Thanks for the reply, Bigred!
Regarding porosity, it is actually low-normal. My roots and color never came out too dark before except with 1 stylist. He said he made my roots darker on purpose
so that when my virgin hair grows back in, the roots would be less noticeable. I didn't ask him to do this and I hate it, it's darker than both my base color and my natural color.
Yes, I needed to do more research on stylists. I have found 1 Deva certified stylist in my area, plus one who is not certified but has 4 good reviews on this site. One reviewer mentioned that the stylist gave her the Curly Girl book to look at while she was getting her hair done.
This salon sounds right up my alley because they only use natural, paraben free products and the lowest PPD and ammonia color available. They claim it doesn't even smell bad or burn, yet still covers greys. My eyes and respiratory system get irritated from dye so I'd like to try this. I emailed the owner/stylist and asked her the questions you suggested earlier about her experience with curls just to be sure she understands my needs, despite the great reviews. Based on her reply, I will go in for color (get my roots lightened up!) and styling, and if I like it, will have her cut it.
Thanks for arming me with what to ask!