I Wish I’d Known About Devacurl Before My Big Chop

May 9, 2016  |  


Hairstylist Candace Witherspoon

Seven months ago I wrote about my horrifically dramatic big chop experience — you know the one that ended in tears and Popeyes. Since that time, I’ve only gotten a trim once, which I did at a Dominican salon back in February when my hair was blown out and, as I assumed at the time, that wasn’t necessarily the best decision for my curls. The trim made the bob I wore for two whole days look great, but when I went back to my normal wash n’go, my semi-asymmetrical ‘fro shape was pretty much gone and I’d definitely lost more volume than expected.

It’s for that reason that I’d put off my next trim for some time, despite the ragged ends that were poking from my mane every which way. I didn’t want to throw in the towel and get another $10 Dominican trim but I also didn’t want to fall victim to what I call the hater trim — you know the “shape-up” at (some) Black salons that’s more cut than trim with an expensive price tag to match? Eventually, one co-worker heard my woes and suggested Devacurl as a possible solution and, after doing a bit of research, I decided to give it a try.

The big sell of Devacurl is, as their name suggests, they’re all about curly hair — not just from a product standpoint, but in terms of styling. That’s why they use a method known as the Devacut in which they trim/cut your hair curl by curl while it’s dry in it’s natural state to ensure a finished result that better reflects clients’ expectations, rather than the historic “once it’s dry/straight/twisted out you’ll really see how your hair’s gonna look” approach most stylists have. That technique pretty much already had me sold because the last thing I wanted to do was sit in someone’s salon for three hours thinking I was getting cute, only to turn around and be pissed (and then not say anything to the stylist about it). Thankfully, none of the above happened.

deva 2For starters, there are two options for experiencing Devacurl: you can go to an official Devechan Salon for a service or choose a stylist from their list of salons whose been trained in the Devacurl cutting method. I chose the latter. When I arrived, Candace Witherspoon, the stylist I chose at Filamnent Hair Salon, sat me in her chair immediately so we could chat about my reason for coming in and my expectations. I told her I just wanted a trim — and most importantly not to lose too much hair — she told me she understood and the cutting process began. Instantly, I noticed a difference in the experience. Never have I gotten my hair done and been “allowed” to watch the process the entire time. I faced the mirror and watched Candace cut my hair for an entire 30-40 minutes, seeing her pull my curls apart, assess the overall shape of my hair, and cautiously make cuts here and there. Never was she intimidated by having me, the client, watch what she was doing and she welcomed the questions I had about deep conditioning routines and even her experience as a hairstylist.

deva 3

Why don’t all salons have dryers like this?

After the cut, I was sent to the wash bowl where another woman cleaned my hair using the Devacurl “No-Poo Transformation Service.” This is basically a lather-free hair cleansing and conditioning process that’s followed by a section-by-section application of a setting product to bring your curls to life. I sat under a hooded dryer which, as an aside, was the most comfortable, non face-melting dryer I’ve ever experienced and the first I’ve seen that has a lower back with vents to evenly dry long hair, for about 35-40 minutes. (That’s also the shortest amount of time I’ve spent under a dryer without feeling like my skin was burning.) After my hair was dry, Candace had me flip my head over, rubbed some finishing oil through my hair, fluffed my ‘fro, told me what we were looking at was my natural curl pattern, and I was pretty much sent on my way.

Now I’ll admit at this point I thought, after applying edge control in the bathroom, I didn’t need to pay nearly $100 for that. After all, I’d been looking at my natural curl pattern for months and told my stylist I don’t really do twist outs. But then I thought back to my big chop experience and how helpful it would’ve been if someone had cut off my straight ends while my hair was dry so my expectations were better managed and then shown me my true texture and gave me a low-maintenance styling option for my particular curl pattern.

And even as someone who’s been natural for a little bit now, I must say this is the first time I’ve ever gotten my hair trimmed or cut and left feeling as though I have just as much hair on my head as before. There was no drastic transformation; just a reshaping, which is all I want and need as I grow my hair out and, honestly, that peace of mind was worth the money. I’m told (by a prior customer) that the cutting process will also help my hair grow out better and I do appreciate that my hair has more volume but is actually lighter on my head.

It’s for those reasons that I would suggest any woman thinking about dipping her foot in natural waters, take that plunge with Devacurl. What I appreciated most about the experience is that I still felt some control over what was happening to my hair, which is important for most women who truly treat their hair like their crown. But even if you’re in need of a cut and aren’t sure who to turn to, I’d encourage you to go to someone who specializes in curls. If I hadn’t I would’ve always been curious about whether I made the right choice for my hair and now I no longer have to wonder.

Have you tried Devacurl?


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