My UK deva cut experience and how it changed my curly hair!
December 9th 2018 marks my 1 year anniversary since getting my curly cut and I am feeling super retrospective. This was not only my first curly cut experience but the first time I had cut my hair in 1 year and 8 months post going natural back in April 2016. One thing that still amazes me to this day is how getting a personalised ‘shape’ not only improved my confidence but vastly improved the look and feel of my hair. It took a day or two get used to, but it completely changed my outlook on my curly hair and is hands down the best thing I ever did for it.
TOP TIP: Don’t underestimate the impact that removing dead weight will have on the bounce back of your curly hair, it truly ‘levelled up’ my curly hair game.
What is a Curly Cut?
A curly cut or a deva cut is a type of cutting technique developed by Lorraine Massey - founder of The Curly Girl Handbook and Deva Curl. This type of cut is performed on dry hair, carefully cutting curl by curl so the hair stylist can see how each curl will fall and where it lives in its non-manipulated, natural state. This is opposed to cutting hair when wet or straightened as we are normally used to — which may leave you with a few surprises! You could end up cutting off too much due to shrinkage and creating an uneven shape that is not customised for when you wear your hair curly.
Do your homework and Don’t settle!
It is always best to consult a curly hair specialist near you that clearly specifies on their website that they are trained in dry curl/deva trained cutting. Don’t stop there though, be sure to do as much research as possible, seeking out before and afters showing curly hair having been cut dry. Find their IG handle via their website and even go as far as to contacting the salon and asking for a 1 on 1 consultation - which I recommend to ensure you are on the same page before arranging an appointment and paying for something you are unhappy with. I did all of this before agreeing on my appointment and was satisfied with my finds. Remember it is your hair - no more wonky cuts and leaving the hair dressers in tears.. Yep, I know all about this!
Before my Curly Cut Experience
Before curly cut life my hair had zero volume and had always been cut while straight because thats how I always wore it. Not only that, but I was still in the process of transitioning approx. 50% of my hair that had been bleached multiple times. Due to the bleach blonde/relaxed dead ends my hair was always incredibly flat, especially at the back and it really got me down. No matter what I did my hair just looked so flat. I knew I wanted a fringe, so I would fake one by doubling my hair back on itself and securing with Bobby pins over my forehead! (kudos for initiative though, right?) Unfortunately, my hair was still flat and failed to resemble my hair goals: @bwatuwant
The run up
With my best efforts, I couldn’t fake volume for longer than 5 minutes and my DIY fringe quickly became too much effort, so.. I took the plunge. I gathered inspo all over IG, pinterest, youtube - my phone gallery was screenshot city. Armed and ready with my folder of ‘curly hair inspo’, I decided to look into deva curly cuts as I had seen sported by many youtubers! I met my stylist @beyondcurls
through Instagram and I was so excited - my appointment was booked.
TOP TIP: Remember to be realistic for YOUR hair - your stylist isn’t a magician, they can’t give you a different curl type or add length so keep this in mind!
BEFORE CURLY CUT
On the day
Because curly cutting is specialist, to find a good one is few and far between. I live in Bristol and Raquel was a 2-3 hour drive away from me in Blackheath, London so we had to get a hotel to stay overnight as we had arranged an early morning consultation the day before the cut. We discussed the treatment I would be having and I showed her my inspiration for bangs and shape and we were set. On the day, I remember I was so nervous before, during and even after my appointment wondering if it was all worth it… it was a big shock but so so SO worth it.
AFTER CURLY CUT, unrecognisable!
Raquel had asked me previously to come in with my hair unmanipulated, so I did, in an old wash and go with minimal product so that she could see my hair in its natural state. She started by moving my hair around and positioning my hair where it would sit around my face to see if I was happy with the ‘lift’ and fringe situation. Once clarified, she began cutting. Overall the whole cut took 1-2 hours which is as expected for a full head of tight, high density curls with the layered effect I was going for and I was more than happy to wait as long as possible for a good job. She did just that. Once cut, we took some pictures and then proceeded to wash, style and set the hair using Boucleme products. This was the first time I was introduced to them and I haven’t looked back since. My hair shape blew me away and I got so many compliments, more importantly I felt so much more comfortable going out in public showing off my fro.
(SOON AFTER CURLY CUT - so much happier with
my new bangs and voluminous fro!)
Since then my hair has flourished and before curly cut life my hair had zero volume.. NOW the one thing commented on about my hair is my volume. Within days of my curly cut I noticed a difference in my hair texture and overall health. It was shinier, holding on to moisture better and curling, even coiling beyond my imagination. Honestly, removing the dead ends and shaping my hair gave it a new lease of life and I felt so so so happy in myself and finally my hair was just how I had envisioned it.
One year on and my curly hair shape has grown out spectacularly well. I dust a tiny amount off my ends every 3-4 months but am definitely due an updated curly cut to give the back some more volume! Though recently I did give myself a DIY curly cut, not that I would recommend this unless you know what you’re doing and are super confident not only in your cutting ability but in what you’re going for! Head to my account @CurlyGalLal
for all things curly hair, products, tips.
So if you're struggling with your hair, perhaps it’s not sitting quite right or you’re always manipulating it to get it to do something it won’t naturally, perhaps consider consulting a curly hair specialist?
Please find a list of UK certified curly hair stylists below for your perusal:
Lindsey Hughes Curl Whisperer - London (IG @lindseyhughescurlwhisperer)
Standard Studio - London (IG @the_standardstudio)
The Curly Look Dublin, Saulo (IG @thecurlylookdublin)
Cathy McNulty - Dublin (IG @thecurlartist)
Curl Confidence, Shropshire (IG @nikkisampsoncurlconfidence)
Curl Love, Southampton (IG @fabcurllove)
Laura Murphy at Ritz Hair Galway, Dublin (IG @laurashairspace)
Blew Belle, Sarah, Cornwall (IG @cornwallcurlspecialist)
Claire Lendon, Devon (IG @the_curl_consultant_claire)
WAX by Danielle, Washington USA (IG @waxbydanielle)
Girl On Curl, Bristol & Chesterfield (IG @girl.on.curl)