Curly Girl: The Handbook
Happy New Year! I’m not only excited that it’s a new year full of endless possibilities, but this month means that "Curly Girl: The Handbook" is now available in stores and at CurlMart. And Lorraine Massey and I are so excited that the latest curly info is now out there for all the curly world to see. So in honor of the book’s release, I thought I’d write a little bit about what it was like to work so closely with this curly guru.
First, I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone like Lorraine. She is not about selling products; she is truly about changing the world one curl at a time. I admit that this didn’t make sense to me when I first signed on to work with her on her book. At the time, I was a chemically straight-haired writer starting my next assignment. I approached it the same way I did an article on heart disease or a book by a celebrity on anti-aging: it was a topic of interest, but it wasn’t a book about me. So at first I thought Lorraine’s message of curl love was a tad gimmicky. Little did I know that it would truly change my hair along with my life.
When we first started the book, my strands were as chemically flattened as they could be. Amazingly, Lorraine never ONCE said a thing about my hair knowing that I would get to that curly place only when I was ready. The day I told her I was going back to curly, I expected her to say, “I told you so” but she didn’t. And that’s because her goal isn’t to “tell you so.” It’s not to convince you. She believes that women have to learn to accept themselves and it’s not a message she’s going to force down anyone’s throat. That’s when I realized that Lorraine’s goal is to help women live better lives and accepting their hair’s natural texture — be it curly, wavy, kinky or straight — is just the beginning.
Though curls are her business, her passion goes way beyond a day job. This is her life. She may be quirky, peppering all her emails with words of curl love, but she is genuine, passionate and truly cares about making a difference. What more can you ask for in anyone? Working with Lorraine was a gift. I learned so much about myself and about embracing, not fighting, what nature has given me. I realized that curly hair is a metaphor for life and if you just accept what you’ve been given and learn to handle its challenges, every day will be so much more rewarding.