On December 5, 2013, my life changed.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a little melodramatic. But on December 5th, I ended my 21 month transition from heat damaged hair and went 100% natural. Like many transitioners, from the outset of my process, I had the end in mind. I was going to go at least 24 months. I was going to make a huge YouTube production out of it by chopping off my ends in the mirror and letting them fall to the sink in slow motion. I was going to e‑mail President Barack Obama about it and ask him to hold a dinner in my honor.
Maybe I’m kidding about that last one. Maybe. But as fate would have it, I didn’t make it to the 24 month mark. During the first week of December, I grew increasingly irritated with my heat damaged ends. My newly grown hair had taken over, leaving my ends looking down right janky. I had entered my “lazy” phase, where all I wanted to do was wash and go and I could no longer stomach the thought of waiting forever for braids or bantu knots, or perm rods to dry. I had the itch, the itch to cut.
As my hair began to grow out, I realized a DIY cut just wasn’t going to work for me. My right side was full of bouncy curls. My left side had a wavy-curly pattern. The front was shrinkage city and my crown looked like it belonged to someone else. As the time drew near, I knew that I had no other option but to get a DevaCut. I did my research and whittled it down to two options: visiting the famed “Curl Dr.” Shai Amiel in Studio City at Capella Salon or going to the Devachan Salon in Culver City. Ultimately, it boiled down to price and distance. I could drive 15 minutes from my house (I live in Los Angeles) and visit the Devachan Salon for $80, or take an hour and $180 and make my way to Studio City. At some point I may pay Shai Amiel a visit, but for now his price point is way out of my budget.
Curious about how things would go for me, I called the Devachan Customer Service line. I explained that I was looking to get a cut, and that I needed someone who worked with highly textured natural hair. I also explained that I was transitioning from severely heat damaged hair and that while I wanted my damage gone, I also wanted to retain length. The representative Victoria seemed genuinely interested in my story and assured me that I’d be in the best hands with Sergio, the Culver City Devachan’s multicultural stylist. Still nervous about the cut, I booked a consultation with Sergio so I could feel him out.
After mulling it over for 24 hours, I called back and changed my consultation to an appointment with Sergio. I decided to stop dragging my feet and just go for it. Here’s my hair before the cut:
The Devachan Salon Experience
When I entered the Devachan salon, I was welcomed by name (made me feel all kinds of special). My jacket was immediately taken to coat room and in exchange I was given a champagne-colored satin robe. Fancy! I was offered water or tea, and then moved on to my consultation with Sergio. He went through my hair and inquired about how much I wanted to cut, if I wanted bangs, how to handle my multiple textures and more. He made me feel completely comfortable and confident that he would be able to handle my hair. He also promised not to cut my hair super short (which was a huge concern of mine).
After that, we went right into the cut (yes, while my hair was in a dry state). With the Devachan method, hair is cut curl-by-curl (literally) while the hair is dry. Not dry and straight, but dry and textured. The rationale for the dry textured cut is that the hair is elongated. When wet, there is the chance that too much hair will be cut and it would be a lot shorter than you might have bargained for. For someone not concerned about length, that probably isn’t a big deal. But I have a big head. Length is definitely a concern and one of the reasons I transitioned instead of big chopping. Here’s a little chop action (and yes, that’s Sergio behind me):
And immediately following the cut, before washing and styling:
After the initial cut, I was escorted to perhaps the most luxurious wash area I had ever seen. I laid back on something like a chase lounge with super comfy curvature. There were also super posh curtains that could be pulled for privacy but totally not necessary. Laying comfortably on my back, a styling assistant began the process of educating me on the Devacurl products, practices and methods while cleansing, detangling and conditioning my hair.
I didn’t feel like product was being pushed on me at all! She explained each product that was used; what it was and what it did. During the wash, my scalp was cleansed with a mixture of baking soda and DevaCurl No Poo to remove buildup and help with my scalp psoriasis. DevaCurl One Condition was used to cowash the length of my hair, which tends to be dry (she told me my hair was dehydrated, which was interesting). For deep conditioning, she used DevaCurl Heaven In Hair. Overall, I really liked how the DevaCurl products made my hair feel. I didn’t feel like the styling assistant was doing any damage or yanking to my hair, even while detangling.
While soaking wet, she applied DevaCurl B’Leave-In and DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel to my hair to set the style, and scrunched the excess water and product out with a DevaCurl microfiber towel. I was then taken under quite possibly the most futuristic-looking hooded diffuser ever on earth. Once my hair was dry, Sergio went in again with the shears to clean up anything that had been missed or overlooked.
The final look with their products (this was my next day hair):
And this is my hair after being washed, conditioned, and styled with my own products:
Now I’m 2 months in the game, and looking something like this:
All in all, I don’t regret a single thing about getting my DevaCut. Styling has been amazing, and I am something like a wash and go pro…at least for my hair. I thought my world would dramatically shift in some ways after my cut (click here to see what that’s all about). Sergio encouraged me to come back in 4–6 months, so we could get some more shaping action going. And I’m certain that I will. Atleast, after this Manetabolism Challenge I’m doing ends.
Here are my takeaways from the Devachan Salon Experience:
For those that are curious, here’s what my DevaCut looks like when I straightened (I flat ironed my hair in December for Christmas), and used these products and ingredients to prevent heat damage:
Here’s my final recommendation: By all means, have them use the DevaCurl products on your hair. You can even purchase the ones you like in-salon. But I highly recommend that within the next day or so following your cut, to start over with washing and styling your hair with your own products to get a true feel for the cut. I liked my cut the day of, but I didn’t LOVE it until I washed and styled with my own products.