Struggling to manage your curly hair? You’re not alone! My curly hair was so dry, frizzy, and knotted after years of travel and chemical damage, so I tried the holy grail of curly hair products to see if it’s really worth the hype. Here’s my DevaCurl review.
Endorsed by a slew of Instagram and YouTube Curly Girl Method devotees, DevaCurl is said to be the cream of the crop when it comes to curly hair.
Based on the theory that curly hair is more porous than straight hair, the Curly Girl (CG) Method states that washing your hair with regular shampoos is akin to washing your hair with dish soap. And when you look at the ingredients of each, they’re scarily similar.
Both contain an ingredient called ‘sodium laureth sulfate’ – a harsh detergent that strips away the oil on a fry pan, just as it strips away the natural oils on your head. You may wash your hair because it looks too oily, but you do need some oils to stick around – just like the natural oils on your skin, natural hair oils act as a natural moisturiser that your scalp and hair need to be healthy. Removing them completely strips your hair of its natural vitality and shine.
To combat the damage caused by the sulfates, generic conditioners contain silicone, which is kind of like plastic. There are all sorts of silicones in conditioners, and they’re used to coat your hair give it the illusion of shine, but in actual fact silicone is coating your hair your hair so it’s impenetrable by anything except sulfate. This means your hair looks shiny, but can’t absorb any moisture.
As you’ve probably guessed, DevaCurl is completely void of all those chemicals, along with most alcohols and parabens. Instead, it contains natural oils and botanicals that supposedly leave your hair moisturised and healthy, while encouraging your natural waves or curls to spring in to shape.
As someone with a head of moderately traumatised curls induced by travel, bleach, box dye, a lack of nutrition, cheap products, and intense brushing, DevaCurl looked like the holy grail and the solution to all my problems.
(Note: There are some affiliate links in this post, but clicking on them won’t cost you anything extra, and you’ll just get some extra karmic points :) This is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own. Read more about that here.)
DevaCurl: A Review
I have a lot of hair with natural volume, but the strands themselves are quite thin (I believe the technical word is fine). It tends to be quite curly underneath and, when it’s healthy, the curls are more ringlety. Before starting my curly hair journey, it was so, so dry and damaged, with weird straight bits that weren’t straight when I was younger.
Poor nutrition, years of dumping chemical-riddled box dyes in my hair, and two rounds of bleach bleach killed my natural curls, leaving a dry and stringy mess after every wash.
On top of that, my hair freaks out every time it’s introduced to a new climate. It really, really didn’t like the hard and highly-chlorinated water in England, just as it hated the cold in Canada. My curls were gone.
No amount of keratin treatments or deep conditioners made a difference, and I felt at a loss. As a last resort, I took to Google, stumbled across the Curly Girl Method, and decided I had nothing to lose.
After gawping at the cost of each product on devacurl.com, I jumped on Amazon and ordered the DevaCurl Miracle Workers kit, which included:
(moisturizing, non-lathering formula that stimulates and cleans the scalp without stripping your hair)
One Condition Original
(rich, creamy conditioner that delivers softness and hydration)
(powerful cleanser using micellar technology to gently remove buildup from the hair and scalp without stripping)
Melt In To Moisture Mask
(nourishing mask that melts weightlessly into every strand, infusing hair with moisturizing matcha green tea butter, vitamin-packed sweet almond oil and protective beet root extract)
Deep Sea Repair Mask
(reviving mask that transforms damaged hair with restorative seaweed, a strengthening blend of rice, soy and wheat proteins, as well as moisturizing sea lavender)
I was so excited I couldn’t move.
The first thing you need to do is remove all the silicone from your hair so it can absorb moisture again. As silicone is not water-soluble, the only thing that will get it out is sulfate, or a good clarifier.
This means you can use a regular shampoo with sulfates before moving on to a CG-friendly conditioner, but I didn’t want to risk doing even more damage to my hair, so I opted for Buildup Buster. According to DevaCurl, Buildup Buster is a strong enough clarifier to remove silicone.
The difference between CG-friendly shampoos and regular shampoos is, because CG products don’t contain sulfates, they usually don’t foam up. The Buildup Buster was a little like using regular shampoo, but of course it didn’t foam. It actually didn’t feel like it was doing anything, but I scrubbed it all over my head hoped for the best, before moving on to the No-Poo.
After clarifying with Buildup Buster, I squeezed a pile of No Poo in to my hand, and the first thing I noticed was how thick it was. It has the consistency of conditioner, which isn’t really something you expect from a shampoo.
DevaCurl recommend using your fingertips to rub the No-Poo into your scalp, rather than lathering all your hair in to a giant ball like you would with a regular shampoo, so that’s what I did. It’s pretty weird using something that doesn’t lather and I did wonder whether it was actually cleaning my scalp, buuut hundreds of reviews suggested it was, so I stopped thinking about it and pressed on.
I could feel my hair start to detangle immediately. It was kind of amazing, and it literally smelled like a bunch of flowers.
After rinsing, I coated the ends in One Condition and detangled with my fingers, which was surprisingly easy. My fingers slipped through my damaged hair more effortlessly than they had in years. left it in for a few minutes, then rinsed it out.
Using a microfibre sports towel (also recommended by the CG method), I scrunched the water out of my hair, then wrapped it up and left it in the towel for 15 minutes.
After taking my hair out of the town and letting it fall naturally, I immediately noticed a difference.
Even when it was wet, my hair was 1000-times curlier than it had been in years. As it dried, the curls only enhanced. It actually felt mousturised rather dry, limp, and lifeless, and retained it’s shape. Even the bleached ends had twisted up in to tight coils, bouncing when I pulled them, and looking shinier and healthier than ever.
I was kind of floored.
The end result of my DevaCurl experiment was pretty surprising.
The curls were defined, bouncy, and felt healthier than they had been in years. It really highlighted for me why my hair had been such a disaster for so long – sulfates make a massive difference to the overall health of your hair, drying it out of the course of years.
The ends of my hair were so damaged (the lighter/coppery parts in the photo above) that I found the One Condition wasn’t quite enough, so I alternated between different deep conditioners every time I washed it. Melt In To Moisture was a go-to because, according to the directions, it doesn’t need to be in your hair for as long, but ultimately I found the Deep Sea Repair was better.
Even though keeping the Deep Sea Repair in for 20-mins is recommended, I found it made a difference almost on contact. My fingers were literally gliding through my hair when I used this products, and I could feel the difference in my hair afterwards. It took longer to get knotty, and held it’s curl for much longer.
Ultimately, you can’t ‘heal’ chemical-damaged hair – you just have to chop it off – but if you’re like me and want to avoid having super-short hair, DevaCurl helps you maintain your hair until it’s long enough to chop. The ends always looked rubbish again the day after wash day (dry, stringy, lifeless), but no product could have fixed that in the long-term so, all things considered, DevaCurl did a pretty remarkable job at keeping the damage at bay.
After the first week I decided I would 100% buy it again.
After finally chopping all the damage off, I noticed a huge difference in the overall health of my hair.
For the first time ever (including when was a teenager with healthy hair), I had no split ends whatsoever. The curls held their shape for days, I could get away with not washing it for a week and it didn’t get all knotty and dry, and it looked about 1000-times better.
The Deep Sea Repair also acts as a protein treatment, which is a huge bonus, and the products are cruelty-free, vegan, very high-quality, and actually enhance your curls. It’s kind of incredible. The No Poo is also so moisturising that you could probably get away with only using it as an all-in-one product, without conditioner.
DevaCurl is pricey.
You can get it a little cheaper on Amazon and at some online retailers, but it’s still around $25-35 per bottle, and they don’t ship to Australia. BIG thumbs down.
The only other issue I have with DevaCurl is it’s very heavy and weighs my hair down enormously.
Since it’s largely developed for people with African-style curls that can handle a lot of extra moisture, my fine hair couldn’t really deal with the No Poo or Low Poo (the lighter alternative for wavy hair). It ended up feeling greasy, all my natural volume was gone, and it took an additional three hours (five hours in total) to dry due to the extra moisture. Not a deal-breaker, but I did look in to alternative shampoo options.
Despite the price and the fact that the shampoo is too heavy for my hair, I would absolutely recommend DevaCurl to anyone struggling with their curls or waves, while travelling or in every day life.
It adds an incredible amount of moisture and shine, and really does help your hair maintain its curl for much longer.
On top of that, the ingredients are great for your hair! DevaCurl doesn’t contain any sulfates or drying alcohols, and you really can tell the difference. This whole process taught me to look at what’s in hair products and think about what I’m putting in my hair, and even though DevaCurl shampoos are too heavy, I still use the One Condition and Deep Sea Repair because they make such a difference to the overall health of my hair. It’s kind of amazing.
While it’s not carry-on friendly for travellers, it’s still worth a shot if you’re really looking to improve the heath of your curls or waves. Having said that, there are sulfate-free carry-on options if that’s what you’re in to, and you can check them out here.