Hair Care

By Lauren K. Terry

All you single (and taken) curly-haired ladies, the buck stops here. We know you’ve been spending way too much time desperately trying to find the right hair-care product for your frizzy follicles. We wanted to find out once and for all: which curly hair care set will tame your tresses?
In this two-part series, we take four of the top-rated hair-care sets and put them to the test. Which one will be pronounced the winner of BeautyNewsNYC’s The Curly Games? Read on to find out.

Wen Hair Care System
It’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, and you have been seduced. Seduced by Wen’s ubiquitous half hour infomercial, that is, and founder Chaz Dean’s Goldilocks-esque flowing hair. But does the hype match the payoff? The so-yummy-smelling-you-could-eat-it Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner starts out strongly. The no-lathering cleanser, happily bereft of curl-killing detergents and sodium laurel sulfates, smoothes onto the hair luxuriously. After leaving it in for three to five minutes, a comb swims seamlessly through strands, which feel like silk under the streaming shower beads. So far, so good.

Wen’s Styling Crème goes in when once hair is towel-dried, followed by a few quick sprays of the line’s Replenishing Treatment Mist. And now, we wait…because, like all curly-haired girls know, the truth is never in the washing, but in the drying. And, here, sadly, we find that Wen fails: as the morning goes on, the hair grows bigger. And bigger. And BIGGER. Curls are lost. Frizz sets in, and soon, we have a full-on 70’s-era afro situation on our hands. What happened? Here’s the rub: Wen conditions too much. It leaves the hair feeling weighed down, and the styling products suck in humidity, leaving hair large and not in charge. Great product? Yes. Great product to tame curly girls prone to frizzy afro-beats? Maybe not.

Deva Curl Hair Care System
Developed by best-selling author Lorraine Massey, Deva Curl has been THE name in curly hair products for years. There’s even a haircut – the Deva Curl Cut – developed by and for curly-haired women, which has revolutionized the way stylists have approached curly hair. Ingeniously, with the Deva Curl Cut, hair is cut dry instead of wet. Massey has even published a book which meticulously outlines how a curly-haired woman is supposed to take care of her hair. It is a lengthy, multi-step process. A little OCD? Maybe. But to give the Deva Curl process its full due, let’s follow it to the T.

First, Deva Curl’s No Poo Shampoo. Again, a no-lathering, no sodium laurel sulfate shampoo. A pleasant smell, not nearly as an intoxicating experience as Wen, but it’ll do. Deva Curl’s conditioner, slightly creamier than the shampoo, follows. Next, hair goes in a microfiber towel. Heaven forbid you use a regular towel, ladies – that’s not part of the process! Then, the application of the DevaCare Arc AnGEL – the tightest-hold gel of the line. Notice there has been no combing of the hair; that’s against Deva Curl rules. Only finger-combing is allowed. What about knots, you say? Tough! The curls can’t be disturbed.

Next, we use clips to provide height to certain areas of hair, mostly around the crown. Finally, when hair is almost completely dry, use Deva Care Set It Free, a spray that breaks up your curls and gives them some bounce.

Result? Some official, frizz-free curls! The Deva Curl system, as tedious as it may seem, works. Curls are whole, frizz is minimized, and hair is bouncy. But beware of which gel you use: there are several kinds available, depending on strength of hold. If you go for a hold that’s too strong, your hair will look as if it has too much product in it. Overall, Deva Curl provides curls that last throughout the day, with quick touch-ups by Set It Free.

Wen vs. Deva Curl Challenge:
Winner—Deva Curl.
Deva Curl has won this time, but will it be able to stand up to its next challenger? Deva Curl goes up against Living Proof’s No Frizz next.

Originally published July 2013
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