My wavy/curly/ hair is the bane of my existence. It’s fine, fluffy, and unruly, a word which here means “frustrating as hell.”
I’ve spent roughly two years growing out my last buzz cut and researching my options. I have spent hours reading Curly Girl and Live Curly, Live Free. I’ve pored over naturallycurly.com forums with a notepad in hand, making lengthy lists of recommended products and techniques. I’ve got the satin pillowcase, the diffuser, duckbill clips, smooth towels, bucket of gel, and conditioner by the 40-gallon drum. Nevertheless, my hair usually looks like a string mop and exhausts my paltry vocabulary of expletives, day after week after year. I’m rarely jealous of long legs or rock-solid abs—- but when I see thick, shining curls, I am CONSUMED by envy. CONSUMED, I say!
On my last trip to NYC, I caught myself walking down Broome Street (recently lost, as usual) behind a woman with gloriously shiny, bouncing blond curls. As I walked, staring at her hair in rapture, she turned suddenly and walked straight into…a Devachan salon, where she stood talking to two other fabulously curly-headed ladies. I nearly ditched my friends and followed her in.
But I resisted the urge, having read that Deva salons charge $125 for a cut from a junior stylist followed by almost $18 per bottle of shampoo, conditioner, gel, and various finishing products. For me, that’s a HUGE gamble.
I’ve hemmed and hawed over getting a Deva cut for a long, long time. Nosing around online, I saw mixed reviews for Deva cuts. Then again, ALL stylists get mixed reviews, no matter what techniques they prefer. Deva is heavily hyped, and the their products are surely overpriced. But having taken so many steps toward curly hair maintenance, it seemed logical to get a good, curl-friendly haircut— logically, that should have been my FIRST step.
In the end, I decided on a Deva cut not because of the Curly Girl books or fancy branding, but because I found a salon with a good reputation AND Deva-trained stylists not two blocks from my workplace. What were the odds?
So I did. Today. I went to Salon Bliss and met Gretchen, the head stylist/salon owner-type-person. She immediately recognized me from my workplace, which made me feel simultaneously like a rock star (strangers can place me at a glance!) and a horrible mess (strangers are dying to fix my moppy hair!).
My salon experience was thoroughly nifty. Before picking up any scissors, Gretchen talked with me about what to expect from a Deva cut and how she would trim my layers to create as “cascading” curl effect (as opposed to my wide cloud of hair) while hardly losing any length. Gretchen cut my hair Deva-style; dry, cutting one lock at a time— fun to watch! She then washed, conditioned, gelled, and scrunched my hair (much the way I do at home) using all Deva products, then clipped my roots with duckbill clips (much more skilfully than I do at home) before parking me under a hooded dryer with a magazine.
Once my hair was dry, Gretchen scrunched and styled my hair with a diffuser and… some Deva misty stuff. She was happy to answer all my questions, so I really should have taken decent notes. We’ll see how much I remember in the shower tomorrow morning… I asked Gretchen for product recommendations, fully expecting her to pitch enormous bottles of all things Deva. Instead, she recommended I try travel sizes. No upselling! Hurrah!
ON TO THE PICTURES! BEHOLD THE DEVA CUT!
Here I stand, dreading the camera:
Side view! Compare this to my haircut on last August 27, and observe how my hair grows slower than stalactites.
The back is my favorite; before today’s cut, my lower layer had grown MUCH too long for the other layers. Since my bottom layer of hair is almost straight, the difference was pretty blatant. This is a much more unified haircut
Finally, the front view, which looks pretty iffy from this angle. It’s not that short, I promise. If you’ve been wanting a close-up of my beginner’s fine lines ‘n’ wrinkles, this is your big day:
Should I consider a darker eyebrow pencil?
An indoor “Fortress of Solitude” shot shows the length more accurately and shows that Gretchen was right; this IS more “cascading” than what I had before, and I barely lost any length.
While I’m happy with my first-and-surely-not-last Deva Cut, I was a bit disappointed in the styling. I expected to leave with curlier hair than ever, since that’s sorta what Deva brags about. Instead, my hair looks distinctly average. This is a recent shot of my hair at its curliest:
Now, that’s a bathroom shot, and you can tell my bathroom lighting hides a multitude of sins. But still, that’s a lot more curl than I ended up with today, so…. …. huh. I’ll have to fumble with this a bit, see if I can work more curl into today’s cut and see how the Deva products perform at home. I think there’s silicone lurking in my shower…
Do you have curly hair? What advice would you give to other struggling curly folk?