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Book Review: Michelle Breyer Rides ‘The Curl Revolution’

"The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and Practical Advice from the NaturallyCurly Community," offers advice, slick photography and inspiration for those with textured tresses.

Michelle Breyer literally wrote the book on curly hair. Not only is she a pioneer in bringing information and products to the estimated 60 percent of Americans with textured hair, her new book, “The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and Practical Advice From the NaturallyCurly Community,” hit booksellers on Oct. 3, and is already generating a buzz.

The book captures all of the emotions of those with textured hair, from straight-hair envy to embracing and flaunting curls. Many of these feelings are those Breyer experienced with her own curly locks. In 1998, Breyer was a newspaper reporter frustrated with the lack of products and information for women with curly hair.

Along with two other journalists, she decided to change the conversation, launching a web site called NaturallyCurly.com. “From Day One, our goal was to create a place for people like us — a forum to provide support, tips and inspiration for other curlies,” Breyer recalled. “From the outset, we talked in terms of texture, not ethnicity.” That was an important distinction and Breyer has been at the forefront of widening the notion textured hair goes beyond race.

She’s also ignited new thinking on the part of retailers on what to stock and how to merchandise textured hair products. Breyer also helped launch Texture on the Runway, an innovative runway event held annually during New York Fashion Week highlighting Real Women, Real Fashion and Real Texture.

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“With NaturallyCurly, Breyer created the first online resource that addressed curly hair textures. Michelle did an excellent job of creating a community for people who have been largely ignored,” stated entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria, cofounder, Paul Mitchell hair products and Patrón Spirits Co.

The web site grew quickly — attracting more than 16 million people per month — proving the need for not only information, but access to products. Brands started joining and Breyer built the business into TextureMedia, the largest content, community and commerce hair-care platform for texture-hair women.

“The Curl Revolution” is packed with dramatic photography by Karston Tannis, featuring industry notables such as Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, media personality Lisa Sugar and singer Jordin Sparks, as well as NaturallyCurly community members. “Growing up this book would have empowered me to appreciate my curls at an earlier age,” Sparks wrote, echoing a common theme among women who wished they had a book like “The Curl Revolution” at a younger age.

Breyer’s book is a primer on curly hair right down to how to manage hair under specific medical conditions. There is also information for transitioning to natural hair, a big movement in hair today, as well as specific advice for men. Breyer’s book has elicited praise from celebrities such as Sparks and Tanya Wright to industry leaders including Richelieu Dennis, founder of Sundial Brands and curl expert Anthony Dickey.

“NaturallyCurly has been an incredible advocate of the natural hair movement. It has given curly-haired women a platform,” said Dennis, whose Sundial Brands created the SheaMoisture collection.