Saturday, July 3, 2010


I didn't want this blog to seem as if tumbleweeds were rolling through it because I wrote in it so little, so for now the blog and comments have been suspended. I'm just sort of putting it on hold for the time being, but if more things to say come up from time to time I will certainly post them.

For right now I want to put more time and energy into the site, to make it a better reference source, and I'm doing some writing, and I want to do a bit of painting, and at the end of the day there seems little room to give the blog the attention it deserves.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading the posts here! I'm sure I will still visit and write; I wanted to be let you know what what was going on with the blog.

In the mean time, you can always check out the site updates , or you can visit me on Facebook, or check out some of my art at

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book Out Tomorrow!

Throughout the process of writing the book, drawing the pictures, and getting it published, it always seemed too good to be true. I kept thinking that at some point Wiley would change their minds, and I would be starting all over again. But here it is! The book is out tomorrow, and I can't even wrap my mind around it. If you get a chance, please stop by your local bookstore and ask them for a copy of the book. Thank you thank you to all of your support and your encouragement, tough questions, and thoughtful comments. You helped make this possible.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Energy and Hair

Most of my life I was obsessed with hair. I'd spend hours nearly every day poring through magazines for pictures of people with curly hair like mine, for information. I'd cut out those pictures and study them for hours trying to figure out how the models got their curls to look so lovely. I filled binder after binder with the pictures and spent hours going through them looking for clues. I'd try all the suggestions they gave for "kinky, curly, frizzy" hair, but none of them worked. I spent almost an entire day as a teenager every weekend, for years, miserable, trying to wash and set my hair. Every night I tried to set it so it wouldn't embarrass me the next day; every morning was a soul dampening exercise trying to style it in a way that made me feel less ashamed. It seemed like my hair fell outside of the realm of help.

Of course, there were things I didn't know at the time I do now. That my hair was so damaged from chemicals back then that very little could help it. And that the instructions the magazines gave were really for wavy hair, not hair like mine. And over the years I began finding pieces on my own how to care for my hair, the biggest of which was simply to stop putting lye-like chemicals on it.

Many years later I was working at a lab, and I loved my hair, and it was to my waist, and it struck me: I hadn't actually thought about hair in years. I hadn't cracked open a hair magazine, no longer hung out in beauty supply stores, no longer looked for books on hair care. I didn't talk about it much to anyone. Apart from the time I spent washing, conditioning, and combing my hair, I didn't think about it. My hair was simply no longer a big deal to me. It was my hair, I loved and accepted it, and that was it. And it was then I began thinking I might want to share what I'd learned, because apart from maybe a tiny piece here and there, I hadn't found any of it in one easy to reach place.

And it hit me also that my true goal was to help others have their hair no longer a big deal. That they could do their hair, and be done with it. That they could spend their energy and time focusing on something more important to them. I mean, it's one thing if you truly love obsessing on hair. But what about those of us who didn't really want to obsess about it?

So the site as well as the book are focused more for people who want to get in and get out. People who want to know what the heck to do with their hair so they can move on with their lives. That instead of using precious energy fighting their hair, that energy is used to create something wonderful and positive in their lives. And finally, not having to care that much if they get caught in the rain on the way there.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dead Leaf Hair

Through all my high school years I wrote fanatically in journals. I wrote in tiny writing on both sides of loose notebook paper, often six pages a night. I bound all the pages between covers that clipped together with metal fasteners. When I got about 100 pages, or when I thought a new chapter in my life was starting, I'd begin another notebook. By the time high school, and then my brief year of college (the first time I went) was over, I had thousands upon thousands of angst-filled pages written.

When I visited my mom in Kentucky last July, I grabbed as many of my old journals as I could fit in my carry-on bag to bring back with me to Seattle. When I got back, I was thumbing through the journal I wrote right after high school, during the summer before college. In it was a chunk of the hair I dissolved with a relaxer. You can even see the words "dead leaf" right above the hair clump, which describes exactly how the hair that didn't totally dissolve or fall out of my head felt when it dried. It was so crunchy that I had to cut the rest of my hair off, and was basically left with a narrow fringe of hair at the back of my neck that the relaxer hadn't touched.

How did I manage to dissolve my hair with a relaxer, you ask? Well, it takes a special person to do something like that, I tell you. I had worn locs during 12th grade, but had put them in wrong, so they were little more than pieces of a large mat that I'd cut into strips to make my locs. So I cut those off at the end of 12th grade, and was left with my curly, and still damaged hair (because I'd been bleaching it auburn). Not knowing what to do with it, I fell back into old habits, and decided to relax it.

However, it had been well over a year since I'd relaxed my hair, and I forgot how to do it. This would have been okay, except I didn't realize I'd forgotten how to do it. I thought I knew exactly how to do it. But I was wrong.

I bought my first box (yes, that's right, my first box) of relaxer, opened up the big jar, and put it on my hair. I waited about 20 minutes, rinsed it out, and saw it didn't work. It wasn't until I looked through the box later that I saw the activator bottle I'd neglected to mix in with it. So I bought another box. My reasoning being that the first time didn't do anything at all to my hair, so I could do it all again with no problem.

I was wrong. When I went to rinse out the second relaxer, it gummed up in my hair and wouldn't rinse out. I went through all my bottle of neutralizer shampoo, and had to use some of the half-used bottles my mom had saved through the years as well. And as I finally rinsed away the relaxer, my hair came out too. When I was done, the sink was filled with hair, and the hair left on my head wasn't really even hair anymore.

And being the dutiful journaler I was, when I cut away this hair, I saved some in my journal, to properly record the day. And then I went out and bought myself my first weave.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Improved Cover Is Out

I just got the newest version of the cover...the version that I think is going to be the actual, real live cover! It looks pretty similar to the old one, but just a bit more polished, and you can see more detail in my hair. I'm so excited!

I know I haven't been posting nearly as often as I'd like to...but I have been working on the site behind the scenes to add several new pages, as well as beefing up the answer bank with lots more fresh new answers. I do appreciate all the wonderful support I've had through this process! Thank you so much for reading. I truly am humbled.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The book is available for pre-ordering!

I know it's been a long time coming, but I still can't believe I'm writing these words: Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong is available for pre-order!

Here's a bit about the book:

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (May 2010)

ISBN: 978-0470536421


The simple secrets to growing healthy, long, naturally curly hair!

Do you spend countless hours— and untold dollars—on weaves, perms, salon visits, and products that promise to “cure,” 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 their tight curls? Would you like to learn how to grow your tightly curly hair long and make it happy?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this is the book for you. It gives the information and techniques you need to take charge of very curly hair. You will learn how not only to care for your curls, but also to cherish them, all the while saving time, effort, and money.

Curly Like Me is a complete beginner’s guide to tightly curly hair care.

Within it you’ll learn:

  • Simple, easy-to-follow instructions with over 250 original photographs and illustrations
  • Proper care, the best products, tools, and ingredients for curls
  • Pain-free techniques on how to comb and style your curls, or your child's curls
  • Over 30 easy curl-enhancing hairstyle ideas, tips for growing out your perm, and more

Say goodbye to broken, frizzy, damaged hair and begin your journey to naturally curly hair free from breakage and damage. Applying the ideas and information in this book will end the damage, frustration, and heartache of the past so you can love your hair the way it really is. Curly Like Me empowers you to take back the care of your own hair. It gives you the secrets to growing healthy, long, natural hair without costly treatments, products, marketing misinformation, or styles.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Ingredients Dictionaries Have Arrived!

It's no secret I'm a total ingredients geek. If I could spend all day researching ingredients, I'd be a very happy person indeed. I have many ingredients dictionaries I use to look up ingredients to put in the Ingredients Dictionary on the site. I love the reference books I have, but they don't have nearly all the ingredients in the different products out there.

I've been coveting the mother of all dictionaries, the CTFA (Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Fragrances Association) dictionaries. These dictionaries are the industry standard. I'd requested them from my library previously so I could look up more elusive ingredients. My local library would borrow and ship in one volume from, like, a library in Ohio. But then I wasn't allowed to leave the building with it. I'd been wanting a copy of my own for years. New products come in all the time with ingredients that I can't even find out what function they serve in their product. And finally, we got the entire set of dictionaries (thank you, Jon!).

The reason for such massive tomes? In a few months, Jon and I will be offering a new feature on the site called ProductsGeek. It will give not only all the ingredients in any product, but you will also be able to get information about every individual ingredient within that product. Also, it will let you know what that ingredient does in the product, and if there's anything harmful to your hair in it. The service will also let you search for information on the ingredients in your product in multiple ways. This way you can see if a particular product you've been eyeing is worth the money to buy it or not. We're really excited about it, and building this feature is what we do in the evenings when we get home from work.

I've been happily petting our newest arrivals since I first pulled them out of their box, in such happiness they're finally mine. There will be few ingredients that escape me now!