HI, Auntie, first, I am in Wisconsin, and I go to a salon who among other things does Deva cuts and styling. So, you will not have my experience, as you are in LA. I agree with how you paraphrased my experience and feelings; and yes, I agree, I love the cut (BTW, I went in Fri for a cut and a color, and she told me I did not need a cut, and explained why. I liked that - did not just take my money and say thank you). She also said my hair was in very good shape; and seemed to like my shampoo, which is the SM retention.
Keep in mind that at my previous salon, I would bring my styling products, and when my hair was colored (not cut) the stylist was perfectly comfortable for me to do my own styling, and had no diffuser, etc etc - when I got it cut and colored, the stylist who did the cutting would style me, and I never liked her products. She did not like conditioner so did not use it on me. So, by comparison, I feel it is like the difference between a diner and fine dining. I am not complaining about the new salon, or the stylist. But you are spot on, Auntie: I would ideally like MY shampoo, my conditioner, my styling products. I wish I loved the Deva line but I dont, and part of that is that I shampoo daily and that will not change. I get good results with way cheaper products. So, I guess when you go out to eat, you dont bring your own eggs - unless the chef is a good friend and doesnt mind.