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CHOREL Wellness Challenge

Focus: Hair Care as Self Care

Book choice: Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey

My name is Chorel and I manage the events program here at Bookshop Santa Cruz. If you have talked to me in the last month or so, it’s likely I have found a way to mention the HAIR JOURNEY I unintentionally stumbled onto after visiting yet another hairstylist in search of the perfect “fixer” for my fine, plentiful, chronically blow-dried, chemically treated hair. “Do you ever let your hair air-dry?” the stylist asked me, examining the latent curls at my neck. “Oh, no.” “Why not?” “Um... because…?” Because I wanted control, that’s why. But years of blow-drying my unpredictable waves into submission had finally caught up to me--my hair was flat, fried, and sad. Thus began a quest to embrace and cultivate the curly girl within--and there was SO MUCH to learn (gel is good?! Sulfates and silicones are bad?! There goes 98% of my product arsenal). So when the opportunity to participate in Bookshop’s Wellness Challenge arose, I dove enthusiastically after the ball. But wait--you might ask--what does HAIR have to do with WELLNESS? Well, hair care is self-care, and self-care is wellness. The journey to accept my curls and learn to effectively care for them parallels the journey to accept and care well for myself. I know, I know. It’s super cheesy. But it’s true! And just like any transformative journey, the results can’t be realized overnight. That’s why I’ll be documenting everything in my hair journal, as I discover, with the help of Lorraine Massey’s seminal CURLY GIRL: THE HANDBOOK, and the incredible community of other "curlies and wavies" out there (via Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube), what it means to be a curly girl.

Mid-month Check-in: The journey continues. Now I am learning about my hair's protein-hydration/moisture balance—and it's exhausting. In fact I hit a plateau of fatigue and slight resignation last week. Luckily, though, the endless research, experimentation, and effort are definitely resulting in tangible results, which picked my spirits up again—lovely spirals are beginning to emerge, and to last! Part of this can be credited with the incorporation of the "MAP Method," created by Scott Musgrave, which gives you a solid foundation to tailor to your own hair, instead of chasing products in endless search of perfect hair. I am also starting to notice many other curlies all around me, and wondering how involved they are with their hair care (sometimes it's pretty darn obvious they are not on the #curlygirlmethod and I want to share it with them--but so far I have held back). I'm still loving the resources and the encouragement to embrace who you are (and the curls you have) via the curly and wavy girls passionately posting a plentitude of info on Instagram. Seriously they/we should write a new manual for this stuff. AND I have a curly cut scheduled for next week, so I'm excited for that as well. So that's what's happening at this bend in the road. Curl on, sisters!

Read more about Bookshop Staff Wellness Challenge, inspired by our Women's Voices campaign.

Curly Girl: The Handbook Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780761156789
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing Company - January 13th, 2011