How to Get Perfect Curly Hair

My curl evolution from 2006-2014
My curl evolution from 2006-2014

Seven years ago, a brief encounter with a beautiful, curly-haired stranger changed my life.

Being a curly-haired girl myself, I had to tell her this. If you have curly hair, you understand the never-ending struggle to find the perfect cocktail to tame your tresses. I approached this stranger, gushing about how beautiful her locks were, and I asked her what her secret was. Her answer absolutely shocked me.

“I don’t shampoo my hair. I just use conditioner.
Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey – read it.”

I was more than a little taken aback. My internal reaction was, “What? Ew! But… if her curls come out looking like that, then maybe it’s worth a try.” Unfortunately, I neither picked up a copy of the book, nor was brave enough to try a shower without shampooing until two years later.

Finally, many months after my conversation with the beautiful-haired stranger, I saw a magazine ad for this crazy looking green hand-shaped hair-diffuser thing (a “DevaFuser“). I was so intrigued by this strange contraption that I got online to find out more – the company’s ad completely worked. It led me to what is now, and after some perusing I discovered that this site linked to the author of the Curly Girl handbook, Lorraine Massey. At this point, I was paying attention. I had been led to this woman’s approach to curl care at least twice – I was finally ready to hear what she had to say.

One of the turning points for me in my hair care regimen was watching this videoI had never heard that washing your hair with regular shampoo was like dumping detergent on your head. And once it was pointed it out, I thought, “Oh my gosh… she’s right.” Soon after, I ordered the Deva Curl Travel Kit to try a different way of cleansing my hair. It was definitely strange to not work up a lather, but when I had washed my hair, my scalp was left with a pleasant tingling sensation.

After that, I ordered the 32 oz bottles of the main three Deva products and I’ve been using nothing but for the last five years. My hair is healthier, much more moisturized, and I have far less “bad curl days.”

My absolute essentials* are:

No-Poo (sulfate-free/non-sudsing shampoo)

One Condition (the BEST conditioner I have ever used)

Arc AnGEL (firm-hold gel dries stiff but when you scrunch the curls it loosens them and turns them into soft, well-defined ringlets)

Helpful Additions:

Mist-er Right (lavender curl rejuvenator spray for second day curls)

Set it Free (wax-like spray for frizz control)

Heaven in Hair (deep conditioner, crucial for the cold months)

Microfiber Towel (to scrunch out excess water and product after you apply)

After a year of curl re-education, when I moved to Hoboken, all my curly haircut dreams came true when I became a client at the Devachan Salon in SoHo. (Shoutout to my stylist Melanie!) There I learned that my hair was WAY dried out. I know now that I need to leave much more conditioner in my hair during drier months, and scrunch in gel to the point of total saturation when it is soaking wet. With Deva products, I’ve found the more generously I apply them, the better the results. Learning those two things has drastically improved my number of great hair days!

I am on a mission to stop curly girls’ ignorance of the effects of sulfates. They are ruining their curls without even realizing it. The curly girl gospel is real – there is a better way! Give the sulfate-free method a try yourself and spread the word to other curlies… you may even have someone stop you and tell you that you have the most gorgeous curls they’ve ever seen!

What are your biggest challenges as a person with wavy or curly hair? What are your favorite products?

*Devachan doesn’t pay me to be a raving fan, but if you can buy the products through these affiliate links!

4 thoughts on “How to Get Perfect Curly Hair

  1. I started drastically reducing my use of shampoo after reading an article on “how to grow long hair” that mentioned shampoo as the main culprit of split ends (which had always prevented me from growing out my hair). At this point, I cleanse my hair every other day – shampooing just twice a week and using conditioner alone on the other days. My go-to brand is Clear by Unilever. It keeps my hair silky and light while also preventing flakes.

    1. When I first started following this method it was hard to find anyone talking about not shampooing, minimal shampooing or sulfate-free shampoos. Thankfully the beauty industry is starting to wise up and this info and the right products for a variety of hair types are becoming more widespread!

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