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5 Curly Hair Tips I Learned at the DevaChan Salon

Shari Harbinger, VP of Education for DevaCurl, shares the hair hacks that will give you poppin' curls. 
5 Curly Hair Tips I Learned at the DevaChan Salon

As a curly girl, the salon can be your worst nightmare. Before finding my current go-to, there weren’t too many I actually went to because the tension was so real. As the stylists ripped through my curls and fried them to the side, I literally clawed the arms of the chairs and promised myself never to return.

That all changed when I visited the DevaChan salon in NYC (insert sunshine and romantic music). The DevaChan method specializes in curly hair and after my first experience 2 years ago, I’ve never stepped foot in another salon. Here are the top 5 things I’ve learned since then. 

Poppin’ Curls Start with Hydration

We hear it all the time…moisture, moisture, moisture, but it’s really true! Curly hair is often naturally dehydrated. Because of the coiled strands, natural oils can have difficulty traveling from the scalp down the hair shaft. So it is imperative that hydration is a foundation of our hair care routine.


“It’s important to hydrate inside and outside,” suggests Shari Harbinger, VP of Education for DevaCurl (above). “We know to look for moisturizing products that are free of gunk, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods with high water content like fruits and veggies.

Apply All Products With Water

One thing I noted while observing the stylists at DevaChan is they apply product to each section with water. For me, I would typically apply the product with to my wet hair after my shower. But here’s a tip from the curly pros: 

“Water is found in all products and the addition of water on dehydrated hair allows for even distribution of botanicals, which bring moisture and definition to the hair,” Harbinger says.

Basically, adding water to the product during styling yields better results and even product distribution throughout your curls.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave Conditioner In

Everytime I sit in the Deva chair, my stylist Brian always suggests leaving in the conditioner before applying my cream. When I first started my curly girl journey, I would leave conditioner in all the time. It was my go-to styling routine. Wash, condition and don’t rinse.

When my curls are crying for moisture, Brian leaves in a deep conditioner and the results are appropriately heavenly; the product is called Heaven In Hair ($28, sephora.com). He always says it’s a good way to get moisture in your hair in between washes. So, when my curls are thirsty, remnants of my conditioner stay on my strands.

Get Ultra Definition by Tossing Your Tools

If you’re a lazy gal, like me, finger detangling just sounds like way too much work and time. Little did I know, when I gave it a try, my curls were brand new! I had never seen my curls look so great. Here’s why: With finger detangling, you can feel the results as you glide through the hair to the ends. There’s no way to tear through your knots and tangles because you can feel them.

Here’s another fact about my finger journey…my hair grew like weeds. You don’t even realize how brushes and combs can rip through your tangles and snap strands, which equals breakage.

“At Deva we say fingers came before combs. Using our fingers prevents breakage and requires minimal tension,” says Harbinger.

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Scrunching is For Us, Too

It can be assumed that scrunching hair is solely for those with lose, wavy hair types.

When hair is wet, it’s more flexible. You can shape and sculpt curls before your hair dries. My Deva stylist always scrunches my hair and let’s just say my hair is so light and bouncy.

Don’t be afraid to flip and scrunch, ladies. No shame here.

For more info about the DevaChan process, watch our Facebook Live below where we treat an ESSENCE staffer to her very first Deva experience.