R&R Aura: How To Be A Curly Girl

When I first saw Teri LaFlesh's book Curly Like Me (Wiley,$11.53 on Amazon.com) in the library on the new arrivals shelf, I was caught immediately by the cover photo of LaFlesh showcasing her gorgeous chocolate spirals with faint honey highlights. What I found to be the most beautiful about her curls (and what compelled me to pick up the book) was their length. LaFlesh boasts curls that reach to her waist! I had to find out what her secrets are since I recognized her hair pattern as being very similar to mine. Ironically, her "secret" is the not-so-secret concept of less is more. Leaving her hair alone and giving it proper nourishment has proved to be the solution to her three decades of turmoil with her curls.

The first chapter is LaFlesh's delicately humorous and at times painfully familiar story of her struggles with her hair being that she is the product of a white father and a black mother. Even with their best intentions, both sides of her family seemed to turn a frustrating situation into an infuriating one with recommendations for chemical process after chemical process. Being determined to force her hair to achieve the straight, flowing texture of her white relatives, LaFlesh even explores the world of locking, weaves, and extensions. Nothing seemed to give her solace until she finally let go of "fixing" her hair and devoted herself to understanding her hair's true texture to work with it.

Organix Nourshing Coconut Milk Conditioner, one of LaFlesh's recommendations for a good combing/detangling conditioner ($7, Walgreens)

The book is a comprehensive manual on everything curly hair. From shampooing to conditioning (one of the biggest secrets to defining curls) to warnings about chemicals, this book gives advice that even a novice to natural hair can use. One of the best things about LaFlesh's product recommendations is that they are at a variety of price points, so you don't have to feel like you have to be a millionaire to follow her advice.

LaFlesh also maintains a website called TightlyCurly.com where you can buy her book, see more of her product recommendations, or read her blog. This would be a great gift for anyone who is fed up with fighting with her hair or who needs guidance in transitioning from relaxer to natural hair. Curly Like Mewill definitely become one of my top 5 favorite beauty books!