my daughter’s dry hair in the morning I always wet it a little bit afterward. It always get a nice little curl. One product I use that’s AMAZING is no frizz developed by an MIT professor (finally someone creating something at MIT I can relate to, hehe) It’s the only product I’ve ever used that I like and I’m a no makeup, no hairspray, no mouse, no hairdryer type of a person.

  7. Amy says

    Cury Mom of a Curly Boy, and I would love this book! Other than crazy amounts of conditioner I have no tips (and could use some).

  8. says

    I just scrunch with a bit of curl enhancer, never blowdry, even with a diffuser (unless you’re particularly fond of the “finger in an electric socket” look…).

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  9. Ticee Graham says

    Comment, comment, and more comment! My oldest daughter (11) has curly hair and I have curly hair. We both need all the hwe can get. It’s been a learning process and I am glad that we have come so far (from a triangle, frizz-do when I was 15 to more managable pretty curls now!).

  10. kate wood says

    Tip: Condition and condition more! I use an Aveda deep conditioner on my toddler’s curls, and it leaves them soft and tangle free. Never brush!

    I SO need this book, as a wavy mom to a tight curl girl, I am learning as I go:)

  11. Jennifer Jones says

    My tip is to leave your hair fairly wet, put in a good product, and then don’t touch it…but to be honest I usually fight it with a flat iron or hide it in a ponytail. I need this book!

  12. Pamela Royal says

    I’m a curly girl, and it would be great having some additional tips for managing these locks! :)

  13. Jenna says

    Heavily condition often. But I’d love to get the shiny curls! I really haven’t found a product that I’ve had luck with yet. Hopefully, this book will help.

  14. Ilene says

    Don’t fight the curls! That’s my big tip. That and to use a great curl cream – put it in, put in a few of those clips to add height at the crown and let it go. I only blow dry it if it is freezing outside. Otherwise, let Mother Nature do it for you.

  15. Emily says

    My fine, wavy hair doesn’t seem to do well without some heat styling, so I always use a diffuser when going for the curly look. It seems to look best when I dry it while it’s still very wet. The curls hold together better.

  16. Christy Pair says

    This may sound crazy, but knowing that you have curly hair is very helpful. I did not realize that my hair was naturally curly (not just wavy) till after college. My daughter has curls and I think her hair will be much healthier than mine as we know how to deal with it!

  17. Melissa says

    My three kids are mixed-race, black/white, and a couple years ago I went on a serious search for information on how to care for their beautiful corkscrew-curly hair (mine is stick straight, so it was a learning process). I found a fabulous website, – that was the real turnaround for me. I’d also read Massey’s book, and it was great info, but I found this website more tailored to mixed-race hair, so it was a perfect fit. Overall the leading advice is to ditch the shampoo, use only conditioner, and leave big heaping gobs of it in their hair between washings to protect it. Also, never comb it if it’s not completely wet.

  18. says

    thanks for all the great tips everyone. I have just a slight wave in my hair but my two girls have more curl – I think from their father – and I’m just inept at all things girly. the book seems like it has some serious help/tips. love the hacks.

  19. Jessica says

    I have fine, curly hair and the only way it looks okay is to put some mousse or other goop in it and then twist it in sections. Then air dry or diffuse. You wind up with more defined ringlets instead of chaos and frizz. Except in the humid northeast summer, in which case a hat is my curly hair hack.

  20. Sarah says

    My personal tips:
    1) Don’t shampoo every day
    2) Do use a leave-in conditioner
    3) Use a sturdy wide-tooth comb to gently comb the knots out after conditioning
    4) Apply a curl cream, twisting sections of hair all around the head, for nice, non-frizzy, shiny curls

  21. says

    Well, to a parent of a curly girl who doesn’t know curls, I’d have to say: Stop brushing it! (Also grow it out a little and NO bangs!)

    To fellow curly girls – like many are saying: finger comb your hair only in the shower with a (good) conditioner on it and rinse with your head upside down. also, diffusers are cool. i was just reminded of that.

  22. Michelle O. says

    I’ve got super-curly hair and I comb my hair in the shower when it’s lathered in conditioner… The the other tip is to not mess with it once it’s dry!

  23. Rebecca S says

    Wonderful idea for a giveaway–don’t enter me into the running, though, as I already have a copy!

    I just wanted to add that I have now found two salons (in my two most recent hometowns) where I receive my haircuts from a trained DevaCurl stylist. And boy has THAT made a real difference. Deva stylists cut hair when dry, not wet, so they can see your curls’ natural patterns–and don’t “accidentally” cut off far more hair than you wanted! Since that switch 5 years ago, I have been happier than ever with my curly girl hair.

  24. says

    Nice n easy weekly conditioner treatments make my frizzy curls sooo soft!
    It’s really cheap too! I’m always tempted to use it more often it’s so great, but supposedly it is not good for your hair to use it too often. I also only let hairdressers with curly hair cut mine.

  25. Ree says

    I just started washing with conditioner this week and it’s been a great success for my little girl. I had a hard time believing that it would leave her very fine hair looking clean, but it’s working and it’s so much easier to comb.

  26. Caro says

    I like to brush my hair before the shower and then just finger part it after. I also say that I really love this product called Curl Keeper that is light enough that it doesn’t weigh down my hair or make it darker…but keeps the frizz away.

  27. Erika says

    Straight-haired mom of Curly Boy looking for all the help she can get!

    Our two primary techniques are no brushing and scrunching when wet to maximize the curls. Not very sophisticated . . .

  28. amber says

    my NUMBER ONE curly hair tip (that I TRY my best to follow) is this:

    DON’T TOUCH IT ONCE IT IS DRY. That causes frizz, and collapse of curl.

  29. Amy says

    I may shampoo 2x a week, but I condition my hair at every shower and comb out tangles with a wide tooth comb before I rinse the conditioner out.

    For styling, I just combine whatever curl product I have on hand with Frizz Ease Hair Serum and apply to wet hair. I scrunch it here and there as it dries and then I DON’T TOUCH IT!

  30. Maria F. says

    Find a stylist who really understands curly hair and how it should be shaped. So many stylists cut curly hair as if it were straight and it just isn’t flattering. I know has a section for salon & stylist recommendations that is very useful.

  31. Civia says

    I brush my daughters hair with conditioner still in it with a wide tooth comb. Also my number one rule is “when the hair is just unmanageable (usually in the morning and don’t have time to comb every knot out) just opt for the good old fashion pony tail!”

  32. Raina says

    We are a curly family! We could use some tips too. As for what we do do. I only brush my hair in the shower with conditioner. I think that’s a no-no but I cannot brush it dry or I look like a crazy lion. Lots of conditioner but we only wash every two or three days…unless it’s much needed. No vigorous towel drying just wrapped up in a towel for a bit. I find that it ends up softer and more tame that way, versus drip drying it. After the towel then I run my fingers through it to get out the dead hair and last few tangles. We also live in a year-round humid beach town, so as the above post stated…lots of hats and hairties!

  33. Frances says

    I’ve been using a pomade based on coconut oil for more than a decade now. I swear by it. And no combing. When my hair was long I’d detangle with a wide toothed comb before towel drying. Now it’s short and I make my hair wet every day, towel dry and go off to work.

  34. Joanne C says

    My 2 year old has curly hair – and poor thing has 2 parents with straight hair that had no idea what to do with it! We’ve learned NOT to brush it when dry, and instead use a light spray-on detangler to get the knots out and help define those awesome curls.

    I’d love to win a copy of this book; we still have lots to learn! :)

  35. liv says

    I’m a straight-haired mama with a curly girl and I’m really struggling to help her hair look the best it can! I can only style it well when she takes her shower/bath early in the day, and we apply curl-enhancing product, do the Ariel-hair-flippy-thing forward, then scrunch and flip back. Otherwise, it’s a mess! I need help!

  36. Julie says

    Best tip – scrunch in your conditioner and then scrunch the water out for the rinse and then once you finish styling it, leave it alone!

  37. Ritu says

    Moisturize with conditioner daily, and weekly deep conditioning, and only use a wide tooth comb when needed. And when you need to fight frizz in a pinch but don’t have product on hand, rub a small amount of lotion between your palms and apply to frizzy areas.

  38. Nicole says

    My 20 month old has beautiful curls that I am learning to take care of, being that my hair is a straight, wavy combo! So far I have been combing when wet with a wide tooth comb and using a kids mango mousse to scrunch in.

  39. Merideth says

    I can’t narrow it down to 1 tip. As a curly girl for 33 years now, my top tips are air dry, leave-in conditioner, and no brushing!

  40. Cara says

    My best tip is stop touching it! Put some product in it, get it where you want it to be and then leave it alone.

  41. says

    I LOVE DevaCare, and I even really like how she doesn’t push her products on you, too…

    My #1 tip – barely rinse out your conditioner. If you’re using a good sulfate-free conditioner, it won’t gunk up your hair – it will help seal moisture in, which is vital to curls!!!

  42. Lara in VA says

    Most important tip is not to brush dry curly hair! And also, for me it’s best not to fight it – I have no patience for straightening like other folks do. I seriously need help with my daughter’s curly hair – having curly hair myself, I have more of a clue how to deal with it than my own mom did, but we still have daily fights about combing her hair (and spraying water on it is “too cold!”. Would love this book!

  43. says

    my tip – after conditioning, i use the ONLY a large toothed comb while still in the shower…and never comb it again! i never ever use a brush

    i am a curly girl, and have 1 little curly girl – who at age 4.5 has already “wished she had straight hair” it breaks my heart….i keep telling her how special she is because she is a curly girl, hopefully she’ll get it someday! now i’m going back to read all the tips left in the comments above!

  44. Kathy, who has given up on a sleek bob says

    My best tip is to have a hairdresser who understands to wait until your hair has air-dried enough before she cuts so that she can cut with the natural curls, even if it means putting you under the helmet dryer. My hair waves in different directions, and when I recently cut off a lot of hair, she had me do it in two haircuts, a week apart, because the weight of all that hair, the ponytail I’d been wearing it in, and the pulling and tugging of the first hair cut straighted out my hair too much. She wanted to see where my waves would eventually end up so that she could cut a shape that would work for me.

  45. says

    My 5 year old looks like she has a spiral perm – if I don’t win I’m definitely buying the book! Don’t let that stop you from picking me, though! :)

    My tip – never comb it dry.

  46. says

    I would LOVE a copy of this book!!!!!!!! My tip would be try and keep from touching your hair as much as possible during the day to help control frizz. We have curly hair in our house… and lots of it!

  47. says

    My favorite tip personally has been that I need to use more than just shampoo and conditioner. I need at least three conditioners, two of them leave-in. After reading this book I might change my habits up, but this has helped me go from frizz city to curly lane.

  48. Molly says

    As many have already said: don’t wash every day.

    I’ve got straight hair, but my 2-year-old daughter has very curly hair, so I’ve had to learn how to take care of it. Washing it every day leaves it frizzy and dry, so we wash twice a week max, with a gentle shampoo, detangle it wet, never ever EVER brush it dry, and add a teeny bit of product to still-damp hair to encourage the curl. The result is gorgeous shiny ringlets that have all the old ladies at the grocery store exclaiming every time we go shopping!

  49. Kelsey says

    My best tip is- never wrap your wet curly hair in a towel on top of your head. I could use more help though, I’m still trying to figure out my curly hair.

  50. nicole honzak says

    NEVER brush, and always use your fingers when dealing with curly hair, always!!!!! so sayeth the curly-haired sages of the world!

  51. Tamrah T. says

    Don’t wash hair everyday but, conditioner is a must! I really love leave in conditioners because they don’t build up as fast as other types.

  52. sarahk says

    I was called Mediusa when I was little due to my wild curls. Oh how I wish I had this book then!

    The best thing I’ve done for my hair is to stop shampooing and only use conditioner. I will shampoo every couple of weeks if it gets too bad but I am finding I need to do that less and less.

    Pick me!!!!

  53. Dina says

    As my super curly 1-yr-old will attest to… never *ever* approach curly hair with a comb while it is dry!

  54. Tasha C says

    My number one tip is “Don’t comb your hair!” I comb my fingers through my hair when conditioning, but once I’m out of the shower, I scrunch and go. For years, I combed the curl out of my hair and ended up with a frizzy mess.

  55. Stephanie says

    I’ve already read some great tips but would love the book for me and my daughter.

    My best looks are usually when I wash it and let it air dry.

  56. says

    I didn’t read all the tips but I sleep in a ponytail at night after my shower. When I wake up it’s still slightly damp and east to use my fingers to comb it out and start the styling process.

  57. Bethany says

    I have bone-straight hair but I have two daughters w/curls and I need much help w/caring for their hair! So far, using a gentle shampoo and then a (diluted) leave-in conditioner and combing w/fingers seems to work best. I am very interested in this book!

  58. says

    I personally have curly hair and have used every tactic I’ve ever been told with only limited success. I have one curly haired princess and last year her daddy brushed out her curls just before her birthday photos (he has very fine hair that she inherited).

    Less is definitely more, always do any styling that will require lots of brushing well before you need the curls to be back (when doing an updo with curled ends, updo then worry about the curls an hour or more later if you can).

    Never plan on it doing what you want it to.

  59. says

    My daughter has tight corkscrew curls. I already rarely shampoo it, and condition frequently, but I’m loving the advice to comb through it while the conditioner is still in! My tip is to use the Aussie brand mousse plus leave in conditioner all in one–works great for us!

  60. Dayna says

    I”m with Jennifer above–I would love to embrace my curls, but most of the time, it finds itself in a ponytail. I am one to never blow dry though, and allow the hair to curl as it dries itself. For better or worse. :\ Obviously, I could use this book! :)

  61. Sarah D says

    Don’t brush it! Comb with fingers only. I know it sounds hippie to say I haven’t brushed my hair in years, but you’d never know to look at it.

    I have a boy with long curly hair too.

  62. Colleen says

    My 18 month old daughter has curly hair and I don’t so all the comments are great to prepare me for her future years.

  63. Chic Momma says

    I already have the Curly Girl handbook, so no need to pick me, but I wanted to say how much the book changed the life of this curly girl!!!!

    Following her tips made a huge difference in me accepting and now loving my curls.

    My #1 tip is to find someone who can cut curly hair! This is easier said than done – it took me a long time to find someone who could give me a decent cut. I recommend for reviews of salons that specialize in curly hair in your area.

  64. Colleen says

    If I had a curly hair tip, I wouldn’t need this book! My hair went wavy after I had my son. He’s five years old and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with it!

  65. Kirsten says

    Sleep with a satin pillowcase. It helps to prevent the crazy bedhead. Then you don’t have to brush your hair as much.

  66. Beth says

    My little ones hair is curly and thick-I really have not much of a clue on how to manage it-just kinda guessing since I have straight thick hair. I use leave in conditioning spray and just started using a conditioner on her hair in the shower which seems to help.

  67. sabrina says

    Someone else said it…it helps to know you have curly hair, not just wavy hair! My SIL told me she didn’t realize that for years, and the tip I learned from her is that if you have curls, don’t try to brush them out!

  68. Diane says

    I use LOTS of leave in conditioner and let my daughter’s hair air dry. I also put it in 2 braids each night – makes getting ready in the morning much easier:)

  69. Serena says

    Wow, Christy just gave me a revelation. Maybe my wavy and unstylable hair is actually curly? Hmmmm. My 5 yr old has very curly hair and we live on hair detangler/leave in conditioner. Get her hair really wet w/ a spray bottle, apply product, carefully comb out the snarls and then don’t touch it again! Brushing later not only causes the curls to soften, but the resulting friz leads to even bigger snarls. However this was all figured out over the years and a comprehensive book by a curly haired expert! Priceless!

  70. says

    Find a stylist who also loves your curls. Without a good cut, all the tricks above won’t help as much.

  71. Erin says

    My number one tip is don’t brush it! It took me years of frizzy headedness as a child to figure that out – I still tell my mom I’m traumatized by the awfulness of my hair as a child since she didn’t know how to care for curly hair and neither did I!

  72. Megan S. says

    This book changed my life – no joke. I’m a librarian with curly hair, and found it in the stacks one day when I was looking for another book for a library customer. At 33, I sort of assumed I knew how to care for my hair, but after I read it and followed the curly girl routine for a few weeks I was blown away. I was able to toss the scary smelling hair products I had used to make my hair behave, and now just use Burt’s Bees conditioner and some clear gel, and my hair looks so much better than it did before I read the book. I recommend this book to everyone I meet who has curly hair; I know I sound like an infomercial but it was really, truly lifechanging for me. And it gives me hope that my curly-haired daughter won’t have to go through all of the trauma of bad hairstyles (and of straightening her hair for hours every day) since her mom actually knows what to do with her hair now! (p.s. I never actually bought a copy of the book, only checked it out from the library, so I’d be thrilled to win it!)

  73. says

    Before combing my girls’ hair in the morning, I wet it and use a dab a conditioner. I leave it in all day to limit the frizz and ease combing.

  74. Heather says

    Use a diffuser on your blow dryer. So I was surprised that one of the tips from the book was to ditch the blow dryer… I would think that would lead to more friz? Guess I’ll have to get a copy of the book to learn more!

  75. sarag says

    My baby girl has curly hair, and I’m still not sure what to do with it! But the best trick I’ve learned recently is that banana makes a great hair gel, stays in place and it’s safe to eat of course :P

  76. melissa says

    i would love to win this book! my greatest tip is that i never blow dry my hair and i rarely brush is :) scrunching and air drying usually works for me!

  77. Chantol says

    Especially on rainy days, I just love the curls through the weather. They have a mind of their own and they get to take over. In our house, we call them “moms crazy curls.”

  78. izzys momma says

    my daughter and i both have curly hair, sadly my mother didnt know how to deal with that but thankfully my mother showed me to spray detangler in my DD’s hair and get a fine tooth comb ( with the pick on the end) and section the hair as i go around her head in layers.then i roll the hair onto the pick part. when i reach her scalp i gently pull the pick out and a perfect little ringlet falls into place with the rest. sometimes i spray a touch of hair spray ( live in south Louisiana) but most of the time a nice air drying keeps the curls in perfect little ringlets

  79. Chantol says

    I let them take over, especially in the rainy season. They have a mind of their own and I try to just run with it. In our house, they are called “moms crazy curls.”

  80. Katie says

    My first visit to parenthacks and what a GREAT TOPIC FOR ME! I am the proud mommy of mixed race boy-girl twins. I have stick-straight hair so caring for their hair is a constant science experiment for me. We keep my son’s hair trimmed short. His twin sister has gorgeous light-brown corkscrew curls, but her hair is dry. Here are the lessons I’ve learned in the first 3 years:

    1. Ask curly-haired people what products they use and what tips they have.

    2. Don’t wash every day.

    3. Only comb when it’s wet, when you have conditioner in.

    4. Use curl-specific products (I use Ouidad).

    5. Buy a water spray bottle and spritz away the frizz.

    Can’t wait to read all the other comments!

  81. Kate says

    My almost two year old daughter has adorable curls in her hair that are at their peak after her night time bath.

    To get the curls back in the morning I fill a small spray bottle with water and a few drops of lavender oil. The mist picks her curls right up and it smells wonderful.

  82. says

    Good tips here already. The only other one that comes to mind is to pick a hairdresser who really understands (and preferably likes) curly hair.

  83. Bonnie says

    My Tip- Don’t. Touch. It. …. Ever! If you could pat it dry, rub in your product, then go sit in the sun for an hour or two (wouldn’t that be the life?) It would look perfect, and continue to look perfect…. til you touch it. Ever touch = friz.

    No Touchy!!

  84. Ali says

    I have bone straight hair and my 3 yr old daughter has curly so far all I got is detangler but I so need this book – will have to buy it if I don’t win it!

  85. says

    I would love this book! Mine is getting curlier as I get older and I just don’t know what to do with it so I end up clipping it up everyday. I live in a dry environment and it seems that no matter what I try I either end up with the frizzy-afro look or the greasy-don’t-you-wash-your-hair look. My daughter has yet to have curls, but as my husband and I both do, I’m predicting they will appear soon and get curlier with age like mine – so I need to be prepared!

  86. Kristen says

    My tip – to have a glass of wine. I have 2 curly girls and hair washing night is very high drama.

  87. Nikki H says

    Use a little bit of mouuse or gel, finger-comb through damp hair, and let air dry. This keeps my curls defined.

  88. Leah E. says

    I condition in the shower and comb thru with a wide tooth comb. I would LOVE to have this book!!!!

  89. Kim says

    My daughter’s hair is super curly. We condition daily – washing every couple of days and use tons of leave in conditioners and tonics.

  90. Mia says

    I have wavy hair, but my 3yo DD has tighter curls. We shampoo/ condition her hair in the kitchen sink since the sprayer there lets me “wash” the tangles out to avoid combing. We also use a microfiber hair twist towel (aka princess hair wrap) to remove as much water as possible before air drying.

    We have recently been trying to trim the ends to minimize tangling, I trimmed the curls indivudally once, which worked but took hours. We just went to a salon and it was a disaster, so we are back to the slow home trims.

  91. says

    My tip: STOP touching it!

    After years of thinking I had straight hair and always washing, blow-drying, and brushing only to have a wild mess on my hands, a stylist finally told me my hair is actually (slightly) curly! GAH! I hope to win this book so I don’t have to spend the next 35 years trying to figure out what to do with my newly discovered curls! Thanks for the chance!!!

  92. says

    I keep my hair very short (buzz cut). As life would have it, that’s not generally a socially acceptable (or wife-acceptable) haircut for our little girl who has inhairited my hair. :-(

    The most important thing is for us to distract her while gently combing her hair. And to be able to differentiate the “ow” (that’s pulling and is uncomfortable) from tho “Ow” (that hurts).

  93. says

    I grew up hating my curly hair, had a brief period of time where I embraced it and felt like I knew what to do with it, and then got pregnant and now it’s all kinds of weird! Kind of half curly/wavy, half straight but with body. I want my curls back!

    When my hair WAS what I would call naturally curly, my favorite way to “prepare” it was straight out of the shower, when it was still soaking wet, and I do mean SOAKING. I would put a couple gobs of cheapo hair gel in it and then squeeze out the excess gel/water. Then I would dry with a hair dryer that had one of those finger tip diffusers. The trick was to twirl it a little to “cradle” the curls and to keep it moving. It took a looong time (30 min+ for my long hair) but was totally worth it, and I think the extra gel soaked in while it was wet helped to reduce frizz. When my hair was nearly dry, I would apply some Tigi Bedhead hair Serum #3. That made everything nice and tidy and smelled great too!

  94. says

    3 great tips i got from the last curly “specialist” i saw:
    Use an old t-shirt instead of a towel if you must get some of the water out after the shower
    Use conditioner instead of gels and other styling products (and scrunch w/ the t-shirt after finger comibing through)
    Throw away your combs. finger combing conditioner through in the shower is all you need and won’t relax your curl.

  95. says

    Don’t touch your hair after you’ve styled it. Frizz city!

  96. Dee says

    This looks a great book. My daughter and I both have curly hair! I comb it bBefore I shower, then wrap it in a towel, and airdry or use a diffuser. It really helps the curls come back and hold their shape to comb before washing!

  97. afm says

    Using a t-shirt to dry your hair instead of a towel! This has made such a difference for me.

  98. Sarah says

    I have finer hair and the curls can get weighted down instead of nice and springy, so when I do use shampoo, I use a mild child or baby shampoo.

  99. Alexis says

    My 18 Month old has super long curly hair and my favorite trick is to do as much detangling by hand before I try the comb. She will usually tolerate my fingers much more than a comb and I’m more sensitive to the knots b/c I can feel them.

  100. says

    I have a fine haired curly girl. She is 4 and the only thing I know to do is spray with detangler to get it manageable and get the tangles out in the morning.

  101. Heidiho says

    I only brush my hair when there is conditioner in it, in the shower, wash it every other day, and wet in on the in between days.

  102. Tara says

    I really wish I had a tip to share – my daughter’s curly hair is completely foreign to my own straight-as-an-arrow hair experience and I’m at a loss as to what to do with it!

  103. Eina says

    I have thick curly hair and I use the Rosemary mint Suave products, which are similar to Aveda. I use very little shampoo, but I do use it due to products. I condition everyday and use my fingers or a wide tooth comb. I never blow dry though because it dries my hair out too much. And I always brush with the conditioner in my hair and only rinse out half.

  104. Leo says

    I don’t shampoo it every day, However I use tons of conditioner, and only style when wet and then air dry it.

  105. JAN says

    Curly hair does best with a leave in conditioner after showering. Do not towel dry, dry with cotton shirt instead – less frizz. Let air dry and fluff when finished.

    Curly Girls Rule!

  106. Beatriz says

    Sadly, my only strategy is to only wash my hair every other day. It doesn’t look that great, I could definitely use some tips :)

  107. says

    I have curly hair and 2 curly-haired kids (boy + girl twins). I agree with the “gobs of conditioner and only comb when wet” schools of thought.

    I’m still searching for a good way to get my hair dry quickly — I don’t have time to let it air dry while I’m rushing to get ready in the morning.

  108. Katie says

    I have very thick curly hair and when I leave it down and curly, it poofs up within an hour. I almost always throw it up into a pony tail. I really need that book!

  109. says

    Um… Don’t comb it? I have no idea! My hair is straighter than straight, and I have a 22-month-old daughter with curly hair. I could really use this book!!

  110. Jen says

    I need this to figure out how to deal with my 3yo’s curls! The only thing I’ve figured out is not to use shampoo or it will be an explosion of frizz.

  111. Shelley Housholder says

    I light towel dry my hair, brush, apply mousse generously and wait. The hair needs to be almost dry but NOT crunchy (from the mousse) and then flip my head over and dry w/ the hairdryer. It works great for both me and my daughter.

  112. says

    The number one thing that gives me PERFECT curls every time:

    Take a shower. Then sleep on wet hair.

    My hair is already curly but holy morning perfect curls!! awesome!!

  113. Latia says

    For my mixed ethnic curly hair, I used to only wash it once or twice a week. I’ve recently gotten into the habit of really massaging the scalp with a good conditioner. Then I comb out knots (with conditioner still in) with my hands and then clip my hair up until the end of my shower. I rinse at the end of the shower, place towel over hair and gently scrunch out excess water with a BABY TOWEL! These are really absorbent but the fabric is much much softer and won’t break hair. Then I apply Suave mouse (it’s the best of all i’ve tried) from shaft of hair to ends, and allow hair to air dry.
    BAM. Curly hair tamed and cared for.

  114. maiko1 says

    I don’t have curly hair but my daughter does and I need help. Right now, I wash it only a few times a week with Burt’s Bees shampoo and conditioner. I use Carol’s daughter’s hair milk sometimes.

  115. Denise H says

    WIth my own curly hair, I don’t wash my hair every day, use my fingers to “comb” my hair, and never use a hairdryer. A little bit of product (like a light gel) helps prevent the frizz most of the time, unless it’s really humid.

    My daughter’s hair is going to be curly, but right now it’s more wavy (just like mine was as a little kid) and I’ve already started using the same “hacks” on her, with the added bit of using a bit on conditioner in water in a spray bottle to help with the myriad of knots she gets (what in the world she does to get them I have no idea).

  116. Nikki says

    I have massive amounts of curly hair. The best advise I can give is wash it only 3-4 times a week, follow up with a great conditioner (only comb it with a wide toothed comb while conditioner is in). Try to let it air dry.

  117. says

    How fun! This book sounds amazing!
    Let’s see, my number one tip is using Coconut oil/OR Avocado oil after getting out of the shower.

    Throughly rinse and deep condition hair
    Comb out knots
    Towel dry
    For shoulder length hair pour a quarter size amount of oil into the palm of your hand.
    Rub both hands together so the oil now covers your hands
    Starting at the ends rub the oil through
    Make sure to work your fingers into the underneath side of your scalp.

    Let air dry
    Curls should now be soft and weightless with a nice bounce to them!

    I am 25% Jamaican and 25% Spaniard so I have very tight curly hair and this works AMAZING! I also live in Kansas and the humidity is just awful. This is so far the only thing I have found to keep my hair from frizzing. The Oil also gives my hair a lovely shine!

  118. says

    My daughter and I, both curly girls, “wash” our hair with conditioner only. And I only comb my hair while it’s in the shower, covered in conditioner. After that, no combs or brushes for me.

    I’d LOVE to win this book!

  119. Lisa says

    My daughter is mixed race (mexican/black) and has beautiful curly hair down to her butt. I shampoo and condition once a week and never skip the leave-in conditioner! I also put her hair in one loose braid while I shampoo and condition it. After that, I take out the braid to comb it out and let it air dry a little so it doesn’t have that damp smell.
    Also, she never ever ever goes to bed without me putting her hair in a ponytail or bun first! Nobody likes to start the day with tangles!

  120. says

    Don’t wash your hair everyday, use leave in, ditch the brush (comb if you must).I went no-poo after my daughter was born. If you can get over the lack of lather, you’ll be amazed at how manageable and lovely your curls will be. (i confess, i missed lather but am considering giving no poo another go.)
    My challenge is with the back of my girl’s head. It resembles cotton candy at the state fair.

  121. DeLynne says

    My tip is to use a cream or leave in moisture. Who likes the look of crunchy curls?

    Moisturizer is the best for my curly hair, especially in these long, dry winters in Northern Michigan!

  122. Melinda says

    From –noun- a hair style originating with black persons, in which the hair is allowed to grow naturally and to acquire a bushy appearance.

    It is funny because she’s a petite little 3 year old with a very large set of unruly curls.

    I’m sure, however, that you understood and are just trying to pick someone to banter back and forth with. If I’m wrong about that, I apologize for reading too much into your question.

  123. Jerry says

    So, I think I’m the only dad responding to this…

    A friend of ours recommended this book, but we haven’t picked it up yet. We’d love a copy!

    We use a John Freida conditioner for our daughter’s curls. It works great.

  124. Georgia says

    I am a black woman with curly hair and recently learned that Ms. Massey’s book includes advice for black women, too!

    Best advice for curly hair? Well, there are two. Do not shampoo it and do not comb it when it is dry (as in when it is not wet/moist).

  125. Erin K says

    I try to touch my hair as little as possible, but to be honest I usually just throw my curls up in a messy bun…and laugh when straight haired girls wish for curls!

  126. Kathleen says

    Oh, my daughter and I could really use this book! I use tons of conditioner on her hair and a good moisturizing shampoo for both of us. I need some help in the styling dept, though. Thanks!

  127. Sharon says

    I joke that styling my 5.5 y. o. daughter’s hair is like trying to braid slippery cotton candy! We just cut it to *just* above her shoulders (her initiative b/c she was sick of the knots). In the a.m., I put a small dollop of conditioner in my hand, add some water, and run it thru her hair. It makes the curls bounce back from the night time bed head and the conditioner calms the frizz. She doesn’t love the spray stuff, so this is a pretty easy compromise.

  128. says

    I have super curly hair, and my biggest hint? Use a defuser, brush it once a day (when you get out of the shower), try to make it last two days before washing it, and embrace rainy days! It is the only day my hair looks awesome thanks to the extra humidity!


  129. Beth B says

    The top layer of my hair LOVES to frizz!! I apply a leave-in conditioner and
    leave my hair pretty wet but instead of a towel I use an old cotton T-shirt. It works great! It doesn’t absorb as much moisture. I sleep on it wet. So by the next morning, I comb it out with my fingers and I’m ready to go!

  130. says

    my tip is to use the pantene prov medium thick solutions straighten and smoothe creme- works amazingly to define curls even in 70% humididty!

  131. Jeanette Filomeno says

    To tell you the truth, I was relaxing my hair until last month. I saw a clip on TV about this book and few tips. My hair is very curly and dry so I use sulfate free shampoos and hydrating conditioner.Relaxers are going to be in the past for me , I want to be a proud curly sexy girl now!

  132. Leslie says

    Embrace your curly hair and find a hair stylist who knows how to work with it. A good cut makes all the difference!

  133. Kirsten says

    I take a wide tooth comb into the shower with me and comb my hair out while I still have conditioner in it. I love reading everyone’s comments on how they care for their curls!

  134. Robin says

    Add a little oil to the ends – it helps the frizzies and keeps it from drying out.

  135. Melissa says

    My 3 year old’s curly hair can become a fuzzy mess. For a quick fix, i wet it with my hands, spray in a drugstore tangle-free product, brush a little..starting with the ends…and then scrunch in a leave-in conditioner (called mixed chicks…it’s awesome!). Literally minutes from start to finish and she hardly complains.

  136. Lisa says

    I would love this book to help me with my daughter’s amazing head of ringlets.

    It took her 2 years to start growing hair so we were all astonished to find we had a curly haired kiddo (now almost 4). We found that “hat head” actually tones down her curls down for a nice look (it was our main styling strategy at one point). Although, as it’s gotten longer we also love the fresh set of crazy curls that occur from air drying.

    My biggest problems are dealing with getting the tangles out, figuring out who to go to to cut her hair (she hasn’t gotten a hair cut yet), and stopping the urge to pull a lock to see it spring back up. ;)

  137. Tanya says

    Its been the pea under my mattress as long as I can remember. I don’t look at childhood pictures without crying ‘ why or why did my mother allow me to leave the house like that ‘! And 37 years late, I’m still battling. This book sounds like a lifesaver. Thanks for the opportunity to finally have cool hair! :)

  138. says

    Ditch the shampoo forever. Wash with your favorite conditioner, rinse, then add more conditioner and leave it in. Add any styling product on top of the conditioner.

  139. luluthewondercat says

    As a straight-haired parent of a curly-haired preschooler, I have no advice but to buy the book for help!

  140. Emily says

    After applying product (a lotion-type seems to work best for me) I form ringlets, then let it air dry.