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Friday, September 27, 2013

DevaCurl for Curly Hair: It's A Lifestyle

About a year and a half ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life: taking control of my curly hair.

If you have curly hair, you know what I mean. It's unpredictable, hard to manage, and truly has a mind of it's own. After three months, it starts responding differently to the same hair product you use every day. One day you have shoulder length hair, the next it's down to your chest.

All credit goes to my mom who introduced me to DevaCurl. You may have seen the brand in magazines, and they are well worth the hype. I now have a hair routine that is easy to follow and virtually fool-proof. With a little research, time and investment, you can tame those curls just like I did!

The first step is a lot of education. This post is great for me as well as it reminds me of the reasoning behind DevaCurl. It's about learning the ingredients in your hair products, knowing what to avoid and what is okay.

Keep reading to learn more about taking steps to improve the health and style of those beautiful curls!

Read Your Ingredients

It's kind of like the saying "you are what you eat." Reading the ingredients in my hair products has become a habit. There are big red flags that go off saying don't use me. Hopefully you didn't just buy a new bottle of shampoo or conditioner because the first step is to throw them out!

Curly hair products should be completely free of silicones, sulfates and parabens. These ingredients affect the health of your hair drastically, and I say that speaking from experience. Go into your bathroom and I can almost guarantee you will find dimethicone in at least one of your products.

What is wrong with these ingredients? Sulfates are harsh chemicals that damage your hair, causing it to become frizzy. Silicones and parabens build up in your hair over time, and many are not soluble in water. This means your hair cannot absorb moisture because the products are blocking cuticles, leading to dry, frizzy hair.

Here is a list of ingredients to avoid in hair products when switching to the curly girl lifestyle. I have a copy in my email that can easily be opened via phone while shopping for products. If you are interested, email me at namaste.camille@gmail.com for a copy. Keep reading to learn about the products I use effectively on my hair.

Washing & Drying Hair

With the curly girl method, you should only be washing your hair about every 2-3 days. Some individuals go longer than this, but washing your hair everyday removes natural oils that keep strands healthy. Over washing can lead to very dry, brittle hair.

I do, however, condition every single day. In fact, conditioning your hair well can remove some of the dirt and build up that shampooing removes, leaving you with luscious locks. Be sure to massage conditioner into your scalp.

Shampooing less can feel weird for some people. In fact, my boyfriend always give me the ewww face when we talk about. But thats not the face he makes when these luscious locks are out and about!

DO NOT BRUSH YOUR HAIR! Please, just don't do it. Many people can get away with never using a comb at all, just finger combing while in the shower to eliminate any knots. I have fairly long hair; so every once in a while, I use a wide tooth comb in the shower to work out all the kinks. Brushing your hair will destroy your curls natural pattern.

The whole focus of DevaCurl is to restore your curly hair to it's natural state.

Tip: If you want to retain some extra shine and moisture, use a small dollop of conditioner and leave it in after you shower. I use this trick allll the time, and it gives me the extra shine my hair needs.

Dry It the Right Way!

When you get out of the shower, don't use a regular towel to dry your hair. Towel drying is another cause of dry frizzy hair and breakage. It removes significant amounts of water, leaving you without moisture and shine. What do you use? Grab a clean, cotton t-shirt. I know you have a stack of old shirts somewhere in the closet, and now you have a reason to use them!

Flip your head upside down and scrunch upwards with the t-shirt. This will remove most of the excess water, and you will have a head full of shine without the breakage! Even Lauren Conrad follows this rule, click here to read her article about making the switch to t-shirts. People debate about when to apply your chemical-free gel, but I usually apply mine after scrunching my hair instead of before.

I really don't recommend using a hair dryer, but even I have to use one every once in a while. Best practice is to use a diffuser which spreads the heat across your scalp so hair doesn't burn or become damaged. For a cheap, effective alternative, check out these Hot Socks that you can put right on the end of your hair dryer. They typically cost less than $5.

To get volume in your curls, invest in these cheap duckbill hair clips. You can find them in most beauty and hair stores. Pinch hair close to your scalp, and insert the clip along the length of your head. This allows your hair to dry away from the scalp. Leave these in for as long as you can while hair dries. Even 15 minutes on your drive to work can make a significant difference!

Don't touch your hair while it's drying! The natural oils on our hands can disturb the drying pattern of our hair, so allow locks to dry for as long as possible before touching your hair. Once it is dry, completely, scrunch hair with your hands to release the gel. This is specifically true for DevaCurl products where scrunching will release the gel cast, revealing beautiful curls!

Maintaining that Curly Hair

There are some habits to get into that will help you keep your hair in shape. Keep in mind, when switching to this new hair regimen, it can take 4-6 weeks to see significant change. Stick with it! I've been in the habit for almost 18 months now, and my hair is in it's healthiest, shiniest, curliest state ever!

Hair Cuts

I recommend saving up and scheduling your first DevaCurl haircut. This is a great way to kick start the habit. Look for a hair stylist that is certified in DevaCurl cuts. They know how to work specifically with curly hair, and this is not the kind of hair cut you get at a regular salon.

With a DevaCurl cut, stylists cut every single curl individually. Yes, individually! You will go into your appointment with dry hair that doesn't have any products in it. Purely natural state. Don't be embarrassed either, I looked like a lion that walked into a sauna at my first appointment. Frizzball alert!

Your stylist will speak with you about how you want to cut, and they remove all of the dead, split ends of your hair. By cutting curls individually, they can create a great style that works with your curls, not against them. So they cut dry, give you a great wash using all DevaCurl products, dry with a diffuser, and then make any last minute cuts and adjustments.

This can typically run you between $50-$70 dollars, but you really only need to have your hair trimmed about every 6 months. The Curly Girl Handbook will even give you tips on trimming your own hair between cuts.

Deep Condition That Ish

One of my favorite brands to use (other than DevaCurl) is SheaMoisture. I've gone back time and time again to their shampoos and deep conditioners. Why? They're amazing, you can find them at target, and they are more reasonably priced than DevaCurl.

Invest in a great deep conditioner like this one by SheaMoisture. I use mine every time that I shampoo, and many you can leave in without rinsing for more of a shine. A tub of this conditioner runs about $10, but it will last me at least 3 months!

Again, putting a little conditioner in your hair when getting out of the shower can lock in that moisture.

Make the Curly Girl Switch!

I really can't express how much this routine has changed my hair. It's healthy, shiny and very manageable. Stay tuned for a post about all of the products I use on my hair in addition to the ones already shared. In fact, next week I have my semi-annual DevaCurl cut scheduled and will share my before and after pictures with you!

Do you have any questions about making the switch? Are you already a DevaCurl girl? Comment on this post and share your tips with me! I'm always excited to try something new!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. Though, I think daily conditioning is a tough routine. Your hair looks amazing!!


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