Ana Paula Cota

Ana Paula Carneiro Cota, a senior member of the Devachan Salon and Departure Lounge Team, has found the perfect way to meld her passion for people, communication and beauty by becoming a hairstylist.

Q: I'm a sophomore in high school and I have (I think) 3a to 3b hair. I used to fight with my curls constantly, and they would always win. Eventually, before freshmen year in high school, I got layers. My hair is long, and I found a good enough method for my hair. My problem is that I want my curls a bit looser without having to chemically treat them. Is this at all possible? I am so desperate! I want to have no-frizzz, defined curls.

Ana Paula: The best way to keep your curls elongated naturally is to leave more water and more moisture in them. Apply your styling product in the shower, and use a very lightweight towel afterward. To keep your frizz factor low, keep hair hydrated hydrated and don't touch it until it's dry.

Q: I am a 2b-2c (wavy to a loose ringlet), naturally dark brunette. Just recently (2 weeks ago), I highlighted my hair to a sandy brown/blonde color. Now it is so dry it won't even wave, let alone curl. I love the color, but I hardly recognize my hair. Any advice? My hair looks like hay.

Ana Paula: Let's hope that the level of damage isn't permanent. It could be that your hair is temporarily stressed out from the coloring process. If so, you can do an intense treatment at a salon or at home. Try our new Heaven in Hair Intense Moisture Treatment. If you're doing it yourself, keep a hot towel around your hair with lots of a great conditioner for 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure to also leave conditioner in your hair after you rinse the treatment. You may also need a hair cut to clean it up.

Q: Any tips so that I don't walk out of the house looking like a wet dog? I diffuse with cold air for about ten minutes each day. Any longer leaves my curls frizzy with little hairs sticking out, which is unbecoming. I can't use a towel or even the t-shirt that I plop with to blot out moisture or else the curls will be upset and frizzy as well. Help me!

Ana Paula: Have you tried doing your hair at night? A lot of my clients find that they get better curl that way as long as they allow some time before they go to bed for it to dry. Make sure you have enough product in it. If you can't do it at night, make sure not to touch the hair even if using a dryer. Not having enough product in it also creates frizz.

Q: Is it possible to have a Deva cut, yet retain your length? When I had mine cut last fall, I lost several inches I didn't really want to. But figured I had to in order to get a proper Deva cut. Now I'm wondering if I could have kept the length, and I'd like to know what I should tell my stylist the next time I get it trimmed. Before the cut, it was a few inches away from mid-back/bra strap, which was my goal.

Ana Paula: A Deva cut doesn't mean your hair will get shorter. Make sure that you communicate to the stylist what you want, and that you trust the person enough that they will listen to you. I've given haircuts where the length hasn't changed at all visually, and I worked more on the layers.

Q: My hair seems like it's losing its curl. I was a 2b with occasional 2c moments, and my hair started relaxing during the last two months. The only days I got good curl were during days of moderate to high humidity in warmish weather during this time. I now feel like a barely-2a. I don't mind occasional 1c/2a, but I just hope this isn't permanent. How can I get my hair back to normal?

Ana Paula: It may be that your hair is getting too hydrated. Use a lighter moisturizer. Maybe even dilute your conditioner. Also, remove more water from your hair.

Q: I'm curious about the best way to conditioner wash. How do you really know how much of your conditioner to rinse out? I think I might be rinsing out too much, but I feel like if I leave too much in, my hair will feel gummy or sticky instead of smooth and soft.

Ana Paula: It depends on your hair. If you have fine but porous hair, dilute the conditioner but keep all of it in. If your hair is porous and coarse, don't even dilute it. Keep it full strength. For low to medium porosity, it's okay to rinse more of the conditioner out. If you have the right product with no silicone or synthetics, you won't see any build up.

Q:I've got the Devacurl productsl But how do I apply the gel? Obviously, I do it soaking wet. But I've tried raking upside down, raking it right side up. But my hair hates being raked. Whenever I rake, the clump factor goes from 87 percent down to like 3 percent or so. And that 3 percent is frizz city. Yet if I don't rake and go straight to scrunching, the curls that didn't get broken up are thick and frizzy and look more like dreadlocks than pretty ringlets. So raking and scrunching are a no-go. Is there any other way to apply a gel?!

Ana Paula: Make sure you're using the right products in the right order. Smooth the hair first with conditioner, placing it as you wish with your hands. By the time you apply the gel, you just need to scrunch.