This update on the Curly Girl routine is about year overdue. I'm on my second year with this approach now, and I recommend that anyone with curly or wavy hair give it a try. I think what attracted me, other than the promise that I could have the type of hair I've always wanted to have but never thought I could, was that the approach is so different from conventional hair wisdom. I'm always ready to give the unconventional idea a listen.
The book Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey is not one that I personally would invest money in buying. A turn at it from the library should be all you need. It is mostly inspirational for people who need emotional therapy after years of fighting with their hair as if their fitting in with the human race depended on it. Here's the book in a nutshell: Give up shampoo (except perhaps for once a week for folks like me whose hair is more wavy than super-curly), wash instead with conditioner that isn't primarily chemical goo. Get moderately frequent cuts; don't brush, especially when it is wet; some tips and tricks for drying and for sprucing up curls on a bad day.
I got my hair cut today, and finally the last vestiges of the really bad haircut I got just two months before starting the Curly Girl routine were left on the beauty shop floor. Finding someone who can cut your hair decently is half the battle. I've really never been the sort of person to care much about things like this, but I realize that this is why I have always been dissatisfied with having either short curly hair, or long bushy hair. I've always wanted long, curly hair but lost hope that it was possible. It is possible, but sometimes one has to step out of conventional wisdom to find the way.