Teri, author of Curly LIke me, experienced, in both cultures, how very curly hair is dealt with, as well as how it feels to have hair like hers. Like many people of mixed-African heritage, she has curls of various sizes, ranging from waves to coils narrower than the width of a pencil.
Teri came by her super-curly hair being half-black and half-white. She grew up both as a mulatto in Kentucky (it was stamped all over her school transcripts) and as a black kid in an all-white family in California (she even spent some months in childhood living among the Moonies with her mom.) Teri experienced, in both cultures, how very curly hair is dealt with, as well as how it feels to have hair like hers. Like many people of mixed-African heritage, she has curls of various sizes, ranging from waves to coils narrower than the width of a pencil. Because her hair is so varied, and so curly, it was chemically straightened ever since she can remember. And since it was relaxed, she had crunchy hair that fell apart. She didn’t know what her natural hair looked like for twenty-five years.
Most of her life was spent fighting with her short crunchy hair, once even accidentally dissolving it all with a relaxer. After thirty years of research and experimentation, she finally discovered what her hair had so desperately needed all along. Finally understood, her natural curls now reach to my hips. One of her big goals is to see that no one else with hair like hers ever has to go through with theirs what she did with hers, so she created TightlyCurly.com and wrote Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong (John Wiley and Sons 2010). She lives near Seattle with her husband Jon Crump, and raises giant houseplants. Her hair is rained on nearly every day, and it doesn’t mind at all.
Teri has been writing and illustrating since childhood. While painting and putting together various books after high school, she worked in a factory in Kentucky to support herself. Years later, she created freelance botanical illustrations while earning a BS in Botany from UCSC.