Hair Care

By Erika Chassner

While a quick Wikipedia search reminds us that the purpose of the hair on our head is simply to serve as a primary source of heat and insulation, a quick tally of amount-per-year spent on hair services and products begs to differ. And if you are like me, (before my trip to the curly girl safe haven, Devachan Salon, that is) reading this definition will have you logging in faster than you can plug in your flat-iron to add a curly caveat explaining hair’s secondary purpose: to make your life a living hell.

Sound overly dramatic? If you don curly locks as well, it shouldn’t. Most of us have spent the greater half of our lives searching for the remedy, be it product, tool, or stylist that would bring with it the promise to end the lifelong love/hate battle that innately comes with the territory of being curly.

A self-proclaimed former straightening addict, I felt I had tried every product on the market and visited stylist after stylist who said that their specialty was curly hair to no avail. I had given up on my curly hair and continued straightening it with blow-dryers, serums, flat-irons and chemicals – anything I could get my hands on in efforts to tame the beast that lived on top and inside my head. But growing weary in my relentless attempts to deny what nature had intended, I still longed to make peace with it in its organic state.

Boasting to “provide an inner haven of transformation for the astounding 75 percent of the population lucky enough to have a curl, wave, or swave in their hair,” Devachan Salon piqued my curiosity. After a quick glance through “Curly Girl” a book by Lorraine Massey, the salon’s co-founder and stylist, I decided to make the call.

Lorraine Massey and Denis DaSilva, co-owners of Devahcan Salon and Devaconcepts

The minute I walked into the salon, I felt I had entered a secret society of fellow curly people who were basking in the glory of their locks. What was even more astounding was that everyone from receptionist to assistant in the Soho loft was sporting a fabulous curly do. Each chair was filled with different types of tresses, ranging from kinky spirals to lustrous silky waves. I maintained a cool and calm exterior despite the urge to croon from the depths of my soul, “There’s a Place for Us!” West Side Story style.

My senior stylist, Rick, began to cut away at my frizz. I was told to wear my hair down and curly with little product so that the stylist could see the natural wave of my hair. He cut it dry as opposed to wet, and like an artist sculpting his masterpiece he cut curl by curl. I could already see my hair taking a newfound shape. The assistant counseled me about the myth of sulfates, the chemical responsible for suds that is found in most shampoos and household cleaning products, as she massaged my scalp with Devachan’s own sulfate-free product line. She explained what my new regimen of care should consist of and following the wash I was brought to a chair for the next portion of my experience. I was shown step by step how to properly care for my hair learning first that towel drying is harsh and creates frizz by disturbing the curl’s natural form. I was also shown how to coat my hair with Devachan’s leave-in conditioner and curl defining gel, all the while my head turned upside down to the floor. A simple flip of the head and continued upward crunching motion was all it took for my curls to set themselves into the shape each individual tress was meant to take. A quick and easy demonstration, consisting of a few clips at the top of my head for volume, ended my tutorial.

After the dryer (note: they normally recommend air-drying or diffusing) was lifted, I could not believe my eyes. My curls were perfect and luscious. I had never seen them in this form and was truly speechless. I walked out of the salon with a bounce and spring in my step that matched the one in my hair. My normal “Can I recreate this salon induced look?” fear did not accompany me.

Three weeks later, following the Devachan method, I have been able to recreate the look I now love on a daily basis. Even more exciting, I have put the flat iron and all other related products to rest and now proudly say to you “My name is Erika, and I am FABULOUSLY curly!”

Devachan Hair and Spa
425 Broome St (at Crosby)
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212-274-8686

Devachan Hair and Spa
560 Broadway, Lower Level
New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212-274-8686

Originally published June 2010
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