Products for Curly Hair: (Non-)Shampoo & Conditioner

After my first post on shampoo for curly hair, I received a few comments and emails about non-shampoo – cleaning products for hair but without added detergents.  The WEN and DevaCurl product lines were the two that were mentioned again and again.  I knew I had to check them out.  The older I get, the curlier and drier my hair becomes.  While I don’t mind the curl, I do mind the dry hair and the frizz that goes with it.  So anything that can add moisture and is less drying, especially if it’s made specifically for curly hair, is a worth trying.

I ended up purchasing this DevaCurl sampler from Amazon.  It comes with four 3-ounce items: 

  • DevaCurl No-Poo
  • DevaCurl One Conditioner
  • DevaCurl Angell
  • DevaCurl Set It Free

I also ended up purchasing the book Curly Girl:  The Handbook by Lorraine Massey, the founder of the DevaCurl line and the Devachan hair salons in New York.  A few women I spoke with said that this book changed the way they both viewed and cared for their curly hair.

There is a ton of information about the whats, whys and how-tos about curly hair in this book, but the key point I took from it the first read through (I’ll refer to it again and again, I’m sure) is that most shampoos contain harsh detergents, the same foaming agents that make your dish soap and laundry detergent bubble and cut the grease.  Now if you have super greasy hair that may be okay, but curly hair in general is dryer than straight hair.  And what do you think the second ingredient was in my current shampoo “designed” for curly hair?  Ammonium laureth sulfate.  Second ingredient.  Right after water.

Massey advocates using a sulfate-free cleanser, and I was happy to start my (non-)shampoo experiment with the DevaCurl line.  I’ve been using the ‘No-Poo’ and ‘One Conditioner’ for two weeks now and I have to say I am pleased so far.  Instead of having one good hair day out of three or four, now I’m having three or four – in a row.  Hot damn.

Another curly hair tip from the book that was a completely new idea to me is to scrunch your curls up when getting your hair wet in the shower.  The idea being that instead of the water pulling your curls down and separating them, you are pushing your hair up and therby keeping the integrity of the curl intact.  Such an easy tip, but one with great results.  I find that even in the mornings my curls are much more together and prominent than they ever were before.

I haven’t begun using their ‘Angell’ gel or ‘Set It Free’ spray yet.  I really wanted to test out the cleanser and conditioner first to get a sense of how they affect my hair.  Once I feel like I’ve got this new wash/condition pattern down – how many days I can go without cleaning and still have good hair days – then I’ll add in the other products to see how they work with my curls.

If you are a curly girl – no matter how loose or tight your curls may be – and have ever been frustrated with your hair, this book is a must read. Must. Read.  And if you are currently using a shampoo with sulfates, give a non-detergent shampoo a try and see how it changes your curls.  You won’t be disappointed with either decision.

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