Expert from Deva answers your curly hair questions

Shari Harbinger

Shari Harbinger

Q: I have a question about hair cuts that are good for curly hair. I have very long curly hair and am craving something different and short. But I also want something low maintenance that will only need a quick brush and mouse or gel in it, and off I go. As a mom of four kids, I don't have hours or even 30 minutes to style my hair. I have natural curl that turns to ringlets mostly when not frizzing or dry. The lighter it is the more curlier it gets. I also have pretty thick hair as well. What hair cut would you suggest?

Harbinger: There are many ways to change your style without a drastic cut, especially since you desire to be low maintenance. Anytime you opt for a specific style, a haircut will require some maintenance. So instead, you might consider elevating and cutting the curls on the heavier top crown area of your head while leaving some length. This way, you will get that lighter, less "weighty" feel on top. But you still have the option to wear your hair back or in an updo. This type of cut will also minimize that thick feeling as more hair is removed from the top layer, which means faster styling time in the morning.


Q: I have always been able to just scrunch my hair while using a diffuser to accentuate all my natural curls. I never needed a comb or anything. Just my fingers. I have a new hairdresser, and it seems as though she cut the natural curl right out. Now when I scrunch it, it just sticks straight out. Is there any advise I could get to tell my hairstylist that needs to be done to bring my natural curls back?

Harbinger: It sounds as if your hair was not cut for curly hair, but rather, wet and more generically. The best cut for "curlies" is a dry cut, curl by curl, and without a comb. This method allows the stylist to see the natural movement of the curls without stretching them with a comb, which makes it impossible to anticipate the behavior of the curls once dry. I suggest letting it grow out a bit and using a styling gel such as Deva Arc AnGell with extra moisture and hold to recapture the curls. You should scrunch and encourage the curl, but try not touching the curls as they are drying as touching or manipulating the hair when wet, which could cause them to straighten out and, in some cases, cause some frizz.


Q: I had the most wonderful curly ringlets, which went half way down my back! A few years ago (about six) my hairdresser said it looked better straight and cut it to my shoulders. Since then I have been straightening it with a flat iron. I am now trying to get my hair back to its natural state. The products I am using don't hold the curl like they used to. I am wetting my hair down every day and applying more products. I have spent a fortune on products and none of them work. My hair is now a 3a/b. I just want my hair to go back to its beautiful natural curls. Is there anything you can suggest?

Harbinger: Congratulations! You are on the right track to regaining your "curl power"! The first step in this rescue and recovery process is to stop straightening your hair and start reintroducing a more natural approach.

  • Step One: MOISTURE MOISTURE MOISTURE. The more naturally derived the moisture treatment, the better! You should apply a deep moisture treatment once or twice weekly for a month, and leave it on the hair for 15 -30 minutes. In addition, stop using stylers with silicones and plastics as they will only continue to dry out your precious locks.

  • Step Two: begin styling with a moisturizing gel and start scrunching your curls in an upward motion towards the scalp to encourage and remind your curls what they are meant to do. This change won't happen overnight so be patient. Afterall, you've been straightening your hair for a couple of years now!

  • Step Three: Get a decent haircut for curly hair. Have it cut dry so that your stylist can see where the older damaged hair is and how it is different from the newer healthier curls. Start with a trim until all the ends are cut away. Or you can drastically take it off in one cut and just start over! Be patient and be kind to yourself and your curls during this process. You are on your way!

Q: I have some questions about the no-poo method. Isn't it necessary to wash the hair with shampoo sometimes? And how often should I condition wash?

Harbinger: Thankfully, Deva No-Poo cleanser is water soluble so you never have to use conventional shampoo since it will never build up. I have been using No-Poo for nine years now and I have never felt the need to shampoo. You can feel free to co-wash with One Condition, but my suggestion is to use No-Poo on the scalp and ends and then One Condition on the ends only. Remember, No-Poo is botanically derived so there is never build up since botanicals work from the inside out as opposed to topical synthetic conditioners, which simply coat the surface of the hair and will indeed build-up. Be mindful of how much product you are using. When the hair is dehydrated, be generous with the product. When the hair and scalp have reached their maximum moisture, it is not necessary to use as much product, so pull back on quantity.


Q: I keep reading not to co-wash everyday because you'll overcondition. So what should I do? Do you rinse with water and continue with the rest of your routine? Do you just avoid doing anything other than spritzing it with something?

Harbinger: I endorse extra conditioning and wetting the hair everyday only when the hair and scalp need it, meaning, it is severely dehydrated. You are the best judge of what the needs of your hair and scalp are. Analyze and treat them both separately. Once your scalp and ends are hydrated, use No Poo at the scalp and One Condition or Heaven In Hair on the ends for maximum moisture. Typically, the ends are more dehydrated than the scalp. If your curls are already moisturized, you may want to consider using just No-Poo from scalp to ends. Remember, No-Poo is a conditioning cleanser, and for some curl types, that is all you will need! Experiment and remember that it takes time to find the best routine for your individual needs.


Q: I have great volume on the sides of my face Trust me, I have A LOT of hair. But the top of my head goes flat from the weight of the curls and I'm at a loss for how to get more volume and still stay CG. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

Harbinger: I have the same challenge with my curls as you do! Have your stylist cut the curls shorter on the top crown area to remove some of the weight that causes loss of curl and volume. I have a technically disconnected but visually connected haircut which looks great and gives me a truly overall curly look. In addition, I use the Deva Clips at the crown area on the scalp. Try clipping individual curl families at the root to relieve the curls of their own weight during the drying process.To encourage maximum curl, never separate the curl families by combing through them (even with your fingers or wide tooth comb). Apply product by an upward scrunching motion. Then apply Set Up And Above to your wet curls at the top of the crown wet h once you have removed the excess water and scrunch. This will add lift, hold and curl definition. Login to www.devachansalon.com or www.devaconcepts.com and view : Do the Deva Three Step video. There, you will be guided on how to clip your curls for extra volume.