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By far, the best decision I ever made in my natural hair journey was to have my chop turned into a Deva Cut at the end of my transition. Not only was there a tremendous amount of care put into cutting my hair curl-by-curl, the resulting shape of my hair (both curly and straight) was awesome:

But that was in December. According to several popular stylists that work with natural hair like Felicia Leatherwood, as a rule of thumb natural and curly girls should look to trim their ends every time the seasons change -- every 3 to 4 months. It doesn't have to be a drastic trim, but just enough to get the split, dry, damaged, or uneven ends away from the bulk of the healthy hair.

As much as I love my Devachan stylist Sergio, I can't afford a Deva Cut every 3 months. Besides, he travels back and forth between New York and LA, so getting appointments that regularly would be insane.

The solution? Do it myself.

Although there are about 54,648 different reasons to not take scissors to your hair yourself, a small trim at home does have some benefits:

1. You save money --you're only major cost is shears. I spent around $12 for a pretty decent pair from Target.

2. You have a reason to play in your hair, and doesn't love playing in their hair?

3. You're able to learn even more about the unique characteristics of each section, coil, kink, or curl--thus becoming intimate with your natural hair.

4. You'll become better at trimming. Because of number 3, the more times you work with your hair, the better at trimming it you get. If you know that one side shrinks more than the other, or one section has looser curls, you can trim accordingly to help maintain the best shape.

clip your hair in sections
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTINA PATRICE

There are two ways to approach maintaining a Deva Cut. Option one mimics the Deva Cut itself--working curl-by-curl in medium sections. The second option follows the same notion of working in sections, but on blown out hair.

What you'll need:

  • Clips
  • Hair shears
  • Clean, dry hair that is styled how your normally wear it. A wash and go style is best, because it allows you to see your hair un-manipulated or stretched, and curls are already clumped and prime for trimming. You can also work with day 2 or 3 wash and go hair.

Instructions

  1. Clip hair in 5 to 7 sections, depending on length and thickness.
  2. Ideally, you want to separate hair based on how it is shaped. Two horizontal sections across the back, three sections around the middle/through the crown (one on the left, right, and center/crown), and two in the front/center section.Starting at the back of your hair, take your first section and break it into 3 or more sections. each section should contain a few clumps of curls, to show you how your hair "falls" naturally.
  3. One by one, gently stretch each curl until you reach the end of your hair that you desire to trim. Get as close to the end of the "C" in your curl as possible. In one snip, Trim the end of the curl in a downward motion.
  4. Repeat this step for each small section of curls. Frequently check for a general evenness (each curl will not be dead even), and that hair is still falling in the Deva Cut shape you initially had. You can always go back in and trim more.
  5. Repeat steps 2 - 4 for each of the clipped up sections of hair. When you reach pockets of hair that you can't readily see like the back of your head or crown, use two mirrors to see with shorter hair. For longer tresses, when stretching, pull each curl to the left, right, or upward to see.
  6. Shake it out and fluff! You're all done! You shouldn't really notice too much difference in length, but your hair should look fuller!

final deva cut trimTo do a DIY Deva Cut trim on blown out hair, you'll need:

  • Clips
  • Hair shears
  • Blow dryer with comb attachment or concentrator nozzle
  • Paddle brush
  • Heat protectant

Instructions

  1. On freshly washed and deep conditioned hair, apply your heat protectant and blow your hair out in sections. Use either the comb attachment or concentrator nozzle and paddle brush to get your hair as stretched as possible. If you're looking for a good heat protectant, click here.
  2. Clip hair in 5 to 7 sections, depending on length and thickness.
  3. Ideally, you want to separate hair based on how it is shaped. Two horizontal sections across the back, three sections around the middle/through the crown (one on the left, right, and center/crown), and two in the front/center section.
  4. Starting at the back of your hair, take your first section and break it into 2 sections. Take the first section, and brush it with the paddle brush to ensure it is fully detangled and stretched.
  5. On the final brush stroke chase your index and middle fingers (similar to how you'd use a fine tooth comb chasing a flat iron) down the length of your hair behind the paddle brush, until you reach the end you want to trim. Follow the same swift snip in a downward motion.
  6. Repeat steps 2-4 for each of the clipped up sections of hair. When you reach pockets of hair that you can't readily see like the back of your head or crown, use two mirrors to see with shorter hair. For longer tresses, when stretching, pull each curl to the left, right, or upward to see.

Shake it out! You'll notice that your cut is more even, thanks to the blow out being helpful in making length and damaged ends easier to see.

Happy Deva Cutting!

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